U.S. organic sales set a new record in 2016

The U.S. organic sector stayed on its upward trajectory in 2016, gaining new market share and shattering records, as consumers across the United States ate and used more organic products than ever before, according to the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) 2017 Organic Industry Survey.

Organic sales in the U.S. totaled approximately $47 billion in 2016, reflecting new sales of almost $3.7 billion from the previous year.

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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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Highlights from #OrganicWeekDC

White House Garden Tour during #OrganicWeekDC

The Organic Trade Association brought its Board of Directors and representatives from The Organic Center and the Organic Political Action Committee (PAC) Boards on a tour of the White House Garden in conjunction with OTA’s 2016 Policy Conference in D.C. in May.

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Organic Check-Off momentum

The organic sector is thriving. We need more farmers, research, and consumer education to keep it that way. GRO Organic check-off will help organic continue to grow. Nearly 1,400 organic stakeholders publicly support the GRO Organic Check-Off. Be sure to weigh-in this fall when the public comment period opens up in the Federal Register! Your voice counts!

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Texas organic cotton farmers selected for “Farmer of the Year” Award

In 1993, a group of farmers on the high plains of Texas planted thousands of acres of organic and transitional cotton. After finding a very underdeveloped market with only one or two potential customers, they formed the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative (TOCMC).

With no paid staff, the organization worked out of co-founder Jimmy Wedel’s home trying to develop a totally unknown market. 

Twenty-three years later, the farmers who make up TOCMC are receiving OTA’s Farmer of the Year Organic Leadership Award.

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Things you may (not) know about OTA’s Board of Directors

Besides her many accomplishments in the organic sector, Kelly Shea of WhiteWave Foods majored in Ancient Japanese Theater. Samantha Cabaluna of Earthbound Farm, who plays guitar, used to be in an all-girl rock band called Amazon Mollies. Tony Bedard, CEO of Frontier Co-op, loves working on his 40-acre farm where he is restoring 20 acres of native prairie and taking care of over 800 trees that he has planted. Meanwhile, David Lively of Organically Grown Company is a comic strip aficionado.

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Farmers Advisory Council helps bring policy reforms for farmers

Designed to convene organic farmers from across the nation and across sectors, OTA’s Farmers Advisory Council (FAC) provides a forum for elevating the issues facing the farmers who create the foundation of the entire organic industry. This is no easy task, as the organic farming industry encompasses widely different geographic regions, crops, and political districts. However, when farmers come together, share their ideas, and advise OTA on its policy agenda, the results at a national level can be swift and profound, as illustrated by recently announced significant policy reforms in Risk Management Agency’s (RMA) crop insurance available to organic farmers.

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