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Home > 15 Years Forward: A Vision for OTA

15 Years Forward: A Vision for OTA

The OTA vision is bold, ambitious and far-reaching. It is a reflection of the dedication, integrity and creativity of the sector that OTA serves, and of OTA’s unwavering commitment to lead the organic sector to new unprecedented levels of achievement.

The opportunities for the organic industry have never been greater.  For OTA to lead organic stakeholders – farmers, processors, handlers, retailers – to greater financial profitability, to greater political influence, and to a greater role as the example of agricultural excellence in protecting the environment and producing the highest and safest quality products, OTA is looking 15 years into the future and defining its vision for the association.

The Organic Industry in 2030

OTA believes the growing demand in the organic market will continue to outpace supply. This widening gap between supply and demand for organic products sets the stage for a critical era in the growth of organic. With OTA’s leadership, the organic supply chain can work together to deliver on the promise of organic to agriculture, the environment and the public.

OTA’s vision of an organic industry in 2030 includes market growth, acreage growth and farming profitability all healthy and in balance. Demand will be higher, acreage will meet the demand, organic penetration in the market will be deeper, and the influence of organic will be greater.

The total market penetration of organic will more than double.  Organic food will account for 10 percent of all food consumed in the U.S., with commonly consumed categories like fresh produce, dairy, meat and poultry reaching 20 percent market penetration.  Sales of non-food organic products will more than triple, reaching 3 percent market penetration. Organic sales in the U.S. will approach $90 billion a year.

Acres in the United States will double to meet the demand. Organic will be the third largest commodity in the United States as measured at farm-gate sales, which will triple to top $10 billion a year.

The thriving organic farm profitability and improved rural livelihoods will provide market incentive for organic production to grow and expand, attracting new farmers and ranchers across crop and livestock areas and keeping existing farmers in organic.

The gap between demand and production will be closed, and organic production will be growing faster than the domestic market, thanks to expanded acreage.

Organic will be respected as a power player in food and agriculture as a result of its size, growth and demonstrated ability to create robust economies.


The Role of OTA in 2030

For organic to reach its full potential, OTA will play an indispensable role in navigating the challenges and opportunities ahead. OTA’s efforts will:

Create a unified and impactful voice for the organic industry.

Empower the membership to remove barriers and provide access across the value chain.

Uphold and advance robust organic standards across the globe.

Build infrastructures which cooperatively support the growth of organic.


I.  INFLUENCE

In 2030, OTA will be recognized by policy makers, the media and organic industry participants:

OTA will be the go-to voice for organic to policy makers and the media, leading the thinking in the understanding of the organic industry and the organic consumer.

OTA will guide and help implement organic programs and policies in the communities and regions where organic thrives.

OTA membership will be recognized by organic industry stakeholders as the single most effective way to address the range of critical issues facing the organic industry.


II. POLICIES AND POLITICS

In 2030, OTA’s leadership in the political and policy arenas will result in a national  agriculture policy in which organic farming will be recognized as best practices in agriculture production. Organic will be known as the premier agriculture production model. The health and environmental benefits of organic food, fiber, personal care and other non-food products will be validated and clearly understood.

OTA will be regarded as one of the most influential of agricultural, food, and fiber policy organizations in Washington, D.C.

OTA will generate innovative organic-specific policies that fuel domestic and global acre conversion.

OTA will lead industry efforts to engage and influence solutions to issues such as immigration, climate change, nutrition, and health & wellness as they relate to organic food and farming.

OTA members will fully appreciate the impact of organic food and agricultural policy on their businesses. Members will be fully engaged in government affairs, with OTA as the facilitator.


III. ORGANIC STANDARDS

In 2030, OTA’s unwavering commitment to its core mission to promote and protect organic trade and integrity will result in organic firmly recognized as the gold standard for transparent farm to table /shelf (or body) guarantees.

OTA will continue to maintain and support strict, enforceable organic practice standards.

OTA will demonstrate the organic industry is a good steward of the National List. Guided by OTA’s leadership, the organic industry will innovate alternatives to synthetics on the National List and move towards organic alternatives. The industry will defend the judicious use of synthetic tools where necessary to keep organic growing and viable. In 2030 the National List will contain a list of tools representing the best and least-toxic technology our food system has developed.

OTA will support the development of new standards aligned with core organic principles that meet both consumer expectations and enable market development.  These will include the evolution of existing practice standards, as in animal welfare; new scopes in the practice standard, as in organic pet food and organic fiber (GOTS); and new elements of organic regulations, as in accreditation criteria. 


