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USDA seeks comments on national Organic Check-off
The proposal for a nationwide research and promotion check-off program for the organic industry has been published in the Federal Register. It’s time for you to weigh-in!
Join the Organic Trade Association (OTA) in Washington, D.C., for our signature government affairs event May 23-25. OTA’s Organic Week is an opportunity to engage in the critical work of sharing our messages of rural livelihoods, business growth and consumer choice with government leaders. There is much work to be done together.
Policy Conference and Hill Visit Days
Save the date:
Purchase your tickets for The Organic Center’s 14th Annual Benefit Dinner, the largest business networking dinner at Natural Products Expo West.
Early bird tickets now available
Did you miss the Fall 2016 National Organic Standards Board meeting? For a complete run-down of votes, proposals, and discussion documents, take a look at the Organic Trade Association’s NOSB Summary Report.
OTA's NOSB Meeting Report
The organic sector's integrated value chain not only delivers organic products from seed to shelf, but helps to capture consumer demand for the benefit of the farmers, the economy, and the public.
Download the latest organic industry infographic
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"U.S. Organic Hotspots and their Benefit to Local Economies" is conclusive research that links economic health at the county level to organic agriculture, and shows that organic food and crop production–and the business activities accompanying organic agriculture–creates real and long-lasting regional economic opportunities.
Research shows organic agriculture boosts local economies
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Following the release of The Organic Center’s pollinator health report, OTA urges USDA and the White House to take action.
OTA adopts pollinator policy
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OTA has spearheaded and underwritten two significant studies on organic trade in its effort to build a sound set of data for organic stakeholders and policymakers when they make their business decisions and design policy.
Benchmark studies yield key insights into global organic food trade
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OTA's Board is comprised of 15 diverse individuals, from multiple points along the supply chain, who bring an unparalleled commitment and vision to guide the future direction of OTA.
Meet OTA's Board of Directors
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OTA's mission is to promote and protect ORGANIC with a unifying voice that serves and engages its diverse members from farm to marketplace. OTA's vision is to grow ORGANIC to achieve excellence in agriculture and commerce, protect the environment and enhance community well-being.

OTA provides advocacy and analysis to advance organic food and farming.

OTA brings the U.S. organic industry to developing markets around the world.

OTA tracks market size, growth rates, and consumer perceptions on the $43B U.S. organic sector.

OTA supports a nationwide research and promotion check-off program for organic.

Current Issues

After many years of dialog with the organic sector, USDA has published an Organic Check-off proposal

New partnership will help farmers transitioning into certified organic agricultural production. 

Read OTA's comments to the Food Safety and Inspection Service.

OTA submitted comments to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on organic claims.

  • January 25, 2017 to January 28, 2017
    EcoFarm Conference

    EcoFarm Conference

    Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 9:00am to Saturday, January 28, 2017 - 5:45pm

    EcoFarm Conference will be held January 25-28, 2017 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA.


    Pre-Conference Organic Produce Meeting Series

    The Organic Trade Association (OTA) will host a pre-conference organic produce meeting series in Pacific Grove, California prior to the conference.

    The event will be broken into two meeting sessions. The morning session will address the urgent need to develop an organic substitute to the currently allowed use of non-organic celery powder to cure organic processed meats such as organic bacon and sausage. The afternoon session will be an informative and solution-oriented conversation covering multiple critical topics the organic produce sector is facing.

    The event is held in conjunction with the EcoFarm Conference; it's a great opportunity to meet and engage with organic produce farmers and handlers prior to the conference. Please join us!

    Schedule: 

    Wednesday, January 25

    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM: 
    OTA's Celery Powder Working Group will facilitate a stakeholder discussion identifying specific target challenges that must be overcome to develop organic substitutes for non-organic celery powder used to cure organic meat products.

    12:00 PM - 2:00 PM:
    Lunch is available separately from Noon to 2 p.m. for $18/per person.

    2:00 PM - 4:30 PM:
    Facilitated business conversation covering topics germane to the organic produce sector. Topics covered will include Container Production and Hydroponics, Farm Bill Priorities, Transitional Certification, the proposed GRO Organic Checkoff and Organic Seed Usage Requirements.

    RSVP

    Space is limited for this special meeting series. Register yourself and a colleague.
    For questions, please contact Tracy Campany, OTA's Events & Projects Manager.


    OTA Presentations at EcoFarm Conference

    The USDA Organic Check Off: Friend or Foe? 
    Thursday, January 26, 3:30 PM
    The Organic Trade Association created and promoted the USDA-administered Gro Organic Check Off program. If approved by the vote of certified organic farmers, the program will create a $30 million annual tax on U.S. organic farmers, designed to advance research and promotion for organic foods and fiber. Concerns have been raised by numerous critics. This is the first check off or marketing order to attempt to promote a broad spectrum of crops. All others were developed for a single crop. This is also the first check off designed exclusively for organic foods and will feature a USDA advisory board comprised of farmers and others in the organic food business, including processors and sellers. Numerous issues have arisen, yet the USDA is moving toward an organic farmer vote on the issue. This session will feature two advocates of the program and two who oppose it, in a facilitated, polite discussion between panelists and the audience.

