Coffee & Conservation notes that the USDA has granted a momentary stay to its decision to strictly enforce annual re-certification of organic coffee farmers. This is wonderful news… but the fat lady ain’t sung just yet. According to Sam Fromartz — who first broke the story on Salon — where we are now is both a result of, and a continuing opportunity for, dialogue:
In a statement issued Wednesday, the NOP said it would work closely with the National Organic Standards Board – the citizens advisory panel on organic regulations – before making any changes. This comes after a petition campaign which generated thousands of signatures, even in the absence of any major media coverage.
For those who think organic regulations have been compromised by big business, this shows – as other actions have in the past – that transparency and advocacy work.
A great many specialty coffee companies — greenies and roasters alike — have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to get that conversation started, and it’s perhaps not coincidental that this announcement from the USDA arrived on the eve of the SCAA‘s annual convention, where I’m certain the decision is more than a passing hallway conversation.