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Organic Trade Association's Organic Newsroom: 2008 Press Releases Archives
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2008 Press Releases

 

 

December 23, 2008 U.S. land devoted to organic cotton production increases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Barbara Haumann, 413-376-1220; bhaumann@ota.com

Organic Trade Association research details organic cotton production

GREENFIELD, MASS. (Dec. 23, 2008)--U.S. acreage planted with organic cotton increased for second straight year, according to research compiled by the Organic Trade Association (OTA). Analysis of available data found that the total acres planted in organic cotton grew from 8,510 in 2007 to 9,279 in 2008, constituting a nine percent increase.

Harvest acreage figures for 2008 are not yet available. Other findings show 14,025 bales of organic cotton were harvested in 2007, representing a 73 percent increase over the previous year, when the total number of bales was 8,116. The U.S. organic cotton harvest represents about 2.1 percent of total global organic cotton production.

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December 02, 2008 Organic Trade Association presents stance at Kansas hearing

News Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Barbara Haumann
413-376-1220

Organic Trade Association presents stance at Kansas hearing
OTA opposes labeling regulation affecting organic dairy products

GREENFIELD, Mass. (Dec. 2, 2008)—The Organic Trade Association (OTA) today provided testimony in Kansas opposing a proposed state regulation that would prevent truthful production claims concerning the non-use of synthetic growth hormones, toxic pesticides and antibiotics on dairy labels.

Speaking on behalf of OTA, Laura Batcha, OTA’s Public Relations Director, told the Kansas Department of Agriculture, “The proposed rule prevents dairy farmers and processors from truthfully communicating with retailers and consumers regarding federally regulated organic production practices. It also prevents Kansan consumers from exercising full and free choice in determining which products they wish to purchase.” She added, “The Kansas regulation provides no exception for certified organic dairy processors who are forbidden by federal law from treating their cows with rBST, nor does the regulation provide any exception for claims which are demonstrably true and verifiable.”

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November 18, 2008 Organic Trade Association Launches Unprecedented Marketing Initiative to Promote Organic

News Release
For Immediate Release
Contact Sue McGovern
sue@mcgov.com
781-648-7157

Major Campaign Set to Expand Organic Consumer Base

Greenfield, MA – Nov. 17, 2008 – As the longstanding voice of leadership in the $23.6 billion organic industry, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) www.ota.com today announced that the 1,700-member organization is launching an extraordinary consumer marketing and public relations campaign that will reach more than 25 million consumers in the year 2009 alone.

“This unparalleled effort to educate consumers about the benefits of organic comes at an historic point of change for America,” explained Christine Bushway, who assumed her position as Executive Director, OTA, in September. “Never has there been as much evidence backing the benefits of organic to public and environmental health, as many organic farmers on the land, and as many educational programs preparing a new generation of organic farmers. But never in recent years has there been as high a level of consumer spending confusion and concern. The role of this campaign is to set the record straight and help consumers make the educated choice.”

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October 23, 2008 Proposed pasture rules

For immediate release
Contact: Holly Givens, 413-376-1218; hgivens@ota.com

Proposed pasture requirements:
Organic Trade Association’s initial impression is favorable

Greenfield, Mass. (Oct. 23, 2008)--The U. S. Department of Agriculture tomorrow will publish proposed regulations that will clarify issues around pasture requirements for organic ruminant livestock. The Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) initial impression is that this regulation will continue to reinforce for shoppers that organic dairy products and beef, for example, are from animals that are receiving proper feed, access to fresh air and sunshine, and well-managed living conditions.

OTA believes that these proposed regulations are in the spirit of practices that most organic farmers have been using on their lands for years., Organic businesses have sought clarification of pasture requirements in order to facilitate compliance and enforcement of stringent federal organic regulations in place since 2002.

