Protecting Native Ecosystems

What are we doing to ensure the National Organic Label protects Native Ecosystems?

We are pushing for the National Organic Program (NOP) to implement a new rule proposed by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) that would protect Native Ecosystems. With WFA in the lead, we and our partners successfully encouraged the NOSB to recommend this new rule to protect Native Ecosystems from the organic plow.


We and the NOSB sought to change the current perverse regulation that incentivizes the immediate destruction of Native Ecosystems and conversion to organic production as a cheaper and faster option than transitioning existing conventional farmland over a three-year period.

The NOP needs to implement the proposed Native Ecosystem rule that will protect the integrity of the seal, and help reverse the biodiversity crisis and reduce global warming.

Organic consumers are shocked when they learn the extra funds they spend on organic products could be supporting the destruction of Native Ecosystems. And they are confused because they know organic farms should be conserving biodiversity. Currently, organic farms need only do the latter after certification.

Native ecosystems can store more carbon than converted farmland ever could. Farms next to natural areas have a greater diversity of native bees, beneficial insects and birds and increased pollination and pest control services.

WFA created two supporting documents for the new proposed rule – a Draft Native Ecosystem Guidance for the NOP to consider adopting at the same time they implement the new rule, and a Native Ecosystem Toolkit for organic certifiers and farmers to use when determining the presence of a native ecosystem. We also created a set of short videos to show how to use many of the tools in the Toolkit.