Executive Director's Report
As the new year begins, it's natural to think about the future, spend some time reflecting back on the year, and consider all the things for which we have to be grateful: family, friends, health, happiness, safety, security...and also high on our list is you, the organic community. Thanks to your year-round good and hard work, the organic industry is expanding and thriving, more people have organic options at their local farmers’ market or grocery store, and you’re sustaining and improving the earth. Thank you for using your time and talents in this way, for following all the rules, for doing your seed searches, for using OMRI-listed materials, for filling out your paperwork, and for walking the walk. I wish you the very best in the new year, and may your days be merry and bright.
As of this writing, the MOSES Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin is right around the corner. MOSA will have a booth, and as La Crosse is just a short drive from our offices, many of our staff will be in attendance. Please drop by and say hello! We’d love to shake your hand, and put a face to your name.
You know what else is right around the corner? The time to update and renew your Organic System Plan and Forms. In 2017, we have changed the due date: your renewal is due to MOSA by April 1. If you renew your Plan on paper, you will receive your annual update packet in the mail in the next few weeks. It will be clearly marked as coming from MOSA, so please don’t set it aside - April 1 will be here before you know it. If you update your Plan online, at the same time we mail the packets we’ll send you an email reminder with a link to MyMOSA.
Along with the earlier due date, we are expanding our Early Bird discounts. If you submit your completed update and payment to us by mail or online by February 15 you will receive a $75 Early Bird Discount; if you submit by March 15 the Early Bird Discount is $25. Conversely, if you need a little extra time to complete it, call or email us on or before April 1 to request a 15-day extension. The fee for the extension is $60, compared to the late fee of $150 per month. So if you think you might be running late, an extension request may be the way to go.
We recognize moving the deadline up one month to April 1 is a fairly significant change; however, we feel that the gain in the quality of our customer service is well worth the effort. When we don’t receive all of our clients’ updated Plans until May, nearly half the year has passed before we even get a peek at your updates during our initial review and we bump into scheduling issues with our contract inspectors. With this earlier date, we will be able to complete our initial reviews and assign inspections in a more timely and efficient manner. So please do your best to submit your 2017 annual update to us by April 1.
As the organic industry continues to expand, so does MOSA. We recently welcomed several new Certification Specialists to our staff: Chuck Anderas and Sara Tedeschi joined us in December, Lynne Haynor in January, and Andrea Holm will join us in February. They come to us with varied and relevant experience in the organic industry, and we are very happy to have them join (and in the case of Sara and Lynne - rejoin) our team.
As always, if you have any questions or comments about anything in this newsletter – or about MOSA – please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-637-2526. Thank you for reading, and thanks for your continued commitment to organic integrity.