News Release For more information, contact:
For Immediate Release Holly Givens (413) 774-7511
OTA 2004 fund campaign surpasses 2003 tally
GREENFIELD, Mass. (March 25, 2004) -OTA 2004, the Organic Trade Association's (OTA's) 2004 fund campaign, raised over $477,000 for trade association activities, $12,000 more than its tally during 2003.
"We are very grateful that industry investors continue to show their overwhelming support for the work of OTA," said Debra Boyle, co-chair of the OTA 2004 Host Committee. Boyle noted that organic companies find they can accomplish so much more when they work together through OTA to educate government and regulatory agencies on issues affecting the organic industry, to protect the integrity of organic, and to promote consumer awareness of organic products.
In the OTA 2004 campaign, more than 165 companies pledged funds to support OTA's ongoing public policy and public relations programs. These include disseminating positive messages about organic, increasing consumer awareness of organic products, developing additional markets for organic products and services, working with government and regulatory agencies on issues affecting the organic industry, and in general, "growing the organic industry."
Top investors, named to the Leadership Circle, are:
- Earthbound Farm (San Juan Bautista, CA), grower and supplier of an extensive line of packaged organic salads, fruits, and vegetables.
- The Hain Celestial Group (Melville, NY), manufacturer of a full line of grocery items including organic products under the Hain Pure Foods, Westbrae Natural, WestSoy, Little Bear, Bearitos, Arrowhead Mills, DeBoles, Farm Foods, Earth's Best, Garden of Eatin' and Walnut Acres brands.
- Horizon Organic (Longmont, CO), manufacturer of a full line of certified organic milk, other dairy, egg and juice products.
- National Cooperative Grocers Association (Iowa City, IA), a national association with 110 retail food co-op members in 31 states.
- Nature's Best (Brea, CA), wholesaler/distributor of health, natural and organic products.
- New Hope Natural Media (Boulder, CO), producer of consumer and trade publications, natural products trade shows, and consumer and trade web sites for the natural products industry.
- Organic Valley (LaFarge WI), a 640-farmer cooperative and marketer of certified organic milk, cheese, cultured products, poultry, beef, chicken, and eggs under the Organic Valley and Valley's Family of Farms brands.
- Pro Organics Marketing, Inc. (Vancouver, BC, Canada), a nationwide distributor of organic food products, offering a full line of top quality organic produce.
- Small Planet Foods (Sedro-Woolley, WA), manufacturer of a variety of organic foods from frozen fruits and vegetables and canned tomato products to cereals and entrees under the Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen brands.
- Snyder's of Hanover (Hanover, PA), manufacturer of a wide variety of organic snacks, including pretzels, Corn-Tillas, and popcorn under the Snyder's and EatSmart brands.
- Stonyfield Farm (Londonderry, NH), manufacturer of refrigerated organic yogurts, yogurt smoothies, organic ice cream and organic frozen yogurt.
- United Natural Foods (Dayville, CT), certified organic distributor of natural and organic products to retailers nationwide.
- Whole Foods Market, Inc. (Austin, TX), retailer of natural and organic foods, with more than 145 stores across the United States.
- Wild Oats Markets, Inc.(Boulder, CO), retailer of natural and organic foods, with more than 100 stores in 24 states and Canada.
"All investments, big and small, in OTA 2004 have made this campaign a success," according to Katherine DiMatteo, OTA's executive director, noting that participants on the all-volunteer Host Committee were key to the campaign.
Boyle of Pro Organics and Eric Newman of Organic Valley led the campaign. Other members of the host committee included Bob Burke of Natural Products Consulting Institute, Paul Gingerich of Wild Oats Markets, Nancy Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farm, Annie Hunt of National Cooperative Grocers Association, Dale Kamibayashi of Rapunzel Pure Organics, Greg Leonard of Tree of Life, and Anthony Zolezzi of Zolezzi Consulting.
A list of OTA 2004 investors is posted on OTA's web site (www.ota.com/ota2004investors.htm) and will be included in the July edition of The Organic Report, OTA's membership news magazine.
OTA celebrated this and other organic industry achievements at OTA's Organic Industry Reception March 4 in Anaheim, CA, with New Hope Natural Media as co-host. Attended by more than 1,000 members and supporters, the industry reception featured an array of seasonal organic foods and beverages. OTA 2004 investors received tickets to the reception and a package of other benefits, depending on their investment level.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the business association representing the organic agriculture industry in North America. Its 1,300 members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. Founded in 1985, OTA encourages global sustainability through promoting and protecting the growth of diverse organic trade.
March 25, 2004
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