The Organic Trade Association 2016 year in review

The Organic Trade Association unites and serves more than 8,500 organic farmers, handlers, ranchers, processors, distributors, and retailers across the organic supply chain. In fact, 2016 saw the biggest growth in OTA membership in over five years. If you’re one of the many members who already relies on OTA for its government relations, media outreach, and market insights work, thank you for your support. If not, take a look at a few of the many highlights of OTA’s work on behalf of the sector, and join us in our work to chart organic’s future.

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Fifty U.S. companies certified to GOTS

Fifty companies in the United States are now certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Meanwhile, Canada has seven companies certified to the program. GOTS is the stringent voluntary global standard for the entire post-harvest processing—including spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and manufacturing—of apparel and home textiles made with organic fiber. The standard includes both environmental and social criteria.

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U.S. organic acreage tops 5.3 million

Information collected from U.S. accredited organic certifying agents for 2014 and 2015 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released in December 2016 showed 14,861 U.S. organic farms in operation in 2015, with 5.3 million acres farmed organically. Of that total, slightly more than 2.1 million acres were used for certified organic pasture and rangeland.

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OTA adds two policy experts

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has hired two experienced government affairs professionals to join its team.

Kelley Poole (above, left) is now OTA’s Vice President of Government Affairs. In addition, Megan DeBates (above, right) has been named Director of Legislative Affairs and Coalitions Both based at OTA’s Washington, D.C., office at the Hall of the States, they will help introduce organic food and farming to the new Administration and Congress.

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USDA approves new transitional certification program

On January 11, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) announced a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help guide farmers transitioning into certified organic agricultural production.

Using standards developed by OTA, the National Certified Transitional Program will provide oversight to approved Accredited Organic Certifying Agents offering transitional certification to producers. This will help ease the transition process to organic, allow farmers to sell their products as certified transitional at a premium, and encourage more organic production.

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The Millennial Face of Organic

Millennials are adopting organic in a big way: on the farm and on the Internet, in the kitchen and in the board room

When 32-year-old Carolina King takes her toddler Camila grocery shopping in their Washington, D.C., suburb, little Camila is on the lookout for organic. If the three-year-old doesn’t spot that organic seal, she announces to all within earshot, “If it’s not organic, we don’t buy it,” and the item doesn’t get into her mom’s shopping cart.

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Welcome new OTA members!

The single most effective way you can address the range of critical issues facing your organic business is by joining the Organic Trade Association. OTA has promoted and protected the organic business community for thirty years. We have the strategic know-how to effectively address issues, both large and small, that impact your bottom line. Welcome to the new OTA members who have joined us in 2016.

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Organic News and Trends

The booming U.S. organic industry posted new records in 2015, with total organic product sales hitting $43.3 billion, up a robust 11 percent from the previous year’s record level and far outstripping the overall food market’s growth rate of 3 percent, according to the Organic Trade Association’s 2016 Organic Industry Survey.

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