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October 14, 2008 Orgainc Trade Association receives $750,000 grant

News Release
Contact: Barbara Haumann
413-774-7511, Ext. 20
For Immediate Release


Foreign Ag Service awards Organic Trade Association $750,000
Monies will be used to analyze trade barriers to U.S. organic products

GREENFIELD, Mass. (Oct. 14, 2008)--The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has approved $750,000 in Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) funding over three years to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), in partnership with Sustainable Strategies, for projects that analyze technical trade barriers for U.S. organic products.

"OTA envisions that this funding will go a long way towards understanding the hurdles that impede the trade of organic products and finding solutions to opening trade options for U.S. organic producers," said David Gagnon, OTA's Chief Operating Officer and OTA leader on U.S. organic export projects.

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September 22, 2008 Organic Trade Association names new executive director

News Release
Contact: Laura Batcha, 413-774-7511, Ext. 27
For Immediate Release


Greenfield, MA (Sept. 22, 2008) -The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has appointed a new executive director. Christine Bushway today became the third executive director in the association's 23-year history. OTA is the membership-based business association for the organic industry in North America with a mission to promote and protect the growth of organic trade, to benefit the environment, farmers the public and the economy.

"OTA is very fortunate to have Christine Bushway as its new executive director. Her passion for this opportunity, combined with her outstanding leadership skills, association experience and great energy will help the OTA move to the next level," said Julia Sabin, President of OTA's Board of Directors. "With recent strengthening of OTA's organizational infrastructure and policy success with passage of the organic provisions in the 2008 Farm Bill, the association is well positioned to continue on a growth trajectory, and Christine is the right leader for OTA at this time," Sabin added.

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September 18, 2008 Organic Trade Association Deposes Ohio Department of Agriculture Leaders

News Release
Contact: Laura Batcha, 413-774-7511, Ext. 27, lbatcha@ota.com
For Immediate Release
Organic Trade Association Deposes Ohio Department of Agriculture Leaders

Case Challenging Ohio's New Dairy Labeling Rule Moves Forward
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Sept. 17, 2008) - On Sept. 16, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) filed a reply brief in its suit against Ohio's Department of Agriculture (ODA). On June 30, OTA filed suit challenging as unconstitutional Ohio's emergency rule seeking to prevent labeling that tells consumers whether the cows were treated with rbST, the synthetic growth hormone manufactured and sold by Monsanto under the brand Posilac(r).

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August 28, 2008 Campus Coffee Goes Organic

Increasing number of colleges offer organic coffee to keep students and administrators perking along while minimizing environmental impact.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sandra Marquardt, 301-592-0077
August 28, 2008
smarquardt@onthemarkpr.com

GREENFIELD, Mass. Thanks to the efforts of savvy food service providers and students who support organic farming, this fall's scholars nationwide will find colleges and universities are increasingly offering organic coffee products to keep them perking along, according to the Organic Coffee Collaboration, a project of the Organic Trade Association (OTA) (www.ota.com/organic_and_you/coffee_collaboration.html).


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August 26, 2008 Organic Trade Association presents stance at Indiana meeting

News Release
For Immediate Release
For more information contact:
Contact: Barbara Haumann
413-774-7511, Ext. 20

Organic Trade Association presents stance at Indiana meeting
OTA opposes any labeling regulation affecting organic dairy products

GREENFIELD, Mass. (Aug. 26, 2008)—The Organic Trade Association (OTA) opposes any proposed state regulation on dairy labeling that would affect the way organic dairy products are labeled concerning the synthetic growth hormone rBGH, the association told the Indiana State Department of Agriculture's Milk Labeling Working Group at its meeting last Friday in Indianapolis, IN.

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August 13, 2008 Historic meeting further promotes organic provisions in 2008 Farm Bill

News Release
Contact: Barbara Haumann 413-774-7511, Ext. 20
For Immediate Release


GREENFIELD, Mass. (Aug. 13, 2008) -In an historic meeting arranged by the Organic Trade Association (OTA), representatives of the organic community met with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Bill Implementation Team Monday to discuss the implementation of organic provisions within the 2008 Farm Bill.

