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Organic Trade Association's Organic Newsroom: 2009 Press Releases Archives
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2009 Press Releases

 

 

December 21, 2009 2009 plantings of U.S. organic cotton are highest since 2001

News Release
Contact: Barbara Haumann
413-376-1220; bhaumann@ota.com

GREENFIELD, Mass. (Dec. 21, 2009) —U.S. growers of organic cotton increased plantings of organic cotton acreage by 26 percent in 2009 over that planted the previous year, according to preliminary data collected by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) in a survey funded by Cotton Incorporated.

Analysis of available data collected by an OTA survey of U.S. organic cotton producers and preliminary data from the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative (TOCMC) put planted area at 10,731 acres in 2009, up from an estimated 8,539 acres in 2008. The 2009 plantings are the highest since 2001, when 11,586 acres were planted by U.S. cotton growers.

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December 09, 2009 The Organic Trade Association launches new consumer web site

News release
Contact:Jennifer Rose
413-376-1234
jrose@ota.com

Greenfield, Mass. (Dec. 9, 2009) ─ Something exciting is in store for consumers looking to learn more about organic agriculture and products.

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) today launched a new consumer web site, “Organic. It’s Worth It,” located at www.organicitsworthit.org. The site, launched in beta format, offers a wide range of informational resources, including basic facts about organic, tips on using organic around the house, and organic recipe ideas. The site also features the latest in organic news and trends, as well as a poll, allowing consumers to share their thoughts on a variety of issues related to organic agriculture and products. In addition, the site boasts a “Featured Expert” section, where consumers have the opportunity to learn directly from experts from across the organic community.

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November 16, 2009 OTA’s Bushway to participate on panel on future of animal agriculture

Contact: Barbara Haumann
(413-376-1220; bhaumann@ota.com)

Future Trends in Animal Agriculture Symposium slated for Dec. 2

GREENFIELD, Mass. (Nov. 16, 2009)—Christine Bushway, Executive Director and CEO of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), will participate in the Future Trends in Animal Agriculture Symposium: The Future of Animal Agriculture 2030 planned for Dec. 2 in Washington, D.C.

Bushway will take part in a panel entitled “What Should Animal Agriculture Look Like in 2030?” Other panelists will include Paul Shapiro of the Humane Society of the United States, and Marie Wheatley of the American Humane Association.

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October 06, 2009 Foreign Ag Service Awards Organic Trade Association $1,666,000

Contact: Barbara Haumann
(413-376-1220; bhaumann@ota.com)

Monies will be used to reduce trade barriers for U.S. organic products

GREENFIELD, Mass. (Oct. 6, 2009)--The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has approved $1,666,000 in Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) funding over five years to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), in partnership with Sustainable Strategies, for projects that analyze and address trade issues for U.S. organic products.

“This funding will be used to help further understand hurdles that impede the trade of U.S. organic products and help work toward finding solutions to opening trade options for U.S. organic producers,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director.

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September 25, 2009 Organic Trade Association congratulates new NOSB appointees

For immediate release
Contact: Barbara Haumann
(413-376-1220; bhaumann@ota.com)

Organic Trade Association congratulates new NOSB appointees

GREENFIELD, Mass. (Sept. 25, 2009)— The Organic Trade Association (OTA) today congratulated the five persons selected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to serve on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) beginning in January.

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September 17, 2009 Organic Trade Association welcomes new National Organic Program head

Contact: Barbara Haumann (413-376-1220)

GREENFIELD, Mass. (Sept. 17, 2009)—The Organic Trade Association (OTA) today expressed delight at the selection of Miles McEvoy as the new Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Organic Program (NOP).

“As Organic Program Manager for Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Organic Food efforts, Miles has been very active as a long-time member of the Organic Trade Association (OTA). OTA is pleased that he will be filling this very important position in USDA. OTA is confident that, with his experience, he will provide invaluable guidance and clear thinking that will further the integrity of the National Organic Program,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director.

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September 15, 2009 Boost organic sales with Go Organic! for Earth Day

Contact: Andrea Porfidio
(952) 426-7800
andreap@effectpartners.com

Sarah Shank
(202) 518-0044 ex21
shank@earthday.net

Sixth Year Set to Engage, Educate, and Drive Sales More Than Ever Before

Minneapolis, MN, September 14, 2009 – Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day with the organic industry’s proven integrated marketing campaign that continues to gain retailer support and drive sales of participating organic products. In its sixth year, Go Organic!™ for Earth Day provides the straight facts on organic production, health, and sustainability, while offering huge savings on organic brands.

