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Organic Trade Association unveils new enhanced global organic trade guide

Improved guide offers most comprehensive data available on organic markets, policy and trade

Maggie McNeil
(202) 403-8514
(202) 615-7997
September 13, 2016
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The Organic Trade Association today unveiled a new and enhanced International Organic Trade Resource Guide. This valuable resource, accessible online to all at no cost, provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date market, policy and trade information on global organic markets available for American organic exporters and importers.

The enhanced guide features in-depth information for 40 countries and 38 trade regions along with key marketing and policy data on each specific region. From the trade guide's interactive map, users can pick a country and quickly understand the  growth and demand for organic products, top retailers and brands, and consumer demographics in that market. This data will help exporters strategize for success and compare high opportunity regions with consistent data points across the regions.   

The guide also provides organic businesses participating in the international market—and those businesses just beginning to explore opportunities outside the U.S.—with the latest data on a country's organic regulations and standards, special requirements for imported organic products, certification information, contact connections for government agencies, and more.

"Around the world, the desire for traceable, sustainably produced food is growing, and global demand for U.S. organic has never been stronger," said Laura Batcha, CEO and Executive Director of the Organic Trade Association (OTA).  "One of OTA's most important missions is to promote organic, and part of that mission is helping to connect U.S. farmers, ranchers and businesses with international buyers that are eager to bring the USDA Organic seal to their market. The better the set of data that organic businesses have to work with, the better able they are to connect with those global buyers and to compete on the world market."

The new guide contains specific country pages that include current qualitative and quantitative market information, educational infographics, detailed and in-depth policy information and informative "Go to Market" reports. It integrates data and analysis relevant to the organic sector from the respected Euromonitor, the world's leading independent provider of strategic market research.

Funding for this significant upgrading to the resource guide was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Market Access Program (MAP) and the department's Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops program (TASC).

Demand for organic in the United States has been booming, with organic sales in 2015 hitting a new record of $43.3 billion. Demand for organic around the world has been exploding as well; U.S. organic exports in 2015 reached $3.2 billion. The U.S. has organc equivalancy arrangements with Canda, the European Union, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Switzerland. These arrangements allow organic products certified in one country to be labeled and sold as organic in another country without additional inspections or papework and without compromising the organic integrity of the products.

"The complex task of understanding foreign government regulations, along with the challenges of obtaining accurate information about a non-U.S. market and the difficulties in locating and connecting with buyers, are all frequently cited as barriers to organic exports," said Monique Marez, Director of International Trade for OTA. "The new Global Organic Trade Resource Guide equips U.S. businesses with a baseline for success." 

Since the mid-1990s, OTA has worked to help promote organic agricultural products in global markets and to connect buyers and sellers. OTA has been an official cooperator in USDA's Market Access Program since 1999. OTA's membership represents about 85 percent of U.S. organic exports. The market promotion activities administered by OTA are open to the entire organic industry.

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.