AND MARKETING NEWSLETTER
Editor: J. J. Ferguson
Horticultural Sciences Department
University of Florida
PO Box 110690
Gainesville, FL 32611-0690
MINUTES OF THE ORGANIC CITRUS ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING
Lake Alfred Citrus Research and Education Center
Submitted by J. Ferguson
Athearn, Kevin (Food and Resource Economics, UF, Gainesville)
Ferguson, Jim (Horticultural Sciences, UF, Gainesville)
Kelly-Hall, James (Kelly-Hall Groves, Ft. Pierce)
Roper, Charles (Roper Growers Cooperative)
Scholberg, Johann, (Agronomy, UF, Gainesville)
Ziegler, Mike (Agricultural Resources Management, Vero Beach)
Agenda: The below research/extension areas were suggested at the December, 2001 organic farming meeting
at Lake Alfred. Those meeting on Jan. 16, 2002 listed five areas as having the highest priority with other issues to
be discussed at future meeting. Minutes reflect discussion at this meeting.
Jan. 16 Meeting of Organic Citrus Advisory Committee
Suggested ResearchExtension Comments
J. Ferguson will develop and upgrade existing web-based newsletters
"In Good Tilth" was mentioned. This is a publication of Oregon Tilth
Access to Information
The web site for Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers is
"The Foghorn" is the newsletter of Florida
Organic Growers and Consumers. Quality Certification Services
is the organic certifying agency of Florida
Organic Growers and Consumers.
Crop Production/Marketing Data
(acres, boxes/acre, price per box
and Ibs solids)
Enforcement of Organic Standards
Global information systems (GIS) and Global positioning systems (GPS)
systems could be used for identification of organic groves in terms of
obtaining data on boxes produced and other related production and
National Organic Standards will become official Oct.21, 2002. At that time
existing certifying agencies will have to conform to USDA rules for
accreditation. Enforcement issues should also be addressed to the
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Global Information Systems (GIS) will be essential in locating and
certifying organic groves.
JAS is the Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS). It is an Accredited
Organic Certification Organization by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry
and Fisheries (MAFF) of Japan
Standardization (ISO) Guide 65 includes the General Requirements for
Bodies Operating Product Certification Sytems. including assessments of
Organic Certifying Agencies. The Audit, Review, and Compliance Branch
has been designated as the competent authority for the assessment of
organic certification agencies for compliance with the International
Organization for Standardization. Website
Make contacts with Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, Florida
FFVA and Organic Representation Citrus Mutual, and the Florida Citrus Production Research Advisory
Council (FCPRAC) to obtain representation for organic citrus growers.
Information needed in terms of best location of organic groves on
Grove Design specific soil types. That is, are some soil types better suited for organic
farming than other soil types.
Integrated Harvesting, What to do here?
Transportation, Marketing Systems
Irrigation System Design
Larger Scale Research
Materials/Methods to Control Needed
Brazilian Pepper Trees
Mechanisms to Fund Organic Possible funding through SHARE and FCPRAC as well as recent USDA
Farming Research in Citrus grants
Pest and Disease Management Needed
Research data needed comparing general environmental and wildlife
Promotion of Environmental
B on of OEnvironmental benefits of organic farming compared to conventional farming (e. g.
nutrient leaching of manure and synthetic fertilizer nutrients)
Proven Methods and Management
Proven Methods and Management Develop a manual for organic citrus production in Florida, especially in
Practices for Organic Citrus
a s f Oac C terms of weed and pest management, manure applications/soil fertility.
Weed Co rol Me s Current USDA grant on using perennial peanut as a weed control
Weed Control Methods
measure in organic citrus groves
UF is developing an Organic Farming ResearchCenter, a type II center,
O c F g R h C r which will not now have physical facilities. Consider possible field
Organic Farming Research Center
research/demonstration sites for this center in north, central and
Future Meetings Rotate around the state with next meeting in southern Florida
The USDA is the US government agency that will administer the National Organic Program (NOP), with
an implementation date of Oct. 21, 2002 within the US. The Japanese government agency that administers
organic programs within Japan is the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF). The
Japanese counterpart of the US National Organic Program is called the Japanese Agriculture Standards (JAS)
and this program is administered by MAFF. The USDA is currently negotiating with the Japanese MAFF to
develop commonly agreed-upon organic certification standards.
JAS standards are detailed and require more verification and accompanying paperwork to validate record
keeping, farming practices and farmers themselves than current US organic standards.
There are approximately 38 organic certifying agencies around the world currently accredited under JAS
standards. However, not all certifying agencies currently operating in Florida are accredited under JAS standards.
The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries works with another agency, Quality
Assurance International (QAI) to certify organic produce coming into Japan. QAI standards must conform to
JAS standards for organic produce coming into Japan.
Genetic ID is an American company that has a component called International Certification Services. (ISC).
The primary function of ISC is to determine that produce is free of genetically modified organisms (gmos).
The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries under the auspices of the JAS accepts
imported organic produce that has been certified by QAI and ISC.
The Florida Organic Farming and Food Act will sunset 12/31/02. The USDA National Organic Program will
become effective 10/21/02. One of the main differences between these two sets of organic farming standards is
that under Florida law the tolerance standard for pesticides and other restricted or prohibited materials is
1% whereas under the NOP this standard will be 5%.
Organic certifying agencies currently registered in Florida are apparently in the process of obtaining
accreditation under the NOP standards and they must do this by 10/21/02 in order to be registered under
However, since the NOP standards take effect 10/21/02 and the Florida standards don't expire until 12/31/02,
organic produce grown or imported into Florida must still adhere to the 1% tolerance standard until 12/31/02.
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and was last updated on March 9, 2002.