"This was an historic opportunity to present key information on the significance of these organic provisions to the team charged with developing the rules implementing the Farm Bill," said David Gagnon, OTA's Interim Executive Director.

The OTA-led group included representatives of the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), National Organic Coalition, Center for Food Safety, Rodale Institute, National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), Food and Water Watch, Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, and Florida Organic Growers.

OTA made arrangements for the meeting co-hosted by USDA Deputy Under Secretary Floyd Gaibler of the Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services and Lowell Randel, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Congressional Relations. Also attending were agency representatives from the Agricultural Marketing Service, National Resources Conservation Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, Risk Management Agency, Agriculture Research Service, and the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service.

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August 12, 2008 All Things OrganicTM to co-locate with Expo Comida Latina and All Asia Food June 16-18, 2009, in Chicago

PORTLAND, Maine (Aug. 12, 2008)-The Organic Trade Association (OTA), in partnership with Diversified Business Communications, today announced it will co-locate its 2009 All Things OrganicTM Conference and Trade Show with two of Diversified's Cultural Food brand events–Expo Comida Latina and All Asia Food–June 16-18, 2009, at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.

"This is an exciting time to be involved in the organic and ethnic and specialty product sectors, particularly as organic and specialty/ethnic foods are the two fastest-growing segments of retail food sales," said David Gagnon, OTA's Interim Executive Director. He added, "These co-located events will offer national and regional forward-thinking retailers, foodservice professionals and manufacturers access to valuable educational opportunities and sourcing options that will help them stay competitive in the changing landscape of food consumption in North America."

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July 28, 2008 Organic Trade Association Files a Motion for a Summary Judgment

News Release
Contact: Barbara Haumann, 413-774-7511 Ext. 20, bhaumann@ota.com
For Immediate Release

Organic Trade Association Files a Motion for a Summary Judgment in its Suit Challenging Ohio’s New Dairy Labeling Rule
OTA seeks dairy labeling rule that represents consumers rights to know how their food is grown

COLUMBUS, Ohio (July 28, 2008) – The Organic Trade Association (OTA), which represents the organic industry in North America, has filed a motion for a summary judgment in its case challenging Ohio’s “emergency” dairy labeling rule.

“Ohio’s rule puts the organic standards at risk and denies consumers their rights to know how their food is grown,” said David Gagnon, OTA’s Interim Executive Director. OTA’s summary judgment motion, which was filed Friday, July 25, argues that consumers have a right to know, and want to know, about the products they purchase, and organic farmers and processors have a right to communicate with their consumers regarding federally regulated organic production practices. The suit seeks to protect consumers’ rights to receive truthful information about how organic milk and dairy products are produced, and the rights of organic dairy farmers and processors to communicate truthfully with consumers.

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June 30, 2008 OTA sues to protect organic standards

For Immediate Release (June 30, 2008)

Contacts:
Holly Givens 413-774-7511, Ext.18 hgivens@ota.com
Sue McGovern 781-648-7157 sue@mcgov.com

ORGANIC TRADE ASSOCIATION CHALLENGES
OHIO'S NEW DAIRY LABELING RULE IN FEDERAL COURT

Files suit to protect integrity of organic standards
& consumers' Constitutional rights to truthful product information

COLUMBUS, Ohio (June 30, 2008) -The Organic Trade Association (OTA) today filed a legal complaint against Ohio's Department of Agriculture, challenging as unconstitutional an "emergency" rule seeking to prevent labeling that tells a consumer whether the cows were treated with rBST, the synthetic growth hormone manufactured and sold by Monsanto under the brand Posilac(r). The lawsuit represents a determined effort not only to protect the consumer's rights to receive truthful information about how organic milk and dairy products are produced, but also to protect the rights of organic dairy farmers and processors to communicate truthfully with consumers,

"The Organic Trade Association firmly believes that consumers have a right to know, and want to know, about the products they purchase, and organic farmers and processors have a right to communicate with their consumers regarding federally regulated organic production practices," stated Caren Wilcox, executive director for the OTA. Attorney Randall J. Sunshine, a partner at Liner Yankelevitz Sunshine & Regenstreif LLP, is representing the OTA in this matter.

