In this file:
· EU: European Commission extends organic derogation for pig and poultry
… Due to tight supplies of organic proteins, the extension allows farmers to continue feeding their pig and poultry up to 5% non-organic proteins…
· US: Local and organic food claims face new crackdown
Polk County hog farmer Jim Wood is used to hearing that his premium Hereford pork is on the menu at Central Florida restaurants. The problem is that Wood doesn’t sell to many of these restaurants, and neither do his distributors…
European Commission extends organic derogation for pig and poultry
By Alistair Driver, Pig World (UK)
December 4, 2017
The NPA and NFU have welcomed a decision to extend two derogations for organic pig and poultry for a further 12 months, following successful lobbying in Brussels.
Due to tight supplies of organic proteins, the extension allows farmers to continue feeding their pig and poultry up to 5% non-organic proteins.
The derogation also allows poultry farmers to buy in pullets of up to 18 weeks old, where organically-reared pullets are not available, provided they have been managed under the organic feed and veterinary standard.
NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: “This is a great result for organic pig producers and one that will ensure organic production can continue for the time being.
“However, we will need to seek a more comprehensive and longer-term agreement shortly to avoid this situation reoccurring in 12 months’ time.”
NFU Deputy President Minette Batters said: “It is incredibly important for the organic pig and poultry industry that these derogations were extended, to provide certainty to producers...
Local and organic food claims face new crackdown
Kyle Arnold, Orlando Sentinel
Dec 4, 2017
Polk County hog farmer Jim Wood is used to hearing that his premium Hereford pork is on the menu at Central Florida restaurants. The problem is that Wood doesn’t sell to many of these restaurants, and neither do his distributors.
“People love to put my pigs on the menu even if they aren’t serving my pork,” said Wood, owner of Palmetto Creek Farms in Avon Park.
As restaurants and consumers have embraced the farm-to-table movement, farmers and state regulators are reporting a rise in the number of eateries falsely advertising premium ingredients and local sourcing on menus.
State health inspectors have cited restaurants 68 times so far in 2017 in Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake counties for mislabeling, the most in the last five years and more than five times the number cited in 2013.
Farm-to-table, local and organic are hot buzz words in the food and restaurant industry that demand premium prices. Two area farmers said mislabeling has been a big issue in recent years. Each said they’ve found restaurants posting menu items claiming an item was sourced from their farm, even if the farmers never sold to them. If caught, the violations can carry a $1,000 fine or a restaurant’s license to operate can be suspended or revoked, although the state officials would not indicate how often it happens.
In October, Dexter’s restaurant in Winter Park received a violation during a health inspection for claiming on the menu that a sandwich contained locally grown pork.
The restaurant couldn’t prove the claims with invoices, so the inspector called the distributor, Lake Meadow Natural Farms in Ocoee, to verify. Lake Meadows told the inspector the pork was from Wisconsin.
Dexter’s co-owner Adrian Mann said he was told the ground pork was local and paid a premium price for it.
“When I usually buy ground pork it’s about $3.80 a pound, and for this, I paid about $6,” Mann said.
Lake Meadows farmer and owner Dale Volkert said he never claimed the pork was local.
“It’s all Heritage pork, but we never claim it’s local,” Volkert said.
Dexter’s, which operators four area restaurants, canceled its contract with Lake Meadow Natural, Mann said.
The increase in health inspector reports about misrepresenting menu items follows a “Truth in Menu” initiative the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation started in July 2016, warning restaurants they could be fined for inaccurate menus, particularly those claiming to be local, natural or organic. Restaurant operators said inspectors have been scrutinizing menus and asking for invoices to prove claims.
“While we may bring administrative disciplinary action for violations, we also work to obtain compliance by ensuring our licensees understand how to correct and avoid future violations,” said Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation spokeswoman Kathleen Keenan.
Farmers and retailers say restaurants inaccurately calling items local, organic or farm-to-table dilutes the work of local farmers who don’t have the price and scale advantages of corporate competitors.