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Organic Trade Association celebrates successful Annual Fund campaign

Barbara Haumann
(802) 275-3820
Brattleboro , VT
October 11, 2012
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The Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) 2012 Annual Fund campaign grew by nearly 25 percent this year over the previous year to reach a new record. Funds raised will go towards OTA’s government relations, consumer education, and media outreach work in the United States and Canada.

 “More than 225 companies invested in OTA’s 2012 Annual Fund campaign. Such widespread support attests to the extraordinary work OTA does on behalf of the entire organic community and the value we deliver,” said OTA’s CEO & Executive Director Christine Bushway. She added, “We thank all of the annual fund contributors for going above and beyond their membership commitments to advance the voice of the organic sector through their trade association.”

“This has been a banner year for organic. It’s encouraging for the entire business community and gratifying to see such robust support from OTA member companies, regardless of size, supporting OTA’s projects,” said Jeff Rakity of Elan/Natural Flavors, who, with Julia Sabin of Smucker Natural Foods, co-chaired the Annual Fund campaign.

Thanks to the generous support of a multitude of companies of all sizes, more than $850,000 was raised for OTA and over $75,000 was raised for the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA).

In the 2012 campaign, more than 225 companies pledged funds to support OTA’s work. Top investors, named to the Leadership Circle, are:

Annie's Inc. (Berkeley, CA) is dedicated to nourishing families with organic and natural foods:  pasta meals, snacks, frozen pizza, salad dressings and condiments. Annie’s makes over 125 products, all without the artificial flavors, synthetic colors and preservatives used in many conventional packaged foods. The products are available nationwide. Founded in 1989, Annie’s is committed to social and corporate responsibility and sustainable farming practices that respect the earth and its inhabitants.

Amy’s (Petaluma, CA) is a family-run business dedicated to providing delicious, nourishing, convenient organic meals, desserts and snacks for health-conscious people too busy to cook. Each meal is prepared with the same ingredients and careful attention used in home cooking without artificial flavors, GMOs, preservatives, or additives. All fruits, vegetables and grains are grown organically. The company is committed to supporting healthy people and communities, organic farming, and great taste. Amy’s products are widely available in supermarkets throughout North America.

BJ’s Wholesale Club (Westborough, MA) is dedicated to providing its members with high-quality, brand-name food and merchandise at prices significantly lower than supermarkets, supercenters, department stores, drug stores and specialty retail stores. BJ's carries the most product variety of any wholesale club with more than 7,000 items, including supermarket-sized staples, USDA “Choice” meats, all-natural and certified organic products, and stock-up items.

Cal-Organic/Grimmway Farms (Lamont, CA) farms over 65 different organic vegetable crops year-round and continues to be on the forefront of innovative farming methods and technologies that help reduce the amount of environmentally harmful materials in soils. Its motto: ‘Farming with Pride and Integrity.’

CCOF Inc. (Santa Cruz, CA) is the only full-service organic certification agency and trade association that provides member benefits. Member benefits include advocacy, education, marketing support and networking opportunities linked to regional- and industry- based chapters. Founded in 1973, CCOF maintains one of the most consumer-recognized and trusted seals in the organic marketplace.

Clif Bar & Company (Emeryville, CA) is a leading maker of organic foods and drinks for people on-the-go, including CLIF® Bar energy bar, LUNA®, The Whole Nutrition Bar for Women®, and CLIF Kid®, Nourishing Kids in Motion®. Focused on sports nutrition and healthy snacks, the family and employee-owned company is committed to sustaining its business, brands, people, community and the planet.

Earthbound Farm (San Juan Bautista, CA), with 28 years of organic farming experience, more than 200 dedicated farmers, and 40,000 acres on farms large and small, produces healthy and sustainable organic salads, fruits, and vegetables for people across the country—and keeps more than 14 million pounds of synthetic agricultural chemicals out of our air, water, and food supply each year.

Horizon Organic® and Silk® (Broomfield, CO) are leaders in the organic industry. Silk Soymilk was the nation's first refrigerated soymilk and continues to be the country's largest producer of branded organic soymilk. Horizon Organic was the first company to supply organic milk nationally, and is still the best-selling certified organic dairy brand.

MOM's Organic Market (Rockville, MD) is a family-owned and operated organic retailer with a series of stores in the Baltimore-Washington metro region. Founded in 1987 by Scott Nash, MOM's is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2012. Dedicated to organic, MOM’s stocks only 100 percent certified organic produce.

Natural Flavors Inc./Elan Vanilla/Flavorganics (Newark, NJ) is a family of companies with a deep commitment to the organic industry. Breaking ground in 1997 as the first flavor supplier to achieve organic certification, it continues to be a market leader in certified organic flavors. Elan Vanilla and Natural Flavors also offer certified Fair Trade Organic Vanilla Extract and Flavors.

