FAFO, an organization of farmers that advocates organics, recently announced over $1,000,000 as grant awards. FAFO is the only award program funded by farmers in the country that makes grants for education, research, and advocacy in organic education. The million dollar grant announced by them was for the same purpose. Founded in 2007 by CROPP, a cooperative body of farmers, the fund aims to promote organic agriculture.
The Organic Food Grant System Established by FAFO
The FAFO grant system is solely aimed at saving and promoting organic agriculture for which they have already distributed over two million dollars. FAFO’s awards in 2012 targeted several key areas including GMO labeling, Coordinated Project in agriculture, Seed diversity, development of young farmer, Organic agricultural research and several others. The total grant amounted to $298,209. Some of the large funded programs included GMO labeling ($100,000), Coordinated Agricultural product ($75,000), Seed diversity ($30,000), and development of young farmer ($25,000) among others.
Additionally, FAFO’s long-term sustaining grants amounting to $312,500 helped organizations for their distinct work in farming and organic food. Each of these organizations will be supported for three consecutive years, starting from 2012. The organizations chosen to receive the award include Washington State University for Research, a body on Organic Seed for Advocacy, Food Safety Center, and Environmental Working Group. Each of them will receive $25,000 per year. FAFO has budgeted $450,000 under “Initiatives”, a new category for the years 2013 and 2014. Under this award category, two important topics will be funded for two years. The two important topics currently chosen include seed and organic soil or healthy soil. These funding efforts are designed to encourage organic farming.
Encouraging the Usage of Organic Food
FAFO and CROPP Cooperative encourage the use of eco friendly promotional items in diverse ways. While FAFO offers grants and funds for organic farming education, research, and advocacy, the CROPP farmers produce organic products. One of the nation’s leading organic brands is Organic Valley which is owned by the CROPP Cooperative.
The other aim of the CROPP Cooperative that represents over 1800 farmers in 38 States and provinces in Canada is to use organic farming in order to protect family farms. In 2012, the Organic Valley recorded close to $900 million in sales. The products of the Organic Valley are sold through a large number of outlets including nation-wide food cooperatives, natural food stores, and supermarkets. These products include dairy and poultry products such as cheese, milk, butter, creams and spreads, and agricultural products including soy and juice. The Cooperative uses the regional model to support closer distance between farm and household. The regional model also supports the local economy.
FB bullet: Farmers Advocating for Organics (FAFO), in its recent initiative, has announced grant awards of over $1 million to support organic research, education, and advocacy. This body has awarded more than two million dollars since its inception in 2007. The positive impact will likely be felt by CROPP Cooperative, owned and supported by farmers since 1988 and working towards the promotion of organic family farms.