Recent Publication Documents California Organic Producers’ Perspectives on Ag Marketing Orders

The newly published research titled, “Organic Producer Perspectives on California State Mandated Marketing Programs and Implications for a Federal Organic Promotion Order”, examines the role of government mandated marketing programs in promoting certified organic produce in California.

The two researchers, Tina Cosentino and Gregory Baker, set out to document organic growers’ perspectives on agricultural marketing programs in California and to evaluate the benefit of those programs.

This research is timely as the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is conducting a multi-year national effort to engage the organic industry in the establishment of a national check-off program. This newly published research specifically gives a voice to California’s small- to medium-size organic growers. The goal of the project is to provide insights in determining whether current marketing programs need to change on both the state and federal level to be more relevant for organic produce. Additionally, do we need marketing order exemptions for organic growers at the state level and how does produce integrate with the multi-commodity effort of the OTA?

Co-author Tina Cosentino, Veritable Vegetable’s Purchasing Manager, began the effort as an MBA student in Agribusiness at Santa Clara University and as a member of the Food and Agribusiness Institute. She chose this research topic because of her interest to better understand the growth of the organic industry and the opportunities for expansion of organic distribution, which developed while working at CCOF as the Member Services and Program Specialist. She hopes the research will have a direct impact on the organic industry. 

During the research process, Cosentino developed relationships with organic growers throughout California. Data collection involved dozens of phone interviews, an industry-wide survey, and focus groups in three different regions of the state with certified organic producers. 

Read the full publication.



This article was written by Tina Cosentino.

Tina Cosentino is the Purchasing Manager at Veritable Vegetable, an all-organic produce wholesale company. She grew up packing apricots to sell at her family’s retail market, “Cosentino’s” which was a successful family business in San Jose, California for over 65 years. She has spearheaded organic farmer education programs in California, Mexico, and Ecuador. Tina holds an MBA in Food and Agribusiness from Santa Clara University and a BS in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz.