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OrganicEye Seeks to Disenfranchise Organic Farmers

by Kelly Damewood |

OrganicEye is attempting to fundraise for their staff salaries by discrediting certifiers who maintain producer governance and engagement.

In December 2023, OrganicEye launched a fundraising campaign that centers around ending organic producer governance and services. From the beginning, the organic community has been self-made – we have self-funded research, technical assistance, and education. We have always worked in partnership to advocate as underdogs for federal and state funding, regulatory exemptions for organic producers, and other critical needs.

Now, after over 50 years of championing and expanding the organic movement, CCOF and other organic nonprofits have grown in our size and reach. Despite our growth, we have never lost sight of our roots. We proudly continue to serve our communities with grants, education, and sponsored community events.

CCOF, Inc was founded and continues to be governed by organic producers. We are honored to have the wisdom of organic producers guiding our work in advancing organic agriculture for a healthy world. CCOF Certification Services, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of CCOF, Inc. We maintain separate legal entities with separate governance boards to ensure strict impartiality. Any organic certifier, regardless of their affiliation or legal structure, must meet all impartiality and conflict of interest standards as audited by the USDA. CCOF Certification Services, LLC is audited annually by ANSI(ANAB), CAEQ, and Senasica. The USDA National Organic Program audits us every 2.5 years. We also hire a third party to conduct annual internal audits of our quality systems to ensure impartiality and adherence to all certification requirements.

OrganicEye is fundraising for themselves by creating fear and has decided to target CCOF. OrganicEye seeks to remove producer governance and representation from CCOF, Inc. OrganicEye seeks to end the CCOF Foundation’s grant programs, which distributed over $1M to future organic farmers and producers who needed assistance in 2023.

We find this effort to disenfranchise certifiers from the communities they serve and to remove resources from organic producers to be distracting and disturbing. We will not stand by as OrganicEye fundraises via campaigns that undermine CCOF’s organic farmers and producers.