Organic Trade Association adopts organic fiber processing standards - Organic Trade Association
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Organic Trade Association adopts organic fiber processing standards


News Release                                                                      For more information, contact:
For Immediate Release                                                      Holly Givens (413-774-7511, Ext.18)

Organic Trade Association adopts organic fiber processing standards

GREENFIELD, Mass. (Feb. 23, 2004): After nearly five years of work, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) has adopted organic fiber processing standards covering all post-harvest processing, from storage of organic fiber (such as cotton or wool) at the gin or similar facility, to spinning, wet finishing and labeling.
OTA and industry members developed the standards after reviewing and modifying existing international standards governing organic fiber while also taking into account the requirements of the Organic Foods Production Act and its regulations. The project was supported, in part, by a generous grant from the Martin-Fabert Foundation.

"This has truly been an intensive effort to adopt the best methods possible to protect the environment and produce organic fiber products with integrity from fiber to finished product. All those who worked in this effort are to be commended. They have made it possible for OTA to again provide the lead in organic practices, this time for the organic fiber sector," said Katherine DiMatteo, OTA's executive director.

One of the most important differences between the OTA fiber processing standards and those in existence from other countries and organizations is the inclusion of an extremely detailed Materials List stating what products can and cannot be used. OTA is not aware of any other fiber processing standard having such a list.

"We believe the standards will not only provide the basis for environmentally sustainable processing among companies in the organic fiber industry, but will also become of great interest to the conventional textile sector as it looks for ways to reduce negative environmental effects of textile production," DiMatteo added.

OTA is scheduling a seminar about the new standards for interested companies on May 4 as part of OTA's All Things Organic™ Conference and Trade Show at McCormick Place in Chicago. In the meantime, OTA, the Independent Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA), and Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative are co-sponsoring a training workshop for inspectors and certifiers concerning the new fiber processing standards April 16-17 at Texas Tech University's International Textile Center.

The new processing standards, entitled "The Organic Trade Association's American Organic Standards  — Fiber: Post Harvest Handling, Processing, Record Keeping, & Labeling," are available to OTA members and non-members through a licensing agreement. See for licensing details or contact David Gagnon at OTA ( For more information about the May seminar, see For further details about the April training, contact IOIA at 406-436-2031 (
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is a membership-based business association whose mission is to encourage global sustainability through promoting and protecting the growth of diverse organic trade. OTA's more than 1,200 members include growers, shippers, retailers, processors, certifiers, farmer associations, brokers, consultants and others. For further info, visit OTA's web site at

Headquarters: 60 Wells Street, P.O. Box 547, Greenfield, MA 01302 USA  (413) 774-7511
Fax: (413) 774-6432  e-mail:  web site:
Legislative Office: 600 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22304 USA (202) 338-2900

February 23, 2004

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