Founded in 1985, the Organic Trade Association acts as both a forum and helpful partner for all people involved in the organic field; from agriculture sources to the retail store.
Formed to promote and protect trade in organic products, the OTA has a mission to help farmers, store owners, and consumers regarding all phases in organic products becoming an important part of everyone’s daily lives. The OTA is involved in lobbying in government agencies to bring about changes in agricultural policies concerning organic farming.
One of the most important duties of the OTA is to protect organic standards in order that organic products offered are of the highest quality. The association is also helps insure that governmental legislation affecting organic products will be in the industry’s interest, and not towards bodies who are not ‘eco-friendly’.
In addition to an informative and useful website, the OTA issues frequent press releases, and a media newsletter entitled: What’s New in Organics. All of the latest information regarding organic foods and products, new farming techniques, and other informative information can be read in this newsletter, published three to four times a year.
The OTA is also involved in publishing directories of organic product manufactures and suppliers, and is also actively involved in promoting trade shows. A more recent addition to the OTA is the Organic Center, established in 2002. This independent organization promotes scientific research into organic products and their benefit for human health.
An important and informative reference section of the association is the organic facts, which gives useful information on all aspects of organic farming and production, including a Q & A section. It also notes U.S. organic standards and compares them to organic standards around the world.
Annual membership fees are based on annual gross organic revenues, and run from a minimum of US$ 300, based on annual revenues of U.S. 100,000. Associate, non-voting memberships are available, and give all to benefits of a regular membership except for voting rights on various issues affecting the organic products industry.