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Organic Trade Association statement on Organic Market Development Grant funding

*MEDIA STATEMENT*

Maggie McNeil
(
mmcneil@ota.com
(202) 615-7997
)
 (
January 17, 2024
) — 

Washington, D.C.  — The USDA announced today the award of $9.75 million to ten projects through its Organic Market Development Grant (OMDG) program. This is the first wave of funding for a committed $75 million in 2023 allocation. The Organic Trade Association is pleased to see USDA moving forward with this important program to expand organic opportunities for farmers, national and regional food systems, and consumers. Today's awards will help innovative and diverse projects across the country to grow organic markets and increase consumer awareness of organic. 

We extend special recognition to two of our members for their awards: California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and their work to improve and expand markets for small and underserved organic farmers by linking them directly with organic buyers, and the Oregon Organic Coalition and their work with partners to develop the specialty/craft food and farm-to-school markets for organic producers in Oregon and Washington.

The Organic Market Development Grant program is a key element of USDA’s historic Organic Transition Initiative, the department’s $300 million program announced in 2022 to promote organic agriculture through technical transition assistance, direct farmer assistance, and support for organic market development. This program will strengthen the organic supply chain and expand organic processing capacity to create new paths to market for climate-smart organic farmers and improve consumer access to organic foods and products.

OTA congratulates all of the worthy recipients in this first round of awards and will continue to advocate for the continuation and expansion of USDA programs to grow organic.


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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. 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.