Should Organic Farms Be 100% Transparent?
Recently, a friend of mine alerted me to an investigation done by the organic food advocacy group Cornucopia Institute. Cornucopia Institute (CI) looked at organic egg farms and found that living standards on many of them were as crowded and industrial as those of conventional egg farms.
What struck me as the most interesting part about the survey, however, was the fact that many organic egg brands chose not to participate at all. There were quite a few.
Why wouldn’t they participate? Shouldn’t claims of high standard production follow high standards of transparency?
So I wrote them:
Dear Nest Fresh,
I am a concerned consumer. I shop at King Soopers in Boulder and I always buy your brand of eggs. Obviously, one of the biggest reasons why I buy your brand is because they are labeled ‘Organic.’
Recently, however, I learned that Nest Fresh chose not to participate in a study conducted by the organic food advocacy group Cornucopia Institute. I do not expect you to have anything to hide so I am wondering about this.
Why didn’t you participate?
I believe transparency is as tantamount to organic farming as are the conditions under which the farms operate.
What is your opinion on this?
I appreciate and await you answers. Thanks in advance.
Jacob Staerk. Boulder, CO.
And after a few days, here is what they replied:
Thank you for taking the time to contact us.
We chose not to participate in the survey because we annually submit our
organic farms to audits by third party organic certifying agents. These
agents are audited and accredited by the USDA to ensure that they are
qualified to evaluate organic farms. We believe these certifiers are
the best judges of our organic practices and we trust them to make an
unbiased decision as to whether our farming practices are truly organic.
I agree that transparency is very important in organic farming.
Although we did not participate in the survey, we are proud of our
organic farms and freely share information about them with consumers.
Please let me know if you have any questions about any of our practices
and I would be happy to answer them.
What do you think? Is this good enough?
Here is a related article about the survey.