OTA provides advocacy and analysis to advance organic food and farming.
OTA brings the U.S. organic industry to developing markets around the world.
OTA tracks market size, growth rates, and consumer perceptions on the $43B U.S. organic sector.
OTA supports a nationwide research and promotion check-off program for organic.
After many years of dialog with the organic sector, USDA has published an Organic Check-off proposal.
New partnership will help farmers transitioning into certified organic agricultural production.
Read OTA's comments to the Food Safety and Inspection Service.
EcoFarm Conference will be held January 25-28, 2017 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) will host a pre-conference organic produce meeting series in Pacific Grove, California prior to the conference.
The event will be broken into two meeting sessions. The morning session will address the urgent need to develop an organic substitute to the currently allowed use of non-organic celery powder to cure organic processed meats such as organic bacon and sausage. The afternoon session will be an informative and solution-oriented conversation covering multiple critical topics the organic produce sector is facing.
The event is held in conjunction with the EcoFarm Conference; it's a great opportunity to meet and engage with organic produce farmers and handlers prior to the conference.Please join us!
Wednesday, January 25
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM:
OTA's Celery Powder Working Group will facilitate a stakeholder discussion identifying specific target challenges that must be overcome to develop organic substitutes for non-organic celery powder used to cure organic meat products.
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM:
Lunch is available separately from Noon to 2 p.m. for $18/per person.
2:00 PM - 4:30 PM:
Facilitated business conversation covering topics germane to the organic produce sector. Topics covered will include Container Production and Hydroponics, Farm Bill Priorities, Transitional Certification, the proposed GRO Organic Checkoff and Organic Seed Usage Requirements.
The USDA Organic Check Off: Friend or Foe?
Thursday, January 26, 3:30 PM
The Organic Trade Association created and promoted the USDA-administered Gro Organic Check Off program. If approved by the vote of certified organic farmers, the program will create a $30 million annual tax on U.S. organic farmers, designed to advance research and promotion for organic foods and fiber. Concerns have been raised by numerous critics. This is the first check off or marketing order to attempt to promote a broad spectrum of crops. All others were developed for a single crop. This is also the first check off designed exclusively for organic foods and will feature a USDA advisory board comprised of farmers and others in the organic food business, including processors and sellers. Numerous issues have arisen, yet the USDA is moving toward an organic farmer vote on the issue. This session will feature two advocates of the program and two who oppose it, in a facilitated, polite discussion between panelists and the audience.
Laura Batcha, Organic Trade Association
Phil LaRocca, LaRocca Vineyards
Steve Sprinkel, The Farmer and the Cook
Tom Pavich, FMP Vineyards
Organic Container Production: Embracing Innovation and Respecting Traditions
Friday, January 27, 10:30 AM
Organic specialty crop producers are facing tremendous pressures on their resources with record droughts and high land prices. Many are looking to innovative production systems to overcome these pressures, and there is a growing trend in some crops to grow in containers. Join Ian Justus (Driscoll’s Berries), Theojary Crisantes (Wholesum Harvest), and Cecille Madriz (Fennell Farms) in a panel discussion around why these producers have embraced container production, how their systems respect organic traditions and meet organic regulations, and where they’re seeing the benefits of container production in their operations.
Nate Lewis, Organic Trade Association
Annual Research Roundup: Recent Science Supporting Organic
Thursday, January 26, 8:30 AM
Every year scientists release a wide variety of research that supports the benefits of organic food and farming. However, many of these cutting-edge studies are never communicated with the public because they are published in journals that are expensive to access. This workshop will help bridge the gap between science and the public, by covering research on applied solutions for farmers, the environmental effects of organic systems, and the human health impacts of exposure to pesticides. Dr. Jessica Shade from the Organic Center will give a brief overview of the multitude of studies published in 2016 of interest to the organic community. Brise Tenser will give an update on the Organic Farming Research Foundation studies on research needs in organic systems and public funding of organic projects. Dr. Asa Bradman from the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH) will highlight their recent publications on developmental impacts of prenatal exposure to pesticides.
Dr. Jessica Shade, The Organic Center
Brise Tenser, OFRF
Dr. Asa Bradman, UC Berkeley
Organic Control of Citrus Greening
Friday, January 27, 1:30 PM
The purpose of this workshop is to educate citrus growers about organically approved methods for preventing citrus greening, including the most recent research findings from 2016. Citrus greening disease, or Huanglongbing (HLB), threatens the citrus industry on a massive scale. The highly destructive disease can spread quickly and cannot be cured once a tree is infected. Several researchers have recently started to investigate organically compliant methods such as thermal control, resistant rootstocks, organic-compliant antimicrobials and insecticides, and beneficial insects. This workshop will showcase the results from these recent studies, helping protect California farmers from the threat of HLB spread. Ben McLean of Uncle Matt’s Organic will summarize research conducted in Florida on potential organic control of HLB, and Jeff Steen of Ecosa Properties and the California Citrus Research Board will give an update on the HLB situation in California and the need for research targeting organic prevention of HLB here.