Nature’s Path Organic Foods (Richmond, BC, Canada) is the number one organic cereal manufacturer in North America and is a leader in the non-GMO movement. The privately run family company is fiercely independent and has been a trusted name in quality organic food for more than 25 years. It operates on the triple bottom line: socially responsible, environmentally sustainable, and financially viable.

Organic Valley and Organic Prairie (La Farge, WI) make up an organic, farmer-owned cooperative (CROPP Cooperative), with more than 1,720 farmer-owners in 35 states and 3 Canadian provinces. In 2013, the co-op will celebrate 25 years of stable, farmer-determined pay pricing and certified organic products. It looks forward to continuing its mission to save family farming through organic agriculture for another 25 years.

R.W. Knudsen Family/Santa Cruz Organic (Chico, CA) offer premium natural and organic products that include fruit juice, applesauce, fruit spreads, peanut butters, and dessert toppings, to name a few. These brands have been innovators in the natural and organic industry for many years, offering consumers high-quality food and beverages that meet their flavor needs.

Sheppard Mullin is a full-service Global 100 firm with close to 600 attorneys in 16 offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. Its Food and Beverage Team counsels farm, food, fiber and wine clients throughout the production and distribution chain on all operations aspects: organic food and fiber law, real estate and land use, government regulations, intellectual property protection, product labeling and distribution law, FDA compliance, public policy advocacy, and more.

Small Planet Foods/Cascadian Farm/Muir Glen (Sedro-Woolley, WA) produces a variety of organic foods—from frozen fruits and vegetables and canned tomato products to cereals and granola bars—under the Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen brands.

Stonyfield (Londonderry, NH), celebrating its 29th year, is the world's leading organic yogurt company. Its certified organic yogurt, smoothies, milk, cultured soy, frozen yogurt and ice cream are distributed nationally. Its use of organic ingredients helps keep over 200,000 farm acres free of toxic, persistent pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Stonyfield offsets all of the CO2 emissions generated from its facility’s energy use. Stonyfield also donates $2 million of yearly profits to efforts to protect and restore the Earth.

SunOpta Inc. (Toronto, ON, Canada) is a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty food products. It specializes in sourcing, processing and packaging of natural and organic food products, integrated from seed through packaged products, with a focus on strategically vertically integrated business models. Its core natural and organic food operations focus on value-added grains, fiber and fruit-based product offerings, supported by a global infrastructure.

United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) distributes 65,000 natural, organic and specialty products to over 23,000 customers throughout the United States and Canada. UNFI serves a variety of retail and foodservice operators. UNFI was named as one of Fortune’s “Most Admired Companies” in 2006 – 2010 and 2012, and in June 2012 as one of Food Logistics’ Top 20 Green Providers. UNFI has achieved LEED® Silver Certification for its Providence headquarters and LEED® Gold Certification for distribution centers in Texas, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Whole Foods Market Inc. (Austin, TX), founded in 1980, is the leading natural and organic food retailer, and America’s first national certified organic grocer. The company's motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet,™” captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement.

Wholesome Sweeteners (Sugar Land, TX) is the U.S. market leading supplier of organic and FairTrade Certified™ cane sugars, honeys, molasses, blue agave syrups, stevia, and coconut palm sugar for retailers, food service and bulk ingredient customers.

Led by campaign co-chairs Rakity and Sabin, the volunteer 2012 Annual Fund Host Committee members included Tony Bedard (Frontier Natural Products Cooperative), Chris Coffman (Made In Nature LLC), Jason Cumming (Organic Valley), David Gagnon (Organic Trade Association), Julie Hafer (MOM's Organic Market), Joelle Heidinger (Earthbound Farm), Margaret Hughes (Best Cooking Pulses Inc.), Dale Kamibayashi (Alfalfa's Market), Todd Linsky (Cal-Organic/Grimmway Farms), Matt McLean (Uncle Matt’s Organic Inc.), Tim Means (Tree of Life, A KeHE Company), Rick Moller (UNFI), Loren Morr (SunOpta), Nate Morr (SunOpta), Robyn Nick (WhiteWave Foods), Mike Sencer (Hidden Villa Ranch), Jyoti Stephens (Nature's Path Foods Inc.), and Gunta Vitins (Vitins Consulting).


OTA’s Leadership Circle companies and other top donors were recognized at OTA’s Annual Awards Gala on Sept. 19 in Baltimore, MD, during OTA’s Member Days at Natural Products Expo East. View a list of all OTA 2012 Annual Fund investors.