IV. GLOBAL ARENA

In 2030, OTA’s collaboration in the global organic arena will foster a robust global market for organic, spur organic production worldwide, and help address global environmental, economic, and food security challenges.

OTA will facilitate solutions with all trading partners to allow unrestricted trade on organic products without sacrificing oversight and compliance. Healthy exports will improve the ability of U.S. organic producers to be profitable and to grow, and will provide more markets for the organic industry.

OTA will support the development of global organic acres and farmers to provide economic opportunity to producers world-wide, to supply critical ingredients either not grown in North America or in short supply, and to balance seasonal availability of fresh organic products.

OTA will foster like-minded institutions worldwide that will help organic farming and business play a positive role in global economies, agriculture and environmental protection.

OTA will show organic is a solution to food security challenges worldwide.


V. RESEARCH, PROMOTION AND EDUCATION

In 2030, OTA will have facilitated an organic industry with robust research, promotion, and education resources commensurate with the need to support the growing market and expanding acres. (One possible way to accomplish this is via a self-directed and independent fully functioning Organic Research and Promotion Order/Board whose establishment will be led and facilitated by OTA.)  

OTA will create the infrastructure to multiply the reach and benefits of organic farming and products. Well-funded, properly planned, and carefully monitored programs will help the sector educate consumers about what organic is and its unique benefits; bring new farmers into organic production through information and technical assistance; and confirm the science behind organic’s environmental and health benefits.

OTA will create capacity for conversations that give consumers accurate and useful information about organic to make informed choices. A national public education initiative will provide high visibility advertising and education campaigns, and public relations activities to advance both established and emerging organic sectors.

OTA will develop systems to tackle unmet research needs and provide everyday solutions for organic farmers that will encourage others to transition to organic practices. A diverse suite of cutting edge research activities covering agronomics, nutritional value, market data, environmental and human health benefits will support the distinct value and positioning of organic.


VI. ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE

In 2030, OTA’s leadership in the industry as a whole will be as an umbrella and coordinating organization with affiliated organizations: some sister organizations, some fully affiliated with OTA, some closely affiliated, some loosely affiliated and some self-directed and independent.

The structure of these new entities will be determined by industry need, with OTA building out the organizational umbrella and serving as the thought leader and catalyst for development, coordination and evolution of the various activities.

Sister organizations – OTA will build on the success of partnerships with sister organizations like Canada Organic Trade Association and The Organic Center, with The Organic Center effectively solving problems hindering production growth and significantly contributing to the industry reaching its 2030 vision of organic being recognized for validated benefits to health and the environment.

Fully affiliated with OTA – OTA will build stakeholder bases like the Farmers Advisory Council (FAC) reaching new heights as the ‘organic farm bureau.’

Closely affiliated with OTA – OTA will continue the Organic Political Action Committee, reaching the broad industry participation necessary to build lasting and meaningful relationships with elected officials of both parties.

Loosely affiliated with OTA – OTA will continue to work with organizations like the Organic Materials Review Institute, playing a critical role in maintaining organic standards and the solid-gold reputation of organic.

Self-directed and independent organizations – OTA will continue to innovate fully functioning programs like Organic Research and Promotion Order/Board whose establishment was led and facilitated by OTA.


VII.  MEMBERSHIP AND ENGAGEMENT

OTA will be recognized for the diversity of its membership, with members across the supply chain actively involved in the association structure and leadership. The divides between producers and processors, small-scale and large-scale, food, fiber and non-food will be overcome through OTA providing the opportunities for its members to come together and influence the organization. Through its strong leadership, OTA will provide a unifying vision to its members to advocate for what’s best for the whole organic industry.

In 2030, OTA’s leadership will have tripled direct membership to over 3,000, with two-thirds of certified organic operations being represented by OTA, reflecting the diversity and demographics of the sector. Members of OTA will be highly engaged across the board.

OTA and its closely held umbrella organizations will have a combined budget in excess of $20 million. OTA staff capacity will grow in the scope and expertise necessary to deliver the vision for the industry as well as the organization. OTA will have significant sources of revenue outside of dues to fund its work.

OTA will be recognized as a best-in-class membership-based national trade association that beats benchmarks in classic trade association measures in membership acquisition and retention, membership engagement, reputation with government and media, technical and information services, publications and news.

OTA will be recognized as an early adopter of technology that creates connections between OTA staff, members and the public.

OTA will employ innovative trade association policies that incorporate the goals and principles of the organic industry when building mission-driven capacity, products and services, and policies. OTA will be a model for, an advocate of and a practitioner of business as a source of good that can solve social and environmental problems.

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