AgriTrue

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AgriTrue is a concept put forth by Jack Spirko as an alternative to the USDA Organic labeling system. At its core it is not as much a certification of how goods are produced, but instead a means for the consumer to find out how those goods were produced. This allows them to decide if those goods are the ones they want to purchase for their family.

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Consequences of USDA Involvement

In recent history the Organic label used to imply that a product was grown much more naturally and was healthier than the non-organic products available on the market. As the Organic movement continued to grow the federal government stepped in to regulate the Organic label as a means to ensure truth in advertising (that what the consumer purchased as Organic was truly Organic). Unfortunately in doing so there were consequences.

One consequence was the implementation of rules and processes for farmers to be able to acquire the Organic label. An entire bureaucracy was put in place at the federal and state levels for inspection as well as certification authority. This bureaucracy and the regulations put in place to get this certification makes the cost of certification move into the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, often pricing the smaller producers out of being able to call their production Organic.

A second consequence is that with the well-known influence of Big Ag on the USDA and FDA it often surprises people to find out what is actually considered 'Organic' these days. Examples of this bastardization of the Organic label include livestock still forced into inhumane living conditions as well as the allowance of non-organic ingredients to be used in the production of foods labeled as Organic. People are paying a significant premium for Organic products which may not actually produced in a way which they imagine is really organic.

How does AgriTrue work

While it is still in development, the founding concepts of AgriTrue indicate it will include a database of farms and products where producers can publish how they grow their food. Do they use Organic industrial fertilizers or do they use only compost produced by organic means? Do they raise their chickens in small confined spaces or are they free range? Is a percentage of that cows diet made of up corn? Can I visit the farm and take a tour to see for myself how things are done? These and many other bits of information will be provided for the products offered by AgriTrue producers. Then when a customer visits AgriTrue by following the link on the product they will be able to view all of this information and decide for themselves if how that item was produced meets their standards.

It is expected that a cottage industry will arise out of AgriTrue of entrepreneurs offering their services as an independent reviewer certifying that the statements made on AgriTrue by the producer are correct. Details of how those reviewers might be certified or a rating system used to indicate an AgriTrue examiner's integrity are still being considered and developed.

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