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June 26, 2008 OTA's Former Executive Director named President of IFOAM

News Release
Contact: Holly Givens 413-774-7511, Ext. 18
For Immediate Release


GREENFIELD, Mass. (June 24, 2008) -Katherine DiMatteo, who served as executive director of the Organic Trade Association (OTA) from 1990 to 2006, today was named President of the World Board of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) at IFOAM's General Assembly held in Vignola, Italy.

"OTA congratulates IFOAM for choosing Katherine DiMatteo, who during her tenure at OTA became the principal spokesperson for the organic business community in the United States and a respected global leader, particularly in helping build consensus on organic standards and practices. I believe her leadership as President of IFOAM's World Board will be a great boon for organic agriculture around the world," said Caren Wilcox, OTA's current Executive Director, who took part in IFOAM's General Assembly in Italy. OTA is a member of IFOAM.

DiMatteo is a Senior Associate at Wolf, DiMatteo + Associates.

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May 15, 2008 Organic Trade Association optimistic about Farm Bill


For Immediate Release
News Release
Contact: Holly Givens 413-774-7511, Ext. 18

Greenfield, Mass. (May 15, 2008) -The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is pleased that the Farm Bill has passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate by majorities far beyond the two thirds vote necessary to override any Presidential veto. While OTA hopes that the President will not veto the bill, it will work to see that a final bill is passed if there is a veto.

The bill as just passed would increase mandatory spending on organic agriculture and programs to over $100 million over the life of the bill, roughly four times what the last Farm Bill provided. The bill also cites organic agriculture as eligible for many programs within the bill which have been difficult for organic farmers to access in the past. Some other programs such as support for the National Organic Program are "authorized" and OTA will support them in the future in the Appropriations Committees in order to have them fully implemented.

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May 13, 2008 2007 Organic Coffee Market Hits $1 Billion in North America, New Data Shows

New organic coffees sampled at NYC's Union Square Cafe May 13

May 13, 2008
For Immediate Release
Contact: Sandra Marquardt, 301-592-0077
smarquardt@onthemarkpr.com

NEW YORK CITY (May 13, 2008) - The North American organic coffee market reached one billion dollars in 2007, according to new data released today during a sampling event featuring new organic coffees. The event was hosted by the Organic Coffee Collaboration, a project of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), at New York City's popular Union Square Cafe.

Participants in the Collaboration are: Dallis Coffee (New York City, NY), Elan Organic Coffees (San Diego, CA), Equal Exchange (West Bridgewater, MA), Fresh Harvest Products (New York City, NY), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Waterbury, VT), and Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company (Vancouver, Canada).

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May 07, 2008 Organic Trade Association announces 2008-2009 officers

News Release
For more information:
Barbara Haumann, Press Secretary 413-774-7511

Julia Sabin named as President

CHICAGO, Illinois (May 6, 2008)- Julia Sabin of Smucker Quality Beverages, who most recently served as the Organic Trade Association's (OTA's) Vice President representing the United States, has been selected to serve as President of the trade association for the coming year. She succeeds Jesse Singerman of Prairie Ventures, who has completed a two-year term. Sabin's new role was announced Saturday, April 26, at OTA's Annual Meeting held in Chicago in conjunction with the 2008 All Things OrganicTM Conference and Trade Show at McCormick Place.

Other officers for 2008-2009 are Matt McLean of Uncle Matt's Organics, Inc., Vice President - U.S.A.; Dag Falck of Nature's Path, Vice President - Canada; Todd Linsky of Cal/Organic-Grimmway Farms, Secretary; and Chuck Marcy of Healthy Food Holdings, LLC, Treasurer.