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September 14, 2009 Organic Trade Association leads tour of organic operations

Contact: Jennifer Rose
jrose@ota.com; 413-376-1234

International press tour celebrates opening of EU and Japanese markets to U.S.-sourced organic berries and wines

MENDOCINO COUNTY, Calif. (Sept. 14, 2009) ─ The Organic Export Program managed by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) last week led members of the European Union (EU) and Japanese press on a five-day tour of California organic wineries and farms.

Organized by OTA’s Organic Export Program, the tour sought to provide foreign press with first-hand exposure to U.S. organic products, as well as the opportunity to speak directly with American organic producers and manufacturers. The tour also aimed to educate the press about the quality, consistency, and variety of U.S. organic products available for export.

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September 11, 2009 GE-contaminated flax seed raises concerns for Canadian organic sector

For Immediate Release
Matthew Holmes, managing director
Organic Trade Association in Canada
(613) 482-1717
mholmes@ota.com

SACKVILLE, NB (Sept. 11, 2009) — The Organic Trade Association (OTA) in Canada has called the recent discovery of contaminated flax seed in Europe “unacceptable,” and said biotechnology companies must take responsibility for damages caused by their lack of appropriate containment protocols.

The European Commission’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed has discovered an illegal genetically engineered (GE) trait in German food products, which originated from Canada. Although no organic products have been implicated at this time, the discovery of this unauthorized GE trait in food products is a major concern for the Canadian organic sector, and for consumers around the world. The GE flax in question, called ‘Triffid,’ was designed specifically to withstand applications of synthetic chemical pesticides.

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September 09, 2009 Organic coffee is hot on college campuses

College food services increasingly choose organic coffee despite economy

For Immediate Release Contact: Sandra Marquardt, 301-592-0077
September 9, 2009 smarquardt@onthemarkpr.com

GREENFIELD, Mass. Whether a result of bottom-up pressure from students or top-down decision-making from proactive faculty and food service administrators, organic coffee is more available than ever on college campuses these days, according to the Organic Coffee Collaboration, a project of the Organic Trade Association (OTA).

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July 31, 2009 Organic Trade Association: Organic products offer many benefits to consumers

Contact: Barbara Haumann
(413-376-1220; bhaumann@ota.com)

GREENFIELD, Mass. (July 31, 2009)—In response to recent publicity concerning an article in-press for the next issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) reminds consumers that organic has a great story to tell.

“The broader question is about what is health and what is nutrition, and isn’t it more than just nutrient density,” said Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University, in reference to recent buzz about the article, “Nutritional quality of organic foods: a systematic review.” “Doesn’t a food system that avoids the use of pesticides, synthetic growth hormones and antibiotics while building healthy soil and protecting natural resources promote health and nutrition? I certainly think so.”

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July 21, 2009 North American Organic Coffee Market Tops $1.3 Billion

Consumers continue to support organic, farmer-friendly agriculture

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sandra Marquardt
Tel: 301-592-0077, cell: 301-512-4781
E-mail: smarquardt@onthemarkpr.com

NEW YORK CITY (July 21, 2009) – The North American organic coffee market topped 1.3 billion dollars in 2008, making it the single most valuable organic product imported into North America, according to new data released today by coffee market analyst Daniele Giovannucci at a sampling event featuring delicious new crop organic coffees from leading U.S. roasters. The event was hosted by the Organic Coffee Collaboration, a project of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), at New York City’s Union Square Cafe.

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July 17, 2009 Organic industry supports strict review of liquid fertilizers for organic production

Contact: Barbara Haumann
Phone: 413-376-1220

GREENFIELD, Mass. (July 17, 2009)—The Organic Trade Association (OTA) today encouraged manufacturers of liquid fertilizers with greater than three percent nitrogen for use on organic farms to submit their products immediately for third-party review in order to meet an October 1 approval deadline set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program (NOP) in a directive issued to USDA NOP Accredited Certifiers on February 20, 2009.

Companies can submit products for review to either third-party reviewers such as the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) or to accredited certifiers such as California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF).

“The whole industry, from organic growers and handlers to certifiers and third-party reviewers, are fully committed to ensuring that all inputs used on organic farms meet the requirements of U.S. national standards for organic production,” said Jack Erisman, OTA board member, organic farmer and co-chair of OTA’s Input(fertilizer) Verification Task Force.

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July 16, 2009 Consumers ask Ohio Governor to repeal emergency rule on dairy labeling

Contact: Barbara Haumann (413-376-1220)

Consumers and organic farmers want truthful messages about the avoidance of synthetic hormones

GREENFIELD, Mass. (July 16, 2009)—Thousands of consumers in Ohio are urging their governor to repeal an emergency rule that takes away their rights to receive truthful information on dairy labels concerning the practices used to produce those products.

