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Active Task Forces

OTA Task Forces are time-bound (not necessarily short-term), task-charged, and outcome-focused groups. Task forces can be convened by the Board, staff, or members in order to recommend a course of action or accomplish a specific objective. OTA task forces are not membera only and are open to all who would like to participate.

Global Organic Supply Chain Integrity Task Force

Organic Trade Association has convened a Global Organic Supply Chain Integrity Task Force. Its mandate is to develop a best practices guide to use in managing and verifying global organic supply chain integrity to help brands and traders manage and mitigate the risk and occurrence of organic fraud. The best practices guide will include a vulnerability assessment, mitigation measures and an alert and reporting system. OTA member companies serving on the task force must be actively participating in organic trade as a supplier or buyer and/or have strong knowledge and experience of supply chain management and/or strong knowledge and experience with record keeping and verification systems for organic certification. Learn more about OTA's action on fraudlent imports.

Canadian-U.S.Equivalency Task Force

The mandate of this task force is to focus on monitoring, analyzing, and discussing emerging issues from organic equivalency discussions between the U.S. and Canada. Task force members help to communicate with the U.S. and Canadian governments, and seek to enhance the understanding of equivalency negotiations within the industry.

European Union-U.S. Equivalency Task Force

The mandate of this task force has evolved from direct involvement with the development of the U.S. / EU equivalency agreement to providing industry awareness, guidance regarding the implementation of the equivalency arrangement, and working to resolve issues that impact trade in accordance with the agreement.
Current issues include equivalency regarding organic wines, the assessment of the impact of recently revised European Council’s organic farming regulations on the equivalency arrangement, continued EU accreditation for U.S. certifiers, as well as maintaining and expanding the presence of U.S. exports in European markets.

Mexican Organic Trade Task Force

Mexico issued revised organic guidelines for organic production in October of 2013.  The mandate of the Mexico Task Force is to evaluate and advise USDA, USTR and OTA on the implications and impact of these revisions on the free flow of organic trade across our mutual borders.
Current issues include requirements for accreditation for U.S. NOP certification agents, including acceptance of ISO Guide 65 accreditation, organic export-only standards for products intended for the U.S, requirements for organic and untreated  seeds, establishment of generic and branded national organic lists and the implementation of an effective and auditable control system and enforcement.

Asia Working Group

The Asia Working Group focuses on existing and emerging organic trade issues in Asia.  This group is not a formal task force and relies on participation from members who are active or wish to be active in organic trade to Asia.
  • Korea - The Asia working group is very engaged in the ongoing organic equivalency discussions with Korea and is committed to reopening Korean markets for U.S. organic products
  • China - The working group remains vigilant to developments in China and is currently exploring how OTA might facilitate U.S. accreditation by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture
  • Taiwan – The working group is a communication channel with USDA and USTR and the American Institute for Trade regarding trade issues that develop at Taiwanese ports of entry, most notably regarding Taiwan’s zero tolerance for pesticide residues
  • India – OTA is working with U.S. dairy producers to gain access to Indian markets for U.S. dairy products.  Organic dairies are uniquely qualified to assure that organic dairy products are produced from cattle that have been fed vegetarian organic feed as required by the USDA National Organic Program standards for livestock production.
  • Japan -  As the market for organics in Japan continues to grow the Asia working group will provide industry guidance regarding the implementation of the equivalency arrangement, as well as working to resolve issues that impact trade in accordance with the agreement, discuss opportunities in the market, and strategize consumer education.

Monique Marez
Director, International Trade
(202) 403-8515

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