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May 06, 2008 New Organic Coffees and Market Data Announced at Union Square Cafe in NYC May 13

What: New organic coffees will be sampled and organic coffee market data announced at New York City's popular Union Square Cafe Tuesday, May 13, 2008, at an event hosted by the Organic Coffee Collaboration, a project of the Organic Trade Association. Participants in the Collaboration are Dallis Coffee, Elan Organic Coffees, Equal Exchange, Fresh Harvest Products, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company.

Announcing the new market data is internationally recognized coffee market analyst Mr. Daniele Giovannucci who has tracked organic coffee data for decades and is the author of a number of books and reports on the topic including the April 2008 book on value-added standards in the North American food market by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

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May 02, 2008 OTA Congratulates Conference Committee on Farm Bill Work

Immediate Release For further information, contact:
Barbara Haumann: (413) 774-7511, ext. 20
Caren Wilcox: (202) 338-2900

GREENFIELD, Mass. (May 2, 2008)-The Organic Trade Association (OTA) today congratulated the Congressional Conference Committee for its hard work in pursuing its goal to deliver a Farm Bill for American farmers and consumers, by agreeing in principle to provisions in a Conference Report. "OTA is very pleased that organic agriculture and processing received positive recognition in the discussions on this 2007/2008 Farm Bill," said Caren Wilcox, OTA's Executive Director.

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April 08, 2008 Organic Trade Association Reiterates Its Opposition to Ohio's Proposed Action on Dairy Labeling

News Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Barbara Haumann 413-774-7511, Ext. 20

Flood of Consumer Letters Urges Ohio Dept. of Agriculture to Reject Proposed Rule

COLUMBUS, Ohio (April 8, 2008)- For the second time in less than a month, the 1,650-member Organic Trade Association (OTA), which represents all sectors of the organic business community in North America, presented testimony against Ohio Department of Agriculture's (ODA) proposed rule on dairy labeling (proposed revised Administrative Rule 901:11-8-01) and its 'emergency' implementation by Governor Ted Strickland.

"This proposed rule prevents organic farmers and processors from truthfully communicating with consumers about federally regulated organic production practices and denies consumers the right to receive information about organic production on the labels of their milk in Ohio," testified Caren Wilcox, Executive Director of the OTA.

"As the Director (of the Ohio Department of Agriculture) knows, substantial numbers of consumers have been contacting his office to express their desire to continue to receive information about organic production on the labels of their milk in Ohio," said Wilcox, referring to the more than 2,441 letters that have been sent from concerned citizens to Ohio's Governor, Joint Committee of Agency Rule Review Chairman, and Director of Agriculture.

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April 02, 2008 OTA 2008 fund campaign raises over $630,000

News Release
Contact: Barbara Haumann (413-774-7511, Ext. 20)

GREENFIELD, Mass. (April 2, 2008)-The Organic Trade Association's (OTA's) 2008 Annual Fund campaign surpassed its goal of $600,000, raising more than $630,000 to help fund OTA's public policy, marketing and public relations efforts planned for 2008. The theme for this year's fund campaign was "Today. Tomorrow, Together, Organic," reflecting OTA's vision to bring organic to the next level of growth and sustainability by industry members working together on issues and goals.

"We had a record year," said Julia Sabin (Smucker Quality Beverages), co-chair of the OTA 2008 Annual Fund Host Committee and OTA Board Vice President - U.S. "OTA is engaged in promoting and protecting organic agriculture and trade on so many fronts, and our supporters know how important OTA is to their businesses. Working together through OTA, we can have a greater, more positive impact on the future of our industry."

"I think word of OTA's successes continues to spread throughout the organic business community," added Host Committee Co-Chair Tony Faudel (United Natural Foods). "OTA members and non-members alike were motivated to give knowing OTA's priorities for the Farm Bill, Canadian Organic Standards, and new marketing initiatives are critical to seeing more growth for organic."

