Statement of Support from the Vermont Organic Farmers
The Vermont Organic Farmers support this petition. The following resolution was discussed and overwhelmingly passed at our annual meeting in January 2014.
Background: In 2010, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) passed a recommendation prohibiting crop production systems that eliminate soil, such as hydroponics and aeroponics, from obtaining organic certification. In this recommendation the NOSB clarified that soil-plant ecology is at the foundation of organic farming. Despite the fact that the Organic Food Production Act mandates that the NOSB advise the National Organic Program on implementing the organic regulations, this recommendation has yet to be accepted and added to the law. Currently some certification agencies certify hydroponic operations as organic despite the NOSB recommendation and the NOP allows this practice to continue unrestricted. Mexico, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and 24 European countries, (including Holland, England, Germany, Italy, France, and Spain) all prohibit hydroponic vegetable production to be sold as organic in their own countries. Historically, Vermont Organic Farmers has never certified hydroponic operations based on the idea that it is not compatible with organic farming principles.
The Resolution: Vermont Organic Farmers demand that the National Organic Program accept the 2010 NOSB recommendation to prohibit soil-less hydroponic vegetable production as certified organic.