The February 2008 emergency rule enacted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture would require labels to include a disclaimer for dairy products produced from cows not treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is currently appealing a court decision that denied its motion for a preliminary injunction to stop the rule. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has postponed enforcement of the emergency rule until resolution of this appeal.

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Consumers ask Ohio Governor to repeal emergency rule on dairy labeling

Contact: Barbara Haumann (413-376-1220)

Consumers and organic farmers want truthful messages about the avoidance of synthetic hormones

GREENFIELD, Mass. (July 16, 2009)—Thousands of consumers in Ohio are urging their governor to repeal an emergency rule that takes away their rights to receive truthful information on dairy labels concerning the practices used to produce those products.

The February 2008 emergency rule enacted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture would require labels to include a disclaimer for dairy products produced from cows not treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is currently appealing a court decision that denied its motion for a preliminary injunction to stop the rule. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has postponed enforcement of the emergency rule until resolution of this appeal.

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July 14, 2009 Organic coffee and 2009 market data to be unveiled at Union Square Cafe in NYC July 21

Media to sample delicious new crop coffees

What: Reporters may sample new crop organic coffees from around the world and get the buzz about the 2008 organic coffee market and 2009 trends at an event hosted by the Organic Coffee Collaboration, a project of the Organic Trade Association, at New York City’s popular Union Square Cafe Tuesday, July 21, 2009.

Participants in the Collaboration are Caffe Ibis (Logan, UT), Chiapas Farms (Austin, TX), Crimson Cup (Columbus, OH), Elan Organic Coffee (San Diego, CA), Equator Estate Coffees and Teas (San Rafael, CA), Green Mountain Coffee (Waterbury, VT), Maximus Coffee Group (Houston, TX), S+D Coffee (Concord, NC), Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company (Burnaby, BC, Canada), and True Origin Organics (Weston, FL). These participants represent some of the newest companies to launch as well as others that source, decaffeinate, or already roast for the largest companies in the United States.

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.

Recent data from the Organic Trade Association's 2009 Organic Industry Survey indicated that U.S. sales of organic products, including food and non-food, reached $24.6 billion by the end of 2008, growing an impressive 17.1 percent over 2007 sales despite tough economic times. According to the report, the organic beverage sector was the second fastest-growing sector of the organic market (behind breads and grains at 35 percent) with 31.5 percent growth, representing, at 14 percent, the third largest sector (behind produce and dairy).

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July 04, 2009 Organic Label Remains Trustworthy and Relevant

Contact: Laura Batcha
(413-376-1227; lbatcha@ota.com)

Media Alert:

GREENFIELD, Mass. (July 4, 2009) — The Organic Trade Association (OTA) and its members are organic advocates. We believe in, support, and advocate for the integrity of the organic label and strict enforcement of federal organic standards because this is fundamental to living up to the contract with consumers who choose or who are considering choosing organic products.

At the June 17 annual meeting of the OTA membership, Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, announced “the new era of equivalence and enforcement of organic standards.” She was met with a standing ovation from the packed house.

It is unfortunate the Washington Post article, “Purity of Federal ‘Organic’ Label Is Questioned”, July 3, 2009, focused on old news and urban legends. The article also chose to reinforce rhetoric that is not only inaccurate but serves a narrow agenda whose motivations go unquestioned in the article.

OTA, on behalf of its members, would like to correct some inaccuracies and try to move the debate beyond narrow rhetoric and toward a more fact-based perspective.

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June 23, 2009 Chicago Trade Shows Featured a Wealth of Information and Products in the Organic, Health & Wellness, Ethnic and Specialty Sectors

Press Release Contact: Crescendo Communications
For Immediate Release Lisa Bell, lisa@crescendocom.com
303-527-0203

PORTLAND, ME. (June 23, 2009) — The 2009 All Things Organic™, Expo Comida Latina and All Asia Food trade shows, which also featured a focus on specialty food and health and wellness products and education, took place June 16-18, 2009, in Chicago, IL, at the Lakeside Center at McCormick Place. Thousands of retail buyers and industry professionals explored more than 400 booths of organic, ethnic, health & wellness and specialty products. Attendees also had the opportunity to attend 50+ hours of organic and health & wellness education.

Highlights from the show included:

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Organic Trade Association members seek NOSB positions

For immediate release
Contact: Barbara Haumann
(413-376-1220; bhaumann@ota.com)

GREENFIELD, Mass. (June 23, 2009)— The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is pleased that representatives of four of its member companies are seeking seats on the National Organic Standards Board, and is encouraging others to also submit applications.

