Please don't tell me it was about $$$...
Perhaps you could give the folks that don't know a (quick) rundown of who Oregon Tilth is?
It was about money but not in a necessarily bad way. It's how it was worked out between the 'new guard' at Oregon Tilth (OT) and the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) committees.
In the past it's been the growers who have shouldered a huge share of OT's operating costs through fees charged for inspections and verification during the certification process (5 years), annual fees based on revenue (minor issue), publication sales, speaking fees, appearances before the Oregon Legislature, etc.
But the food brokers, distributors, packers - they paid nada! That was okay (I guess) for most of the past 35+ years but beginning about 10 years back the applications for use of the OT logo (certification) by companies located overseas began to flood OT as it should have been but there was no revenue to help defray the associated costs.
Oregon Tilth, CCOF, Washington's group, et al. all came out of a group established in 1974 called Regional Tilth. RT was the big umbrella and the participating states would run their own programs under the 'big plan' - and this was good.
As things turned out, Oregon's program grew at an incredible rate so that by the late 70's OT broke away and within 2 years RT was no longer viewed as necessary by the California and other groups and it shut down.
All of this was 25+ years before Congress established the NOP (National Organic Program) at USDA. During those years other states wanting to establish an organic standard often would pass a bill that in essence was a 'me too' so that if OT changed a ruling on a mined mineral compound that would affect all signatories to the OT Standard - make sense?
This allowed OT to become a prominent voice in organic and sustainable farming but Oregon is a small state (small number of producers) vs. California's group. Fair enough - size matters.
California's largest industry is agriculture as is Oregon's. The fastest growing segment of the food industry is organically produced food. The problem is that many new organic food shoppers head to the frozen food section, grocery department, etc. and buy the same 'type' of products as before - frozen organic corn vs actually buying a f*cking ear of corn and actually cooking it.
So the grumblings began to get louder and louder over the past 5 years that Con-Agra, Archer Daniels Midland, et al. start helping out. Organic farmers are the 1% against these assholes, the 99%
The merger will consolidate the 2 oldest and largest organic certification groups. OT probably has a larger staff than the one at USDA NOP - seriously. USDA's standards in many areas (again mined minerals) is a toothless tiger.
So the negative reaction by the sick & the lame (like me) against what the 'new guard' has come up with is that since California is a bigger state and therefore they have a much larger staff, etc. that they could be the 'big contact' - the 'big operator' - fine. Whatever - I'm okay with most of this overall.
But it's the f*cking name CCOF? F*ck you! Period.
I won't buy an espresso at the chain called Seattle's Best Coffee
<snerk - no reason that I can find to support hubris and/or Seattle's usual absurdity> so why would I want to belong to an organization whose roots go back to 'the beginning' of this thing that's now represented to be a 'California thing' when it never was.
Oregon (tail) wags California (dog) in organic certification and has since the first meeting in Ellensberg, Washington in 1974 - CCOF is too large to respond to issues quickly. With that many members there are just too many agendas at play - like trying to corral a herd of cats.
Besides when you have the real organic terrorists in Oregon doing the brain work and all you have to do is review it, implement it and claim it - why not call the new organization CCOF?
Edited by ComfreyQuery, 30 May 2012 - 12:23 PM.