Ben McLean, Uncle Matt's Organic
Jeffrey Steen, Ecosa Properties
Conserving Biodiversity Using Organic Practices
Friday, January 27, 3:30 PM
Learn about a spectrum of easily adopted, on-farm conservation activities that support biodiversity and benefit farm systems. Farm management choices reflect the context of the land and the farm’s need and capacity, but can be improved by following general practices along a continuum from simple to complex. In this talk, results will be shared from research on 54 organic farms on the Central Coast and in the Midwest. Results demonstrate how farm management and landscape complexity affect the abundance and diversity of pollinators, the natural enemies of pests (including birds), soil fertility, and the ability of soils to store greenhouse gases. We will share planning tools from the Organic Center to prioritize, record, and monitor biodiversity, and optimize the multiple benefits of on-farm conservation.
Jo Ann Baumgartner, Wild Farm Alliance
John Quinn, Furman University
Amber R. Sciligo, UC Berkeley
The Organic Trade Association's Board of Directors will meet Tuesday and Wednesday, January 31 - February 1 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM in Eugene, OR. The OTA Board of Directors typically meets as a full Board at least four times a year, two or three in-person meetings and one or two via teleconference. Each Board member serves on one of the three committees: Executive, Community Relations, or Governance. Each committee typically meets once per month. If you would like to attend a Board meeting or formally address the Board regarding a specific topic or issue, please contact OTA.
Please join the Organic Trade Association (OTA) Board of Directors in Portland, Oregon, for a regional meeting and networking event on Wednesday, February 1 at the Hilton Portland.
The OTA Board will be in town for Organicology and its annual winter Board meeting and retreat, and would like the opportunity to hear from you and your colleagues in the Pacific Northwest organic community. Board members will facilitate a discussion about issues facing organic food and fiber farmers, processors, distributors, retailers and others in the region.
You'll hear directly from Board Members about the trade association's major initiatives and plans for the opportunities and uncertainties that lie ahead in 2017. The Board is also eager to hear YOUR PRIORITIES, and help connect the dots about how OTA can help your organic business thrive.
We'll end the meeting with a reception co-hosted by OTA, Accredited Certifiers Association, Organic Materials Review Institute, Sustainable Food Trade Association, Tilth, and Organicology.
On behalf of the Organic Trade Association Board of Directors, we hope to see you there!
4:30 - 5:30 PM:
Facilitated business conversation. Members of the Portland area organic sector will participate in a dialog about challenges and opportunities for organic in the Portland area.
5:30 - 7:00 PM:
Organic appetizers and drinks will be served at a reception co-hosted by OTA, Accredited Certifiers Association, Organic Materials Review Institute, Sustainable Food Trade Association, Tilth, and Organicology.
The 2017 Organicology Conference, featuring the latest research and education and networking for organic stakeholders, will take place Feb. 2-4 in Portland, OR. Organicology, held every two years, is organized by the Organically Grown Company, Oregon Tilth, Sustainable Food Trade Association, and Organic Seed Alliance.
OTA's CEO Laura Batcha will speak during a workshop session on Selling to the Masses on Friday, February 3 from 3:30 - 5:00pm and during a roundable discussion on Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Policy in the Next Farm Bill on Saturday, February 4 from 10:00am - 12:00pm.
OTA's Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs Gwendolyn Wyard will present in the panel Organic Regulatory Update and Policy Primer on Friday, February 3 from 10:00am - 12:00pm.
OTA's Farm Policy Director Nate Lewis will present in an All-day solution-shop on Transition and Growth in the Organic Sector on Thursday, February 2 and in the session Organic Integrity: Managing the seemingly impossible on Friday, February 3 from 3:30 - 5pm.
Save the date for CCOF’s 2017 Annual Meeting and Conference events on February 9-10, 2017, in Visalia, California. This year’s theme—Organic Innovation and Inspiration—will feature the innovative techniques organic producers, handlers, retailers, and other change-makers are using to address current economic and environmental issues, as well as big ideas for tackling the challenges of tomorrow.
We invite you to join other innovators to change the world by changing the way we grow. The festivities begin Thursday evening with our first annual CCOF Foundation Awards Feast. Hear from the next generation of organic producers and the champions who are helping them build their careers in agriculture. Friday’s full-day conference will focus on the innovations that are shaping our organic world. From new technology to out-of-the-box solutions for sustainability, you won’t want to miss this show and tell from some of organic’s biggest thinkers.
OTA's CEO Laura Batcha will discuss the GRO Organic Check-off, including what’s at stake for organic producers and processors and how to weigh-in as the process unfolds.
The Canada Organic Trade Association promotes the organic sector, educates the public and protects organic product integrity. COTA raises public awareness of the diverse Canadian organic industry through initiatives like national Organic Week and the Think Before You Eat consumer campaign. Member participation ensures that COTA will continue to be a strong voice for organic—to governments, consumers and the media.
The Organic Center is a trusted, go-to source of information for scientific research about organic food and farming. As a non-profit research and education organization, The Center covers up-to-date studies on sustainable agriculture and health, and collaborates with academic and governmental institutions to fill gaps in the current knowledge base about the many benefits of organic food and farming.