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April 01, 2008 Organic Trade Association opposes Missouri's proposed action on dairy labeling

News Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Barbara Haumann 413-774-7511, Ext. 20

JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri (April 1, 2008) - If Missouri's proposed legislation passes, affecting labeling on dairy products sold in Missouri, farmers who are choosing to convert to organic production will be discouraged from doing so as will other dairies seeking to satisfy consumer demand, according to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), the business association that represents more than 1,650 members of the organic industry throughout North America.

In a letter to the Hon. Brian Munzlinger, Chair of the Special Committee on Agri-Business (which held a public hearing on the proposed legislation today) and a sponsor of the bill, OTA Executive Director Caren Wilcox stated, "In its current form, the proposed law would deny consumers their right to receive, and processors' right to provide, information about the non-use of synthetic growth hormones. It also interferes with interstate commerce by creating new labeling requirements that are more stringent than the 1994 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance - guidance that was reinforced in 2007 when proponents of state laws like the one proposed in Missouri approached FDA and the Federal trade Commission (FTC) and were rebuffed. Furthermore, requiring farmers and their processor dairies to comply with labeling laws on a state-by-state basis could reduce choices in Missouri, and might encourage consumers to favor non-dairy beverages."

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March 24, 2008 Organic Trade Association to honor organic leaders in April

News Release Contact: Barbara Haumann (413-774-7511, Ext. 20)

Drew and Myra Goodman and Ray Fuller to be recognized for outstanding contributions to the organic community

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March 12, 2008 Organic Trade Association opposes Ohio’s proposed action on dairy labeling

News Release
Contact: Barbara Haumann 413-774-7511, Ext. 20
or Sue McGovern 781-648-7157

COLUMBUS, Ohio (March 12, 2008)- In written testimony submitted today by its executive director Caren Wilcox, the Organic Trade Association (OTA), the voice of the organic industry in North America, informed the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) that the OTA strongly opposes a proposed rule that would affect labeling claims on dairy products sold in Ohio.

"This rule prevents organic dairy farmers and processors from truthfully communicating with retailers and consumers regarding federally regulated organic production practices. It also prevents Ohio consumers from exercising full and free choice in determining which products they wish to purchase," Wilcox stated in regard to the proposed Administrative Rule 901:11-8-01 on dairy labeling and its "emergency" implementation through Executive Order 2008-03S.

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March 11, 2008 Organic Trade Association sees promise in Minister of Agriculture's support for "going organic"

For more information, contact:
Matthew Holmes, managing director
Organic Trade Association in Canada
613.482.1717; (c) 506.260.7537; mholmes@ota.com

(Sackville, NB, March 11, 2008) - The Organic Trade Association in Canada (OTA) is encouraged by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz's suggestion on Monday that new federal programs will support farmers interesting in "going organic".

As the Canadian organic market booms with annual growth above 20%, the need for more farmers to transition into organic production methods is a real concern.

OTA in Canada is calling on the federal government to go one step further and identify organic farming as part of its environmental "green plan".

"It's time to take a new look at organic farming in terms of what it can do for farmers, the environment and the Canadian economy," said Matthew Holmes, managing director of OTA in Canada. "Organic products now make up a significant part of the overall food sector, and organic farming offers a rare success story for Canadian agriculture." But more is needed, says Holmes: the Canadian government should also consider organic farming an environmental priority as it introduces new measure this week to address climate change.

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February 26, 2008 Organic Trade Association opposes Utah's proposed action on dairy labeling

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Feb. 26, 2008)— An Organic Trade Association (OTA) representative today told the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) that OTA strongly opposes a proposed rule that would affect labeling claims on dairy products sold in Utah.

