Mr. Mark Denbaly
Food Economics Division
Economic Research Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1800 M St., NW., Room N2164
Washington, DC 20036-5801
July 16, 2010
VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL
RE: Notice of Intent To Request a New Information Collection
Dear Mr. Denbaly,
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) thanks you for this opportunity to comment. OTA is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA’s Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy (www.ota.com).
OTA is interested in whether low-income individuals choose to purchase organic foods, and if so, how much, and which kinds of foods. OTA therefore requests that data be collected that would indicate whether, how much, and what kinds of organic food low-income individuals purchase.
OTA understands the limited nature of the population—only low-income consumers—as well as the added burden on the respondents, but believes that a baseline question on organic purchases would not be a great burden for respondents already keeping food diaries. Information on organic purchases by low-income consumers is important as part of the greater research effort on the organic market and the nature of the consumers of organic agriculture.
Thank you very much for your consideration.