The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for the organic industry in North America. OTA’s mission is to promote and protect organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public, and the economy. OTA envisions organic products becoming a significant part of everyday life, enhancing people's lives and the environment.
OTA represents businesses across the organic supply chain and addresses all things organic, including food, fiber/textiles, personal care products, and new sectors as they develop. Over sixty percent of OTA trade members are small businesses.
Promoting and Protecting Organic - A Brief Look at OTA
The Organic Trade Association (OTA), formerly the Organic Foods Production Association of North America (OFPANA), was established in 1985 in the United States and Canada. Since its inception, the association has been a key player in shaping both the regulatory and market environment for organic products.
Advancing Organic Standards
OTA is a leader in advocating and protecting organic standards so that consumers can have confidence in certified organic production. With input from its diverse membership, OTA continues to develop and refine organic standards for emerging product areas. OTA monitors the work of government agencies, takes positions on legislation that affects organic agriculture and products, and represents the industry to regulators, elected officials, and international bodies.
OTA is committed to increasing the amount of agricultural land under organic management for the good of the planet and its inhabitants. A healthy supply chain is integral to the continued growth of the organic industry and to consumer choice in the marketplace. OTA works on many fronts to support the transition to organic farming, processing, and handling. OTA’s HowToGoOrganic.com website is a clearinghouse of resources for farmers and businesses interesting in becoming organic or creating new organic businesses.
Reaching the Public
Through press releases and events, a media newsletter What’s News in Organic, and a consumer web site http://www.organicitsworthit.com/, OTA shares the benefits of organic with the public and helps expand markets for organic products. OTA directly promotes organic products at retail via its cooperative marketing programs, including Go Organic! For Earth Day™, and also promotes Organic Harvest Month™ in September. OTA is a primary source for fact-based information about organic products and processes throughout North America.
Growing the Market
OTA’s membership directory, The Organic Pages, is a fully searchable directory with comprehensive indexing and twice monthly updates. It is a virtual organic marketplace, connecting buyers and sellers of organic products and services, from farm to retail. OTA also publishes an online Export Directory for international buyers interested in purchasing U.S. Organic Products.
OTA is the founder of the All Things Organic™ Conference and Trade Show. All Things Organic™ is the largest business-to-business trade show and conference in North America focusing exclusively on organic products and organic trade issues.
Verifying the Benefits
OTA works with public and private organizations to support scientific research regarding organic production and processing. Research-based information on the environmental, health, and nutritional impacts of organic agriculture and its products is critical for the small but fast-growing organic industry.
OTA in Canada
OTA was founded by Americans and Canadians and has always served members in Canada. Read more about OTA in Canada.
Read more about OTA's accomplishments in the July 1, 2011 – December 31, 2012 Annual Report.