    Presenters: 
    Laura Batcha, Organic Trade Association
    Phil LaRocca, LaRocca Vineyards
    Steve Sprinkel, The Farmer and the Cook
    Tom Pavich, FMP Vineyards

    Organic Container Production: Embracing Innovation and Respecting Traditions
    Friday, January 27, 10:30 AM
    Organic specialty crop producers are facing tremendous pressures on their resources with record droughts and high land prices. Many are looking to innovative production systems to overcome these pressures, and there is a growing trend in some crops to grow in containers. Join Ian Justus (Driscoll’s Berries), Theojary Crisantes (Wholesum Harvest), and Cecille Madriz (Fennell Farms) in a panel discussion around why these producers have embraced container production, how their systems respect organic traditions and meet organic regulations, and where they’re seeing the benefits of container production in their operations.  

    Moderator: 
    Nate Lewis, Organic Trade Association


    The Organic Center at EcoFarm Conference

    Annual Research Roundup: Recent Science Supporting Organic
    Thursday, January 26, 8:30 AM
    Every year scientists release a wide variety of research that supports the benefits of organic food and farming. However, many of these cutting-edge studies are never communicated with the public because they are published in journals that are expensive to access. This workshop will help bridge the gap between science and the public, by covering research on applied solutions for farmers, the environmental effects of organic systems, and the human health impacts of exposure to pesticides. Dr. Jessica Shade from the Organic Center will give a brief overview of the multitude of studies published in 2016 of interest to the organic community. Brise Tenser will give an update on the Organic Farming Research Foundation studies on research needs in organic systems and public funding of organic projects. Dr. Asa Bradman from the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH) will highlight their recent publications on developmental impacts of prenatal exposure to pesticides.

    Presenters:
    Dr. Jessica Shade, The Organic Center
    Brise Tenser, OFRF
    Dr. Asa Bradman, UC Berkeley

    Organic Control of Citrus Greening
    Friday, January 27, 1:30 PM
    The purpose of this workshop is to educate citrus growers about organically approved methods for preventing citrus greening, including the most recent research findings from 2016. Citrus greening disease, or Huanglongbing (HLB), threatens the citrus industry on a massive scale. The highly destructive disease can spread quickly and cannot be cured once a tree is infected. Several researchers have recently started to investigate organically compliant methods such as thermal control, resistant rootstocks, organic-compliant antimicrobials and insecticides, and beneficial insects. This workshop will showcase the results from these recent studies, helping protect California farmers from the threat of HLB spread. Ben McLean of Uncle Matt’s Organic will summarize research conducted in Florida on potential organic control of HLB, and Jeff Steen of Ecosa Properties and the California Citrus Research Board will give an update on the HLB situation in California and the need for research targeting organic prevention of HLB here.

    Presenters:
    Ben McLean, Uncle Matt's Organic
    Jeffrey Steen, Ecosa Properties

    Conserving Biodiversity Using Organic Practices
    Friday, January 27, 3:30 PM
    Learn about a spectrum of easily adopted, on-farm conservation activities that support biodiversity and benefit farm systems. Farm management choices reflect the context of the land and the farm’s need and capacity, but can be improved by following general practices along a continuum from simple to complex. In this talk, results will be shared from research on 54 organic farms on the Central Coast and in the Midwest. Results demonstrate how farm management and landscape complexity affect the abundance and diversity of pollinators, the natural enemies of pests (including birds), soil fertility, and the ability of soils to store greenhouse gases. We will share planning tools from the Organic Center to prioritize, record, and monitor biodiversity, and optimize the multiple benefits of on-farm conservation. 

    Presenters:
    Jo Ann Baumgartner, Wild Farm Alliance
    John Quinn, Furman University
    Amber R. Sciligo, UC Berkeley


    To learn more, please contact OTA's CEO Laura Batcha or the Organic Center's Director of Science Programs Dr. Jessica Shade

    EcoFarm Conference will be held January 25-28, 2017 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Gr...
  • January 31, 2017 to February 1, 2017
    Board of Directors Retreat and Meeting

    Board of Directors Retreat and Meeting

    Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 9:00am to Wednesday, February 1, 2017 - 3:00pm

    The Organic Trade Association's Board of Directors will meet Tuesday and Wednesday, January 31 - February 1 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM in Eugene, OR. The OTA Board of Directors typically meets as a full Board at least four times a year, two or three in-person meetings and one or two via teleconference. Each Board member serves on one of the three committees: Executive, Community Relations, or Governance.  Each committee typically meets once per month. If you would like to attend a Board meeting or formally address the Board regarding a specific topic or issue, please contact OTA

    Event Type: 
    The Organic Trade Association's Board of Directors will meet Tuesday and Wednesday, January 31 - Feb...
  • February 1, 2017 to February 2, 2017
    Organic in Portland Regional Networking Event

    Organic in Portland Regional Networking Event

    Wednesday, February 1, 2017 - 4:30pm to Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 5:30pm

    Please join the Organic Trade Association (OTA) Board of Directors in Portland, Oregon, for a regional meeting and networking event on Wednesday, February 1 at the Hilton Portland

    The OTA Board will be in town for Organicology and its annual winter Board meeting and retreat, and would like the opportunity to hear from you and your colleagues in the Pacific Northwest organic community. Board members will facilitate a discussion about issues facing organic food and fiber farmers, processors, distributors, retailers and others in the region.

