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January 27, 2015

United States

Louisiana—Organic Farming at WAS Meeting


A producer session on organic aquaculture is scheduled for the upcoming Aquaculture America 2015 conference in New Orleans on February 21, 2015.  The session is timely with the anticipated release of a proposed organic aquaculture rule by USDA in mid-2015 that initiates the official rulemaking process.  Key participants include Miles McEvoy, Deputy Administrator of the USDA National Organic Program, Carl Salamone, Vice President for Seafood Sustainability with Wegmans Food Markets, and Max Holtzman, former senior advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture.  They will be joined by Andrew Lively, director of marketing for Cooke Aquaculture, Marty Mesh and “Ram” Balsubramanian with Florida Organic Growers, and Linda O’Dierno, outreach specialist with the National Aquaculture Association.  Several members of the Aquaculture Working Group appointed by USDA in 2005 to assist with developing organic standards will be on the program including George Lockwood, chair, and Sebastian Belle, John Hargreaves, Ron Hardy, Kwamena Quagainie, Chris Nelson, and others.


Special emphasis will be on the status of organic aquaculture rulemaking; markets for organic aquaculture products in the USA; specific issues related to net pen systems and fish meal and oil from wild fish; petitions for use of synthetic materials; comparison of Canadian and European Union organic standards rules; and steps to move forward in the rulemaking process.  Aquaculture products are the last major food category to have USDA organic labeling and accreditation of aquaculture production operations.  Many consumers desire the organic product choice and after many years of diligent work by many that began in the late 1990s, USDA organic standards for aquaculture are closer to reality than ever before.  There are opponents who will persist to influence a final outcome, but hopefully the USA aquaculture community can rally to achieve par in the marketplace with other animal proteins, fulfill consumer demand and benefit from new marketing opportunities.


We hope that you can join us for this important session and also inform others who may have an interest in USDA organic standards for aquaculture products.


Information: World Aquaculture Society New Orleans Meeting 2015.


Source: Email to Shrimp News International.  Subject: Special Session Scheduled for Pending USDA Organic Aquaculture Standards at Aquaculture America 2015 in New Orleans.  George Lockwood and Gary Jensen (email  January 27, 2015.

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