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Engage with organic at Expo West

Organic Trade Association and The Organic Center sharing insights, science and more

Maggie McNeil
(202) 615-7997
February 28, 2023
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What are the critical issues facing the U.S. organic sector? Is the Organic label still the gold standard for consumers seeking the best food choices for their families? Where are the hot spots for American organic in the global markets? What kind of cutting-edge science projects are underway to help organic thrive? The Organic Trade Association (OTA) and The Organic Center (TOC) will answer these questions and many more at the Natural Products Expo West trade show March 9-11 in Anaheim, California. 

The Organic Trade Association has convened organic experts and leaders from the public and private sectors to participate in a series of wide-ranging and informative Organic Education Sessions at the trade show.  

OTA’s sessions will address the most pressing challenges and biggest opportunities for organic: 

  • On Wednesday, “International Market Opportunities and Trade Policy Update” with Sustainable Strategies Vice President and organic trade expert Chris Anderson. American exports of organic food have steadily risen over the last ten years, reaching over $700 million in 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Anderson will highlight potential markets for U.S. organic abroad, how to connect with international buyers, and brief on key trade issues.
  • On Thursday, three more sessions including, “The State of the Organic Industry” featuring Jenny Tucker, Deputy Administrator for USDA’s National Organic Program and Tom Chapman, CEO of the Organic Trade Association. Today’s $63-billion U.S. organic sector continues to innovate and thrive. This session will include topline figures from the U.S. organic industry; an update on the Strengthening Organic Enforcement rules – the most sweeping changes to the organic regulations since their implementation in 2002; and a preview of what’s at stake in this year’s Farm Bill process. The other two sessions will cover the benefits of long-term research in support of organic and a one-hour crash course in how to get certified organic.  

The Organic Center is at the forefront of science discovering organic agriculture's human health and climate benefits. It educates consumers on the benefits of organic, reaching nearly 300,000 every year on its website and another 700,000 on its social channels. The Center works with industry partners, farmers and other stakeholders to develop critical organic research projects, with a focus on climate change mitigation, environmental and human health, and developing tools and solutions designed for the specific needs of organic operations. It fundraises for organic research, helping to raise more than $6 million from 2020 to the present for research projects through collaborations on federal and non-federal competitive grant programs. The Center also administers funds for organic extension and research and has injected over $1 million into the organic sector through its partnership with the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research. It regularly contributes to scientific publications on organic, co-authoring 15 peer-reviewed, scientific journal articles in the past four years alone.  

Every year, The Center celebrates the science behind organic and toasts organic’s benefits at its Annual Science Benefit, the biggest organic party at Expo West. For the first time, this year’s fundraising benefit will feature interactive science displays to let attendees engage with the science that The Organic Center communicates and see first-hand the ways it supports the organic sector.  

Nine top organic research projects will be showcased, including a live honey bee exhibit showing the benefits of organic in supporting critical pollinator health, as well as exhibits demonstrating the significant environmental benefits of organic cotton; the ways organic farming practices lock away large amounts of greenhouse-causing carbon in the soil; and how the devastating citrus greening disease can be fought with organic, environmentally-friendly methods.  

The Organic Trade Association and The Organic Center will be at Booth 1937 on the exhibit floor. Staff will be available to discuss important issues facing an organic business, share OTA’s resources to help businesses expand, and explain how the trade association is elevating the footprint of organic on Capitol Hill.  

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 The Organic Center
 The Organic Center's mission is to convene credible, evidence-based science on the health and environmental impacts of organic food and farming and to communicate the findings to the public. The Center is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) research and education organization operating under the administrative auspices of the Organic Trade Association.