    You'll hear directly from Board Members about the trade association's major initiatives and plans for the opportunities and uncertainties that lie ahead in 2017. The Board is also eager to hear YOUR PRIORITIES, and help connect the dots about how OTA can help your organic business thrive.

    We'll end the meeting with a reception co-hosted by OTA, Accredited Certifiers Association, Organic Materials Review Institute, Sustainable Food Trade Association, Tilth, and Organicology.

    On behalf of the Organic Trade Association Board of Directors, we hope to see you there!


    PROGRAM

    4:30 - 5:30 PM:
    Facilitated business conversation. Members of the Portland area organic sector will participate in a dialog about challenges and opportunities for organic in the Portland area.

    5:30 - 7:00 PM:
    Organic appetizers and drinks will be served at a reception co-hosted by OTA, Accredited Certifiers Association, Organic Materials Review Institute, Sustainable Food Trade Association, Tilth, and Organicology.

    Today!

    Event Type: 
    Please join the Organic Trade Association (OTA) Board of Directors in Portland, Oregon, for a region...
  • February 2, 2017 to February 4, 2017
    Organicology

    Organicology

    Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 9:00am to Saturday, February 4, 2017 - 5:00pm

    The 2017 Organicology Conference, featuring the latest research and education and networking for organic stakeholders, will take place Feb. 2-4 in Portland, OR. Organicology, held every two years, is organized by the Organically Grown Company, Oregon Tilth, Sustainable Food Trade Association, and Organic Seed Alliance.

    OTA's CEO Laura Batcha will speak during a workshop session on Selling to the Masses on Friday, February 3 from 3:30 - 5:00pm and during a roundable discussion on Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Policy in the Next Farm Bill on Saturday, February 4 from 10:00am - 12:00pm. 

    OTA's Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs Gwendolyn Wyard will present in the panel Organic Regulatory Update and Policy Primer on Friday, February 3 from 10:00am - 12:00pm. 

    OTA's Farm Policy Director Nate Lewis will present in an All-day solution-shop on Transition and Growth in the Organic Sector on Thursday, February 2 and in the session Organic Integrity: Managing the seemingly impossible on Friday, February 3 from 3:30 - 5pm. 

     

    The 2017 Organicology Conference, featuring the latest research and education and networking fo...
  • February 9, 2017 to February 10, 2017
    Organic Innovation and Inspiration: CCOF 2017 Annual Conference

    Organic Innovation and Inspiration: CCOF 2017 Annual Conference

    Thursday, February 9, 2017 - 9:15am to Friday, February 10, 2017 - 5:15pm

    Save the date for CCOF’s 2017 Annual Meeting and Conference events on February 9-10, 2017, in Visalia, California. This year’s theme—Organic Innovation and Inspiration—will feature the innovative techniques organic producers, handlers, retailers, and other change-makers are using to address current economic and environmental issues, as well as big ideas for tackling the challenges of tomorrow.

    We invite you to join other innovators to change the world by changing the way we grow. The festivities begin Thursday evening with our first annual CCOF Foundation Awards Feast. Hear from the next generation of organic producers and the champions who are helping them build their careers in agriculture. Friday’s full-day conference will focus on the innovations that are shaping our organic world. From new technology to out-of-the-box solutions for sustainability, you won’t want to miss this show and tell from some of organic’s biggest thinkers.

    OTA's CEO Laura Batcha will discuss the GRO Organic Check-off, including what’s at stake for organic producers and processors and how to weigh-in as the process unfolds. 

    Save the date for CCOF’s 2017 Annual Meeting and Conference events on February 9-10, 2017, in Visa...

The Canada Organic Trade Association promotes the organic sector, educates the public and protects organic product integrity. COTA raises public awareness of the diverse Canadian organic industry through initiatives like national Organic Week and the Think Before You Eat consumer campaign. Member participation ensures that COTA will continue to be a strong voice for organic—to governments, consumers and the media.

The Organic Center is a trusted, go-to source of information for scientific research about organic food and farming. As a non-profit research and education organization, The Center covers up-to-date studies on sustainable agriculture and health, and collaborates with academic and governmental institutions to fill gaps in the current knowledge base about the many benefits of organic food and farming.

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