Assessing Policy Designs and Improving Outcomes in Organic Farming
School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
David P. Carter
Sara Miller Chonaiew
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).
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.
Funding for this project is provided by the National Science Foundation Grant No. 1124541.