News Release For more information, contact:
For Immediate Release Holly Givens (413-774-7511)
Neil Strayer and Nora Pouillon will be honored at All Things OrganicTM
GREENFIELD, Mass. (March 16, 2004) - The Organic Trade Association (OTA) will recognize two organic industry leaders May 3 during award ceremonies at its 2004 All Things OrganicTM Conference and Trade Show in Chicago, IL.
Selected to receive OTA's 2004 Organic Leadership Awards are Neil Strayer and Nora Pouillon. Strayer will receive the 2004 Organic Agriculture Award, and Pouillon the Special Pioneer Award.
Described as "an innovative organic farmer, organizational leader, and aggressive marketer showing a thoughtful, radical and visionary approach," Strayer began farming 1,000 acres organically in 1978 near Belle Plaine, Saskatchewan, Canada. Over the years he has shared his knowledge of organic farming practices, giving over 300 presentations on organic agriculture in Western Canada and the North Plains of the United States. He served as vice president and secretary of OCIA International in the late 1980s, and has helped OCIA Saskatchewan grow from 50 to 500 farmers. In 1984 he founded Growers International Inc., an organic trading enterprise that began revitalizing obsolete grain elevators for cleaning and storing organic grain. In 1999, he sold that business to Patterson Grain Ltd.
Also passionately committed to the organic industry, chef Nora Pouillon, owner of Restaurant Nora and Asia Nora in Washington, D.C., has served organic food to the public since 1979. In 1999, Restaurant Nora became the first certified organic restaurant in the country. Breaking new ground, Pouillon and her staff spent nearly two years compiling a 400-page paper trail to satisfy the requirements for certification.
"Nora Pouillon's commitment and devotion to organic has helped to move the industry forward, placing on the table expertly and artfully prepared dishes made from the finest organic ingredients, and reminding the world that organic has moved into the gastronomical mainstream," according to a nominating letter. Another noted, "Restaurant Nora is consistently rated as one of the top restaurants, organic or otherwise, in the United States. This gives organic and sustainable cuisine mainstream legitimacy in the minds of consumers and the media."
The awards will be presented at OTA's Awards Dinner Monday evening, May 3. Dinner tickets, which are required for the event, may be ordered when registering for the conference, possible online at www.atoexpo.com. As recipients of OTA's Leadership Award, Strayer and Pouillon will each receive a hand-blown glass planet by well-known artist Josh Simpson.
OTA is the business association representing the organic industry in North America. Its approximately 1,300 members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. Founded in 1985, OTA encourages global sustainability by promoting and protecting the growth of diverse organic trade.
March 16, 2004
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