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Leadership Award to honor organic entrepreneur

Hemp pioneer will be recognized as Rising Star

Maggie McNeil
(202) 403-8514
(202) 615-7997
Washington , DC
August 18, 2016
) — 

A Canadian entrepreneur and hemp foods pioneer will be honored as a "Rising Star" in the organic sector at the 2016 Organic Leadership Awards dinner in September hosted by the Organic Trade Association (OTA).
MF2.pngSelected to receive the Organic Rising Star Award, Mike Fata of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods first became involved in the organic industry in his twenties shortly after he helped legalize industrial hemp in Canada and started Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods. Partnering directly with Canadian farmers, he has advocated for more organic acres for over a decade. As CEO of Manitoba Harvest, he has insisted on organic options and helped bring organic to mainstream markets in North America and around the world.
"Advocating for organic is advocating for a larger change in our world. It is a change that involves a movement of enlightened people. Being recognized as a rising star within the movement is a tremendous honor," explained Mike Fata, CEO and Co-Founder of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods. "I'm proud to share this honor with my entire team at Manitoba Harvest who aspire to continue growing the organics industry."
Fata is committed to continue learning, educating and working with farmers to encourage transitioning land to become certified organic, and stressing the importance of organic certification at retail and consumer trainings. A long-time member of the Organic Trade Association, he currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Canada Organic Trade Association. Fata also sits on the Canadian Health Food Association Board, where he helps advocate for organic options across the entire industry.
"Mike takes a hands-on approach, actively involved in the day-to-day promotion of the organic industry. Whether dealing with suppliers, customers or consumers, he ensures organic is part of the conversation," says Marci Zaroff, founder of Under the Canopy and a member of the Board of Directors of the Organic Trade Association.
Just in Canada, research shows that 98% of consumers expect to increase their purchases of organic food next year. Demand for certified organic food exceeds current supply. This year, Mike and Manitoba Harvest's Farm Services team increased their contracted organic hemp acreage by 60%. The plan is to continue increasing organic hemp acres and educating on organic farming practices overall.


OTA has also announced that the farmers of the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative will receive the prestigious Organic Farmer of the Year award. All honorees will be recognized at the Organic Trade Association's Annual Awards Celebration Wednesday, September 21, in ceremonies at the Columbus Center Baltimore, MD, as the kick-off event for Natural Products Expo East. Celebrate with your colleagues and honor these organic collaborators who lead.

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 8,500 organic businesses across 50 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 ORGANIC with a unifying voice that serves and engages its diverse members from farm to marketplace.