Pashinski and Madden’s PA Preferred Organic trademark bill passes Senate

HARRISBURG, Oct. 24 – Legislation establishing a PA Preferred Organic Trademark sponsored by state Reps. Maureen Madden and Eddie Day Pashinski passed the state Senate on Monday.

House Bill 157 will establish the Pennsylvania Preferred Organic Program in statute in addition to the Pennsylvania Preferred Program. The program would be voluntary for current organic producers and any producers interested in transitioning to organic production. Consumers continue to demand local products, including organic products.

Additionally, the legislators said, the program would not compete with other Pennsylvania producers, but would instead further enhance Pennsylvania’s brand recognition and ensure the PA Preferred trademark is leveraged fairly across all production methods.

“Pennsylvanians are increasingly seeking a greater quantity and variety of organic foods at their markets and groceries,” said Pashinski. “By making Pennsylvania-produced organic products easily identifiable and encouraging our farmers to produce more organic products in-state, Pennsylvania farmers can continue to benefit from this rapidly expanding market.”

"Here's something that has proven to work well since the initial program launched in 2019, and it clearly has broad, bipartisan support," said Madden, who said she’s observed and enjoyed the success of Pocono Organics in Monroe County. "Establishing a PA Preferred Organic trademark and making this program a permanent fixture in Pennsylvania is absolutely the right thing to do, and I again applaud the great work by my colleague, Representative Pashinski, as well as all the legislators, staff and advocates who worked so hard to get this great bill across the finish line."

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture will continue to administer the program, encouraging producers of Pennsylvania-produced organic agriculture commodities to meet or exceed USDA National Organic Program standards.

“I must thank my colleague, Representative Madden, for her work on this,” said Pashinski. “She has been a vital part of the process in her fight for this bill and getting it through the legislative process and to the governor’s desk for him to sign it into law.”

The bill’s sponsors emphasized that the program would not compete with other state producers but instead create opportunities for residents to identify and purchase locally grown foods more easily.

The legislation now heads to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk for his signature.