“As the trade association for organic agricultural products in North America, OTA believes its members have expertise that would prove invaluable to this advisory body that helps clarify and strengthen national organic standards in the United States,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director.

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Historic organic trade agreement will benefit Canadian producers and companies

For interviews, contact:
Matthew Holmes, managing director
Organic Trade Association in Canada
(613) 482-1717
cell: 506-260-7537
mholmes@ota.com

For pictures of the signing, contact:
Sue McGovern
McGovern Communications
(781) 648-7157
sue@mcgov.com

SACKVILLE, NB (June 18, 2009) — The Organic Trade Association in Canada (OTA) responded in support of the announcement that Canada and the United States have signed an equivalency agreement allowing organic products to be traded between the two countries. The agreement will allow farmers in each country to certify to their domestic organic standards, but they will be able to sell their products as organic in both markets. This landmark, world-first organic equivalency agreement was signed by officials from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The signing took place in Chicago on Wednesday June 17 during the All Things Organic™ Conference & Trade Show at McCormick Place.

“This is a world-first,” said Matthew Holmes, OTA in Canada’s managing director. “The Government of Canada has just secured nearly unfettered access for Canadian organic farmers and food processors to a market that is over ten times the size of our own. This is a major win for Canada’s quickly-growing organic sector, and provides our producers and processors with assurances that they are competing with a level playing field.”

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June 17, 2009 Historic signing finalizes equivalency agreement between U.S. and Canada

For interviews and a photo of the signing, contact:
Sue McGovern
McGovern Communications
(781) 648-7157
sue@mcgov.com

CHICAGO, Illinois (June 17, 2009)— USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, today in her keynote address at the Organic Trade Association (OTA)’s All Things Organic™ Conference and Trade Show, announced that an equivalency agreement has been reached between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). This historic equivalency agreement will allow the continued smooth flow of certified organic products between the two countries and support the continued growth of this rapidly expanding market in North America. It is the first such equivalency agreement worldwide for the organic industry.

The official signing will take place at Organic Trade Association (OTA)’s All Things Organic™ Conference and Trade Show at Lakeview Center, McCormick Place this afternoon during the State of the Organic Industry in North America session. The agreement, signed by the two government agencies, takes effect on June 30.

“This is the first step toward global harmonization of organic standards, and marks an historic moment for the organic community,” Merrigan told a standing-room-only audience at All Things Organic™.

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Historic signing finalizes equivalency agreement between Canada and U.S.

For interviews, contact:
Matthew Holmes, managing director
Organic Trade Association in Canada
(613) 482-1717
cell: 506-260-7537
mholmes@ota.com

For pictures of the event, contact: Sue McGovern
McGovern Communications
(781) 648-7157
sue@mcgov.com

CHICAGO, Illinois (June 17, 2009)— USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, today in her keynote address at the Organic Trade Association (OTA)’s All Things Organic™ Conference and Trade Show, announced that an equivalency agreement has been reached between the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This historic equivalency agreement will allow the continued smooth flow of certified organic products between the two countries and support the continued growth of this rapidly expanding market in North America. It is the first such equivalency agreement worldwide for the organic industry.

The official signing will take place at Organic Trade Association (OTA)’s All Things Organic™ Conference and Trade Show at Lakeview Center, McCormick Place this afternoon during the State of the Organic Industry in North America session. The agreement, signed by the two government agencies, takes effect on June 30.

As a result of the historic equivalency agreement, certified organic products as of July 1 can continue to move freely across the U.S. and Canadian border provided they use the new Canada Organic Biologique logo or the USDA Organic seal.

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June 16, 2009 New study: Nearly three-quarters of U.S. families buy organic products

Contact: Barbara Haumann
802-579-9317
bhaumann@ota.com

GREENFIELD, Mass. (June 16, 2009)—Tightening their spending habits amid economic uncertainty, U.S. families, however, are not giving up their purchases of organic products. In fact, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of U.S. families buy organic products at least occasionally, chiefly for health reasons according to a new study to be unveiled this week.

Findings from the 2009 U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study, jointly sponsored by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) and KIWI Magazine, also show that three in ten U.S. families (31 percent) are actually buying more organic foods compared to a year ago, with many parents preferring to reduce their spending in other areas before targeting organic product cuts. In fact, 17 percent of U.S. families said their largest increases in spending in the past year were for organic products.

“These findings reinforce the data collected in OTA’s 2009 Organic Industry Survey that showed continued healthy growth in U.S. sales of organic products,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s executive director.

