GREENFIELD, Mass. (Aug. 23, 2001)--September will mark the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) tenth annual "Organic Harvest Month™" celebration focusing on the benefits and practices of organic agriculture.
Growers, retailers, organizations, food co-ops, and communities around the country are planning special activities during September to celebrate Organic Harvest Month™. The chief aim is to share information with consumers on what organic stands for and what organic products are available.
"Organic" refers to the way agricultural products—including foods and fibers—are grown and processed. "Organic" means a commitment to an agricultural system that strives for a balance with nature, using methods and materials of low impact to the environment. Organic production systems are designed to replenish and maintain soil fertility, eliminate the use of toxic and persistent chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and build a biologically diverse agriculture.
"When consumers choose organic products, they’re voting for a more vibrant planet," according to Katherine DiMatteo, OTA’s executive director.
Last December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture adopted national organic standards that become fully implemented in October 2002. These will help safeguard the integrity of organic, and bring reassurance to consumers that organic products are produced without the use of genetically modified organisms, irradiation, and sewage sludge. The four labeling designations chosen by USDA for organic products, in turn, will clearly spell out to consumers the organic content of such products.
Events during this year’s Organic Harvest Month™ range from in-store promotions of organic products, tasting parties, "meet the farmer" opportunities, farm tours, and community harvest festivals. In communities where there is no organized event, OTA suggests that consumers visit their local farmers’ market or search their supermarket shelves to find organic products.
OTA has posted a list of some of the Organic Harvest Month™ activities on its web site (www.ota.com).
August 23, 2001
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