National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement – Comments Due

Corporate agribusiness has a plan to write its own food safety laws and they’re calling it the National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement. The agreement, if implemented, will cut costs to the major agricultural corporations by ensuring that everyone follows the same production procedures – whether small farm or large farm, organic or conventional.

The National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement is being overseen by the USDA, which doesn’t have regulatory authority over crops. The FDA has responsibility for the food safety of our nation’s greens.

The USDA does often engage in assisting private corporations in marketing their goods by providing grants. A recent one you may have heard of was Domino’s pizza.

The marketing agreement comes at a time when the Food Safety Modernization Act has just given the FDA the power to enact stricter food safety regulations and the authority to inspect processing facilities. The marketing agreement is unnecessary and could potentially conflict with the findings of the FDA on food safety of leafy greens.

What Can You Do?

Comments are open for one more day. July 28, 2011 is the last day for public comment. You can submit your comment online.

For more information, the Cornucopia Institute has written a set of talking points.

Image by sqrpix, used with Creative Commons license.

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3 thoughts on “National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement – Comments Due”

  1. I have reviewed the document at the request of some CSA friends. I am an ISO 9001 auditor. This seems to be a similar type program (quality for the Ag world). Voluntary, but frequently required by big customers. I see the benefits to most but the occasional hardship on very small businesses. Many small businesses “step up”, others find customers that don’t care about the certification, but it does limit their customer base. Perhaps a designation or certification mark for the very small farmer (<$200,000?) would give them a marketing niche that would let them still gain access to grocery stores. i.e. GLOSF = grown on local organic small farm. Hopefully your guys are better at acronyms.

    1. Hi Mary, I agree that this is intended as a quality control document. Adhering to an agreed upon set of standards isn’t a bad thing by itself.

      I disagree with one thing in your comment. I think the benefits will accrue to the small number of very large ag outfits. Most of the hardships will fall on small farmers and most farmers are small farmers.

      And, yeah, good acronyms are hard to come up with :)

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