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June 10, 2009 OTA offers ground-breaking report on attitudes about organic products

Contact: Barbara Haumann
413-376-1220
bhaumann@ota.com

GREENFIELD, Mass. (June 10, 2009)— Findings from the 2009 U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study to be released next week at the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) All Things Organic™ Conference and Trade Show in Chicago show that U.S. families are not giving up their purchases of organic products despite uncertainty over the economy.

In the study jointly sponsored by OTA and KIWI Magazine, three in ten U.S. families (31 percent) indicated they are actually purchasing more organic foods compared to a year ago, with many parents preferring to reduce their spending in other areas before targeting organic product cuts. In fact, 17 percent of U.S. families said their largest increases in spending in the past year were for organic products.

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June 09, 2009 Organic Trade Association announces 2009-2010 Board and officers

Contact: Barbara Haumann (413-376-1220)

GREENFIELD, Mass. (June 9,, 2009)—Julia Sabin of Smucker Natural Foods, Inc., has been re-elected by the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) Board of Directors to continue as its President for the coming year.

Other officers for 2009-2010 are Matt McLean of Uncle Matt’s Organics, Inc.,Vice President – U.S.A.; Hélène Bouvier of Organic Ranchers, Inc., Vice President—Canada; Todd Linsky, Cal-Organic/Grimmway Farms, Secretary; and Chuck Marcy, Healthy Food Holdings, LLC, Treasurer.

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OTA opposes GE alfalfa in Canada

Contact:
Matthew Holmes, Managing Director
Organic Trade Association in Canada
Phone: (613) 482-1717; mobile: (506) 260-7537
E-mail: mholmes@ota.com

Organic Trade Association in Canada opposes introduction of genetically engineered alfalfa

Sackville, NB (June 9, 2009)—The Organic Trade Association (OTA) in Canada has registered strong opposition to federal permission to allow production of genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa in Canada.

“Alfalfa is a perfect crop for Canadian organic agriculture. It improves soil, feeds organic livestock and accounts for significant domestic and export sales,” said Matthew Holmes, managing director of OTA in Canada. “OTA joins the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate and more than 80 other organizations endorsing the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network campaign against genetically engineered alfalfa.”

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June 03, 2009 Organic Trade Association (OTA) appeals Ohio decision on dairy labeling

Contact: Barbara Haumann (413-376-1220)

Consumers and organic farmers want truthful messages about the avoidance of synthetic hormones

GREENFIELD, Mass. (June 3, 2009)—The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is appealing a Federal District Court ruling upholding Ohio’s regulation that takes away consumers’ rights to receive truthful information on dairy labels concerning the practices used to produce those products. The regulation goes against increasing consumer interest in knowing how their food is produced, and farmers’ rights to accurately communicate their production practices to consumers.

“OTA believes consumers have a right to know how their food was produced, and organic farmers and manufacturers should be allowed to tell them,” said Christine Bushway, executive director of OTA, the leading voice for the $24.6 billion organic industry in North America.

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May 13, 2009 OTA 2009 fund campaign raises over $520,000

Contact: Barbara Haumann
413-376-1220

GREENFIELD, Mass. (May 13, 2009)—The Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) 2009 Annual Fund Campaign raised over $520,000 to help fund OTA’s government affairs programs in the United States and Canada and marketing and public relations work to raise the profile of organic products across all sectors. 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.

“Although this amount falls somewhat short of our ambitious goal of $650,000, the generous support of organic companies in tough economic times is indicative of continued commitment to work together for the good of the organic industry,” said Julia Sabin (Smucker Natural Foods, Inc.), co-chair of the OTA 2009 Annual Fund Host Committee and OTA Board President.

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May 11, 2009 Organic Pioneers to Receive OTA's Highest Honor, the Organic Leadership Award

Contact: Sue McGovern
McGovern Communications
781-648-7157
sue@mcgov.com

Greenfield, MA – May 11, 2009 – Fresh on the heels of announcing double-digit growth for the organic industry, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) has named the recipients of its prestigious Organic Leadership Awards: Canadian organic advocate Paddy Doherty of British Columbia; and America’s first and most influential organic rice growing family, Eldon, Wendell, Harlan and Homer Lundberg of California.

“Paddy Doherty and the Lundberg brothers are hard-working, committed organic heroes whose determination, passion and vision have helped the organic industry survive and thrive despite often difficult and challenging times,” said OTA Executive Director Christine Bushway.

