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Organic Trade Association to participate in IFT session on labeling organic products

Organic equivalency agreements open more doors to international markets

Maggie McNeil
(202) 403-8514
Washington , DC
June 17, 2014
) — 

U.S. organic producers have more opportunities than ever to export their harvest now that the United States has agreements covering organic products with the European Union, Canada and Japan, and one nearly finalized with Korea. Taking advantage of such international market opportunities will be among the topics in an Organic Trade Association-led panel discussion at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting and Food Expo in New Orleans later this week.

The panel discussion, entitled “Labeling Organic Products for the Global Organic Market,” will feature Organic Trade Association’s (OTA's) Executive Director and CEO Laura Batcha, OTA's Senior Trade Advisor Bob Anderson, and CCOF Certification Services President Jake Lewin. It will take place Sunday, June 22, at 1:30 Room 283-285 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center.

Speakers will review details of international organic agreements and discuss key labeling considerations. They will also highlight the latest U.S. organic industry survey results, consumer preferences and understandings about the attributes of organic production, and significant policy issues affecting international trade. As part of the discussion, attendees will learn about the difference between organic and non-GMO labeling claims, and legislative and regulatory efforts for voluntary and mandatory GMO labeling.

The U.S. organic market in 2013 reached a new high of $35.1 billion in sales, as consumers, particularly families with children under age 18, continue to buy organic due to health- and environment-related attributes.

Also, OTA will share information from its user-friendly website designed to aid U.S. organic producers and handlers in exporting organic products. This site features in-depth market data, as well as the world’s only map tool to communicate global organic trade information in real time. This tool can aid traders of organic products to assess organic market opportunities, and overcome challenges by acquiring a strategic understanding of the risks and rewards in the dynamic global organic market.

In addition, OTA's Regulatory Director of Organic Standards and Food Safety Gwendolyn Wyard will reach out on Monday, June 23, to expo attendees to discuss organic processing, ingredient approval, and other organic regulatory matters. Wyard holds a degree in Food Science and serves as OTA's technical specialist on all matters related to organic certification and material/ingredient review.

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for the organic trade in the United States, representing over 6,500 organic businesses across 49 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA’s Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.