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Florida and Kentucky organic growers form strategic alliance with Organic Trade Association

Maggie McNeil
(202) 615-7997
January 26, 2023
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The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is pleased to announce that two premier farmer-governed organic associations – the Florida Organic Growers (FOG) and the Organic Association of Kentucky (OAK) – have joined its Farmers Advisory Council.  

The two groups represent some 1,500 organic farmers in Florida, Kentucky, across the Southeast and around the country. Their participation in OTA’s Farmers Advisory Council will boost their influence on national organic policy and help the trade association to more effectively advocate for the needs of all organic producers by expanding its geographic reach and increasing its representation of under-served farming communities.  

The Farmers Advisory Council (FAC) was formed by OTA in 2013, and for more than a decade has provided a critical voice for organic farmers and fostered substantive two-way communication between OTA and organic producers and ranchers, while providing a network to share relevant and timely information to growers. Besides FOG and OAK, the diverse participating organizations in FAC include CCOF Inc., Georgia Organics, National Latino Farmers and Ranchers, Montana Organic Association, Organic Egg Farmers of America, Oregon Tilth Certified Organic, Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative, Pennsylvania Certified Organic, Tilth Alliance of Washington, and Western Organic Dairy Producers Association. 

“As momentum for the next Farm Bill builds, and other important organic issues come to center stage, the input from the Florida Organic Growers and the Organic Association of Kentucky will help us greatly in our understanding of the key issues and needs for organic producers in those areas, and strengthen and enrich the voice of the OTA. We heartily welcome the two organizations to FAC, and look forward to their participation and involvement,” said Tom Chapman, CEO of the Organic Trade Association.  

“Florida Organic Growers (FOG) and OTA have a long and fruitful relationship.  We know that as a member of the Farmers Advisory Council and through our connections and relationships with organic producers not only in our state but also the Southeast region, we can inform OTA of the issues that matter most to them so we can work together to influence changes that will benefit the organic industry,” said Ramkrishnan Balasubramanian, Executive Director of FOG.    

"With steady growth in demand for organic produce, grains and protein across our region, the Organic Association of Kentucky (OAK) knows this new partnership will support the interests of organic and transitioning farmers in Kentucky, providing meaningful access to policy discussions and resources, and expanding opportunities for small organic farms to thrive, here at home and across the country,” said Brooke Gentile, Executive Director of OAK.   

The new alliance with OTA now opens the opportunity for FOG and OAK members to join OTA under its Farmstead Membership category. This membership category makes full OTA membership available for just $50 per year to organic farmers whose annual income from organic sales is less than $250,000.  Farmstead Membership farmers get the full benefits of an OTA membership, including the right to vote in OTA's annual Board of Directors election. 



About the Organic Trade Association 

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for the organic trade in the United States, representing more than 10,000 organic businesses across 50 states through direct membership and its Farmers Advisory Council. 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 ORGANIC with a unifying voice that serves and engages its diverse members from farm to marketplace. 

About Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers Inc. 

Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers Inc. (FOG) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation established in 1987 that operates four programs: the Florida Farmers Market Association (FFMA), Education & Outreach, the USDA accredited certification body -Quality Certification Services and the Local Food and Agricultural Policy Program. As a grassroots organization, FOG promotes organic, regenerative, and sustainable agriculture and serves and works with more than 2,000 producers in the United States to carry out its mission. With a social media reach of over 15,000 followers, FOG is connecting and educating with the organic, regenerative and sustainable food movement in Florida and beyond. 

About the Organic Association of Kentucky 

The Organic Association of Kentucky (OAK) is a non-profit organization serving farmers and community members across the state. OAK’s mission is to advance organic regenerative agriculture, to improve the health of the environment and our communities. OAK’s programs grow ecological resilience, economic viability and socially just futures for Kentucky farmers through educational, technical and market resources. OAK is a leading advocate, educator and technical assistance provider for organic agriculture, serving more than 440 members and 3,000 program participants annually.