The 2009 Organic Leadership Award recipients will be honored at the OTA Annual Dinner and Dance on Wednesday, June 17, during the All Things Organic™ Conference and Trade Show in Chicago. The award trophy, a hand-blown glass “inhabited planet” by artist Josh Simpson, has been presented since 1997, when Sen. Patrick Leahy was the recipient.

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May 05, 2009 Organic Trade Association welcomes USDA announcement for $50 million in funding for organic food production

Greenfield, MASS. (May 5, 2009)—The Organic Trade Association (OTA) today expressed delight that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering $50 million in new funding to encourage greater production of organic food in the United States.

A portion of the funding has been allocated for every state and is available exclusively through a special signup under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. To qualify, a producer must be certified through the National Organic Program or be in the process of transitioning to organic production.

“The Organic Trade Association is pleased to see this support and recognition from USDA that organic farming practices represent positive environmental practices. OTA believes that this funding will further encourage farmers to use such practices and help increase the U.S. production of organic food to meet growing consumer demand,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director.

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May 04, 2009 Kathleen Merrigan to speak at All Things Organic™ in June

Greenfield, MASS. (May 4, 2009)—The Organic Trade Association (OTA) today announced that Kathleen Merrigan, USDA’s Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, will give a keynote address at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 17, at the 2009 All Things Organic™ Conference and Trade Show, produced by OTA in partnership with Diversified Business Communications.

Merrigan’s presentation is slated to directly follow the Organic Trade Association’s Annual Meeting and directly precede the opening of the trade show. The time allotted will be 30 minutes. The U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, who is a long-time advocate of organic agriculture, will speak on directions at USDA that would impact the organic industry in the short and long term.

The upcoming 2009 All Things Organic™ Conference and Trade Show will take place June 16-18 at the Lakeview Center at McCormick Place in Chicago.

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U.S. organic sales grow by a whopping 17.1 percent in 2008

Greenfield, MASS. (May 4, 2009)—U.S. sales of organic products, both food and non-food, reached $24.6 billion by the end of 2008, growing an impressive 17.1 percent over 2007 sales despite tough economic times, according to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), which today made available final results from its 2009 Organic Industry Survey.

While the overall economy has been losing ground, sales of organic products reflect very strong growth during 2008. “Organic products represent value to consumers, who have shown continued resilience in seeking out these products,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director.

The survey, conducted by Lieberman Research Group on behalf of OTA, measured the growth of U.S. sales of organic foods and beverages as well as non-food categories such as organic fibers, personal care products and pet foods during 2008. Results show organic food sales grew in 2008 by 15.8 percent to reach $22.9 billion, while organic non-food sales grew by an astounding 39.4 percent to reach $1.648 billion. As a result, organic food sales now account for approximately 3.5 percent of all food product sales in the United States.

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Organic Trade Association releases its 2009 Organic Industry Survey

Greenfield, MASS. (May 4, 2009)—U.S. sales of organic products, both food and non-food, reached $24.6 billion by the end of 2008, growing an impressive 17.1 percent over 2007 sales despite tough economic times, according to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), which today made available final results from its 2009 Organic Industry Survey.

The final report, can be purchased online at http://www.ota.com/bookstore/2.html

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May 01, 2009 OTA welcomes $1 billion in government loans for Canadian farmers

Contact:
Matthew Holmes, Managing Director
Organic Trade Association in Canada
Phone: (613) 482-1717; mobile: (506) 260-7537
E-mail: mholmes@ota.com

Organic Trade Association welcomes federal credit-guarantee for organic farmers in Canada

Sackville, NB (May 1, 2009) — The Organic Trade Association (OTA) in Canada welcomes new federal commitments to provide Canadian farmers and farmer-owned businesses with access to essential government-backed loans.

The announcement was made today in Edgeley, Saskatchewan by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Agriculture Gerry Ritz. The newly expanded federal program will be available to new farmers, current farmers and farmer cooperatives, and will provide up to $1 billion in new loans.

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April 15, 2009 Media Advisory for April 16-19, 2009

Organic Coffee Leaders Attend Specialty Coffee Association of America Conference in Atlanta

Organic coffees win quality awards in El Salvador and Nicaragua in ‘08

What: Leaders in the billion dollar organic coffee industry—participants in the Organic Coffee Collaboration, a project of the Organic Trade Association (OTA)—will be attending, hosting a booth, and speaking at the Specialty Coffee Association (SCAA) Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA, April 16-19. Speakers from Green Mountain Coffee will discuss issues of product integrity and social values regarding organic coffee production, while Elan Organic Coffees will host Booth 1413. In addition, the other four Collaboration participants—Caffe Ibis, Equator Estate Quality Coffees & Teas, Maximus Coffee Group, and Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company—will be busy networking at the event.

