The End of Organic Poultry Porches? Don’t Hold Your Breath

Rotating chickens on pasture prevents nitrate contamination of soil and groundwater, provides a varied diet for the birds including grass and insects, and makes for more nutritious meat and eggs. If the Organic standards required vegetated cover for poultry production, this would open markets for operations that rotate their chickens on pasture AND feed organic grain, a rare combination.

April 1, 2023 | Source: Real Organic Project | by

Dear Friend,

As much as I like to write about all the good work we do, today is a day to make sure we stay informed.

The Real Organic Project exists because the USDA has failed us. While we haven’t walked away from the important work of USDA reform, we aren’t willing to bet our future on that effort.

This month, we are called once again, to comment on another “proposed rule” that attempts to correct the abysmal state of organic poultry. This is a perfect example of why we need “another lane” for farmers who follow the law.

As we all know, for decades now, the USDA has allowed the certification of confinement poultry production. They do so under the premise that small concrete-floored “porches” (attached to mega-confinement facilities) qualify as “outdoor access”. Unfortunately, things don’t appear to be changing anytime soon.