A survey of 400 organic farmers in Iowa finds they support maintaining high standards for production and processing to ensure consumer confidence. The Massachusetts-based Organic Trade Association which worked with Iowa State University on the survey. Givens explains the basic goals of the research. Holly Givens, a spokeswoman for the Organic Trade Association, says they were trying to figure out how organic farmers have been effected by federal regulations and if there are areas where they’d like to see changes to make a better business climate. Nearly 40-percent of respondants plan to increase their organic acres, most by up to 25-percent. She says the survey made it clear that organic farmers in Iowa do not feel hindered by regulation, in fact, they want to produce products organically that meet high standards. Givens says the farmers are looking for more support of small farms and fewer subsides for the large corporate farms, while building consumer awareness about organic products. Asked what their biggest challenges were to getting their organic products to market, 37-percent checked “finding a market which will pay value-added costs of organic products” while 32-percent chose “growing enough product to meet demand for organic products.” Givens says the full results of the study should be complete by the end of September and it’ll be available through the Organic Trade Association website at “www.ota.com”.
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