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Task Forces

Task forces make recommendations to Organic Trade Association (OTA) on policy issues, association programs and special projects. OTA has many active task forces with dozens of members working on everything from commenting on FDA's Food Safety Rule revisions to analyzing Mexico’s Operating Guidelines for Organic Agriculture. 
All of OTA Task Forces are time-bound (not necessarily short-term), task-charged, and outcome-focused groups with specific mandate statements. Task forces can be convened by the board, staff, or members (e.g. through Member Forums or Sector Councils) in order to recommend a course of action or accomplish a specific objective. Task Forces form to:  
  • gather input on specific programs, issues, new initiatives, or overall strategic planning 
  • convene an advisory group that would recommend a course of action to either the board or staff 
  • consider a narrow subject within a broader topic area 
  • focus attention and recommend service for a particular sector of the organic industry      
  • accomplish a specified project/task, as needed, using OTA and/or participants volunteer time.  

Continuous Task Forces

Continuous Improvement and Accountability in Organic Standards Task Force

In the past 10 years, industry has advanced 20 consensus recommendations for improvements to the organic standards through the National Organic Standards Board. However, USDA has not completed rulemaking on a single one of them. It’s time to repair the public-private partnership that encompasses the USDA organic program so that industry can continue to advance and meet consumer expectations. 


European Union Task Force

This task force will serve as a platform to voice and discuss issues regarding the changing regulations, and plan next steps for those involved in the EU market. The work will also address the impacts to UK-Brexit and organic trade. Initially, this task force will serve as an information-sharing body and move into active work early in 2019.


Mexico Trade Task Force

The mandate of this task force is to monitor, analyze, and discuss existing and emerging issues from organic trade discussions and issue resolutions between the United States and Mexico. The task force will provide input to FAS, NOP, and USTR on the industry's perspective on trade issues, technical talks, Mexico’s recently implemented organic regulations, and market potential. Task force members will also provide industry support and concerns regarding the potential opportunities and challenges that will be created by entering an organic equivalency arrangement with Mexico. Additionally, the task force will provide issue assessments regarding organic seed treatments in support of OTA / FAS / APHIS work on this issue.


NOP Enforcement Rulemaking Task Force

The mandate of this task force is to: 1) engage early with NOP and answer the enforcement related questions NOP distributed in a public "Town Hall" style webinar; and 2) help shape OTA’s comments to NOP on the proposed rule.


Sugar Supply Task Force

The mandate of this task force is to decide on and implement a strategy to either 1) raise the US tariff rate quota for organic sugar, 2) create an organic Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ), or 3) implement both options, if they are compatible. In addition, the Sugar Supply Task Force may decide to discuss relief via amendments to the coming Farm Bill or other strategies to be determined.


Intermittment Task Forces


Child Nutrition Task Force

The mandate of the task force is to develop policy proposals related to the school lunch pilot program and expanding access to organic within the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) feeding programs as part of the upcoming Child Nutrition Act reauthorization by Congress.


GMO Labeling Task Force

The GMO Labeling Task Force's mandate is to review OTA's top messaging priorities and assist members with submission of comments to the USDA. 


Hydroponics and Container Production Task Force

The Hydroponics and Container Production Task Force's mandate is to inform the Organic Trade Association’s development of recommendations and positions on NOSB proposals related to hydroponics and container production.


National List Revisions Task Force

The mandate of the National List Revisions Task Force is to inform the Organic Trade Association’s development of comments on several proposed revisions to the National List based on NOSB recommendations dating back to 2002.


Strengthening Organic Seed Usage Task Force

The Strengthening Organic Seed Usage Task Force's mandate is to assist the Organic Trade Association in identifying the strengths and weakness of NOSB’s draft proposals on seed, annual seedlings, and planting stock used in organic crop production, and inform the trade association’s comments to the NOSB on the areas of improvement needed.

Task Force Policies and Procedures Task Force Roles and Responsibilities Submit Task Force Request Form Online

OTA announces new task forces and opportunities to get involved in the weekly News Flash e-newsletter for members.

Government Affairs and Engagement Manager
(202) 403-8644