The North American organic coffee market reached one billion dollars in 2007, according to Daniele Giovannucci, author of the North American Organic Coffee Industry Survey. Most of the coffee was sold in the United States. The amount of organic coffee imported into the United States and Canada increased 29 percent from approximately 65 million pounds in 2006 to approximately 81 million pounds in 2007. The May 2008 survey is available from OTA.

Several organic coffees from farms in both El Salvador and Nicaragua won the Cup of Excellence competitions in those countries in 2008. The prestigious award program, managed by the U.S.-based Alliance for Coffee Excellence, selects the best coffees produced in a particular country in a particular year.

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April 14, 2009 Use Your iPhone to Go Organic! for Earth Day

Contact:
Sue McGovern
McGovern Communications
(781) 648 7157
sue@mcgov.com

Minneapolis, April 14, 2009 – Finding out how to go organic for Earth Day is right at your fingertips, thanks to Go Organic! for Earth Day, the major national collaboration of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), (www.ota.com ), Earth Day Network (www.earthday.net), and MusicMatters (www.musicmatters.net ).

“Go Organic! for Earth Day’s new iPhone application offers everything consumers need to go organic for Earth Day this April 22nd,” said Christine Bushway, Executive Director of the OTA.

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March 31, 2009 Organic Left Standing as the Gold Standard for Consumers Looking to Avoid Food Produced with Synthetic Growth Hormones

Contact: Sue McGovern
McGovern Communications
781-648-7157
sue@mcgov.com

Federal court rules that truthful information regarding organic production practices may not be explicitly shared with consumers on product labels in Ohio

Greenfield, MA (Tues., March 31, 2009) Consumers in Ohio and elsewhere who are seeking to avoid milk and other dairy products produced with synthetic growth hormones will only be able to discern how their food was produced by looking for the organic label, according to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), the leading voice for the $17 billion organic industry in North America.

On March 30, 2009, a Federal District Court in Ohio upheld an emergency rule enacted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture that takes away consumers’ rights to receive truthful information about organic production practices on the labels of their milk and other dairy products in Ohio. The ruling also goes against the rights of organic dairy farmers and processors to communicate truthfully with consumers regarding federally regulated organic production practices required for products to bear the USDA Organic seal.

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March 26, 2009 Organic Trade Association praises talks on organic equivalency agreement between U.S. and Canada

Canadian contact:
Matthew Holmes, Managing Director
Organic Trade Association in Canada
Phone: (613) 482-1717; mobile: (506) 260-7537
mholmes@ota.com

US contact:
Sue McGovern
McGovern Communications
(781) 648-7157
sue@mcgov.com

Greenfield, MA and Sackville, NB (March 26, 2009)—The Organic Trade Association (OTA) today expressed support and encouragement for the Canadian and U.S. governments in their efforts to reach an organic equivalency agreement. Progress on the Canadian-U.S. talks was announced yesterday at OTA’s Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.

Speaking at the conference, Barbara Robinson, deputy administrator at USDA in charge of the National Organic Program, announced that the two governments have agreed they mutually intend to sign a letter of intent to complete the negotiations and finalize an agreement by this summer, when Canada’s new organic regulation comes into effect.

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March 19, 2009 Organic Trade Association commends U.S. officials for successfully negotiating Taiwan’s recognition of U.S. National Organic Program

For immediate release
Contact: Barbara Haumann (413-376-1220)

Greenfield, MASS. (March 19, 2009)—The Organic Trade Association (OTA) today hailed trade negotiations between U.S. officials and the Taiwanese government that have resulted in Taiwan recognizing the U.S. National Organic Program (NOP) as equivalent to its recently drafted regulations.

“OTA is pleased that an export agreement has been reached with Taiwan. This will open opportunities for U.S. organic companies to export to Taiwan,” said David Gagnon, OTA’s Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director, who also serves as OTA’s leader on U.S. organic export projects.

The move will open Taiwan to the import of NOP-certified U.S. organic products that are accompanied by a transaction document, TM-11.

“This agreement was made possible by a major push by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and the National Organic Program on our behalf. In particular, OTA would like to thank Kelly Strzelecki of FAS and Barbara Robinson of NOP, as well as Katherine Lee and Keith Snelling in the Agricultural Trade Office at the American Institute in Taiwan,” said Gagnon.

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February 26, 2009 Organic. It's Worth It.

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

The Organic Institute Launches "Organic. It’s Worth It."
Major Education Campaign is Sponsored by the Organic Trade Association

Greenfield, MA (Feb. 26, 2009) – The Organic Agriculture and Products Education Institute (Organic Institute) has launched “Organic. It’s worth it.”, the non-profit organization’s first national consumer education and marketing campaign.