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January 30, 2008 'Naturally Raised' claim would only add to consumer confusion

For Immediate Release
Contact: Barbara Haumann, 413-774-7511, Ext. 20


Organic Trade Association tells USDA: 'Naturally Raised' claim would only add to consumer confusion

GREENFIELD, Mass. (Jan. 29, 2008)- In a comment submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) yesterday, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) advised the agency that its proposed voluntary standard for a 'naturally raised' marketing claim for livestock products would only further confuse consumers.

"This proposed voluntary standard, if adopted, is bound to add to consumer confusion. Consumers already do not understand 'natural' claims on products, and this proposal will only further muddy the waters on what such claims mean," said Caren Wilcox, OTA's Executive Director. "The organic label, meanwhile, covers both how animals are raised and how meat is processed, and all organic animal products sold in the U.S. must meet or exceed U.S. organic standards."

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January 17, 2008 Pennsylvania milk labeling

For Immediate Release
Contact: Barbara Haumann
413-774-7511, Ext. 20

Organic farmers and processors pleased with
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture milk labeling decision


GREENFIELD, Mass. (Jan. 17, 2008)- Pennsylvania's revised milk labeling standards issued today rescind prior controversial standards guidance that could have adversely affected the labels on organic milk, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) noted. As a result, organic milk can continue to carry verified production-based claims, including that the milk was produced without the use of recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST), a genetically engineered growth hormone used to stimulate milk production. These labels are sometimes characterized as "absence claims" because they describe truthfully what is not used in the production of the product.

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January 15, 2008 Organic Trade Association: Organic will not include food from cloned animals

For Immediate Release
Contact: Barbara Haumann
413-774-7511, Ext. 20

GREENFIELD, Mass. (Jan. 15, 2008)-The Organic Trade Association (OTA) today reiterated that meat, milk and other products produced from cloned animals will not be able to be sold as organic in the United States.

OTA issued the reassurance after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its conclusion that foods from cloned animals and their offspring are as safe as those produced from traditionally bred animals. FDA today posted a risk assessment report, risk management plan and guidance for industry to outline its regulatory approach on animal cloning.


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January 11, 2008 Organic Agriculture and Products Education Institute (OAPEI)


Contact: Barbara Haumann
Phone: 413-774-7511, Ext. 20
For Immediate Release

Organic Trade Association helps launch new educational institute:
Organic Agriculture and Products Education Institute receives first gift

GREENFIELD, Mass. (Jan. 11, 2008)-The Organic Trade Association (OTA) today announced the launch of the Organic Agriculture and Products Education Institute (OAPEI) and the receipt of the first donation to support its work.

"OTA is excited to have helped to establish this new 501(c) 3 venture, and gratified that a founding donor has stepped forward to help begin its work," said Caren Wilcox, OTA's Executive Director and President of the Organic Agriculture and Products Education Institute.

OAPEI's mission is to educate agriculturists, processors, consumers, students, academics, and other professionals about the attributes and benefits of organic agriculture and products. It will make efforts to reach special and diverse communities as they learn about organic agriculture and the products that fill this fast growing segment of food, fiber and personal care products.

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January 03, 2008 Organic Trade Association names Director of Marketing and Public Relations

For Immediate Release:
Contact: Holly Givens (413-774-7511, Ext. 18)

GREENFIELD, Mass. (Jan. 3, 2008)—Caren Wilcox, Executive Director of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), has announced the appointment of OTA’s new Director of Marketing and Public Relations.

“We are excited to have attracted an organic business professional to work with us to move OTA’s marketing and public relations to a new level of excellence. Laura Batcha, formerly of Tom’s of Maine, will join us in late January in this newly created position,” Wilcox said.

Batcha has been a member of the natural and organic business community for over 15 years. She brings a range of experience including owning and operating an organic herbal products business, as well as seven years at Tom’s of Maine, Inc. in leadership positions in the areas of product development, marketing, business development and her most recent role as Director of Grassroots Strategy and Development. She holds a masters degree from Marlboro College in Management Science with an emphasis on new technology applications. She lives with her family on a small working organic vegetable farm (CSA) in Southern Vermont.

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