IUPUI Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Assessing Policy Designs and Improving Outcomes in Organic Farming

Chris Weible
University of Colorado Denver
School of Public Affairs
1380 Lawrence Street, Suite 500
Campus Box 142
Denver, CO 80217
Email: chris.weible@ucdenver.edu
Phone: 303-315-2010
Fax: 303-315-2229
   Saba Siddiki
School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
801 West Michigan Street, BS 3027
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Email: ssiddiki@iupui.edu

John Brett
University of Colorado Denver
Department of Anthropology
Campus Box 103
Administration Building 270D
Denver, CO 80217-3364
Email: john.brett@ucdenver.edu
Phone: 303-556-8497
Fax: 303-556-8501


Xavier Basurto
Duke University
Social Science and Policy
Duke University Marine Lab
135 Duke Marine Lab Road
Beaufort, NC 28516
Email: Xavier.basurto@duke.edu
Phone: 252-504-7540
Fax: 252-504-7648

David P. Carter
PhD Student
University of Colorado Denver
Email: david.carter@ucdenver.edu


Sara Miller Chonaiew
MPA Student
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Email: schonaie@iupui.edu

Alison Kent
MPA Student
University of Colorado Denver
Email: alisonkent9@gmail.com


Ainsley Smith
MEM Student
Duke University
Email: ainsley.smith@duke.edu

Project Description

The project team will investigate the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program (NOP) as it relates to the certification, inspection, and operation of organic farms. Data for the project will be collected through a content analysis of the NOP Rule, interviews and surveys of the organic farming community members including producers, handlers, and certifying organizations. Through this research, we seek to gain a better understanding of the perceived appropriateness and effectiveness of the NOP and learn more about how the NOP policy design impacts implementation.

This study also supports additional research projects to further understanding of the organic farming regulatory context (see Related Projects). 

Project Objectives

The project focuses on how policy designs and individual motivations such as attitudes, social norms, and habits, and individual capacity influence decision making with the following objectives:  

Objective 1. To provide an analysis of organic farming policy, including regulations and certifications, comparatively across organic commodities and in comparison to principles of other organic farming standards (e.g. International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements).

Objective 2. To investigate the relationship among formal institutions (e.g. laws and regulations), informal institutions (e.g. regular social behavior), and individual level motivations with compliance among organic producers, handlers, certifying agencies and other participants in the regulatory process.

Objective 3. To identify challenges or obstacles in the NOP for the organizations responsible for program implementation through a partnership with the Accredited Certifiers Association, Inc. (ACA). 

Use and Distribution of Results

To facilitate dissemination of findings to a broader audience, the team will create and manage a project website. This website will feature a project description, complete with objectives and information about members of the research team. In addition, publications, reports, and presentations will be uploaded onto the project website. All interview and survey participants will be provided with the link to the website and it will also be available for public viewing.

Project Funding

Funding for this project is provided by the National Science Foundation Grant No. 1124541.

Project Resources

Related Projects