“The mission of this campaign is to answer consumer questions about organic with the clear message that organic is worth it in every way from health care and economics to farming and the environment. It will increase consumer trust, knowledge and purchase of organic products,” said Christine Bushway, president of the Organic Institute and executive director of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), the sponsor of the campaign.

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Go Organic! for Earth Day

Contact:
Sue McGovern
(781) 648 7157
sue@mcgov.com

Grocers & Manufacturers Unite for
Fifth Year of Go Organic! for Earth Day

Proven Success Story Educates Consumers, Builds Traffic, Moves Product

Minneapolis, Feb. 24, 2009 – From our favorite corner stores to the most urban gourmet oases, America’s grocers are uniting with top organic food manufacturers for the fifth anniversary of Go Organic! for Earth Day, a bold statement of support that organic is worth it in every way.

Designed to increase consumer awareness of the benefits of organic food and drive organic product sales, the major national program is an innovative collaboration between the Organic Trade Association (OTA), Earth Day Network, and MusicMatters.

“The success of Go Organic! for Earth Day has grown steadily every year because the program delivers the results that organic grocers and food manufacturers need, especially in a down economy,” said Christine Bushway, Executive Director of the OTA.

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February 17, 2009 OTA’s Organic Institute publishes organic campus guide for students

News Release Contact:
For Immediate Release Sue McGovern
McGovern Communications
(781) 648-7157, sue@mcgov.com



First Guide for Making College Dining Organic is
Inspired by “Organic on the Green” Student Blog
Published by the Organic Institute, the Guide is Free & Downloadable

Greenfield, MA (Feb 17, 2009) The nation’s first guide for students who want to bring organic dining to campus is available at “Organic on the Green” (www.organiconthegreen.wordpress.com), the ground-breaking student blog dedicated to feeding the organic revolution on campus.

Called “Taste the Change: How to Go Organic on Campus,” the manual is published by the Organic Agriculture and Products Education Institute,, a non-profit organization founded by and affiliated with the Organic Trade Association, the business association for the organic community in North America.

“This is an activist’s guide for students who want to join the growing national movement to bring organic food into college dining halls,” said guide author Nina Merrill, a senior at Colgate University, who also founded the “Organic on the Green” blog.

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February 13, 2009 Organic Trade Association applauds new Canadian organic regulations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release
Matthew Holmes will be available for media inquiries Monday, Feb. 16, from 8 a.m.–Noon (Eastern).

For more information:
Matthew Holmes, Managing Director
Organic Trade Association in Canada
Phone: (613) 482-1717; mobile: (506) 260-7537
E-mail: mholmes@ota.com


Organic Trade Association applauds new Canadian organic regulations

SACKVILLE, New Brunswick (Feb. 13, 2009) – The Organic Trade Association (OTA) in Canada is pleased to see the significantly amended Organic Products Regulations (OPR) published in today’s Canada Gazette (Part I).

“The Canadian organic sector – including farmers, processors, certifiers, retailers and consumers – has been working diligently over the past year and a half to adjust its organic standards in time for this new regulation” Holmes said. “The Government of Canada has been a partner with us the entire way, and we are very excited to see this new regulation.”

He added, “When these regulations come into effect this summer, consumers will have a clear idea of what organic is, and will know the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is monitoring and enforcing organic claims in the marketplace.”

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Organic industry gets ready for new federal rules governing “organic”

For Immediate Release
February 10, 2009
Canadian Organic Growers, the Organic Trade Association in Canada and the International Organic Inspectors Association have teamed up with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to help get Canada’s organic industry up to speed on new federal rules governing organic.

On June 30, 2009, standards that control how organic food is grown and processed in Canada will gain legal force through the Organic Products Regulations. “As we move from a voluntary to a mandatory organic regime, it’s important that certification bodies, organic inspectors, organic farmers and processors understand the new rules”, said Laura Telford, executive director of Canadian Organic Growers.

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February 10, 2009 OTA appoints "New Member Development Manager"

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

Organic Trade Association Appoints Richard Struthers
New Member Development Manager

Greenfield, MA – (Feb. 10, 2009) –Richard Struthers has been appointed the New Member Development Manager of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), the business association for the organic industry in North America.

“Dick’s extensive experience in the organic industry will go a long way towards helping the OTA to better serve its expanding membership,” said Christine Bushway, executive director, OTA.

In his new position, Struthers will work to support and build the association’s diverse membership. Its 1,700 current members include organic growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers’ associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, and retailers, among others.

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