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Organic Trade Association applauds Sen. Baldwin for introducing bill to boost global organic trade oversight

*MEDIA STATEMENT*

Maggie McNeil
(
mmcneil@ota.com
(202) 403-8514
(202) 615-7997
)
Washington , DC
US
 (
May 23, 2018
) — 

The Organic Trade Association on Wednesday applauded Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) for introducing the Organic Farmer and Consumer Protection Act, which would make significant strides to improve the oversight of global organic trade, create a level playing field for American organic farmers, and establish a better system to ensure the integrity of organic.

The legislation provides support and necessary funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program (NOP) to keep pace with industry growth and to carry out compliance and enforcement actions in the U.S. and abroad. It strengthens the emphasis on the NOP’s authority and capacity to conduct investigations to keep organic markets strong; it invests in technology and access to data to improve tracking of international organic trade; it helps provide the necessary information to ensure a transparent marketplace.

A stronger program to increase the transparency, oversight and tracking of international organic trade was given as a top priority for the next Farm Bill in a survey of more than 500 organic stakeholders conducted by the Organic Trade Association in the lead up to the farm bill. A recent report from USDA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) revealed areas that need to be improved in the oversight of international organic trade and the enforcement of organic standards for imported organic products. This legislation addresses the concerns of industry and stakeholders and takes important steps to improve some of the key deficits identified in the system.

Statement from Laura Batcha, Executive Director and CEO, Organic Trade Association:
“Protecting the integrity of organic is critical for the advancement of organic, and we applaud Senator Baldwin for introducing this important bill. Our farmers have to have a level playing field, and organic consumers have to be able to trust that they are getting what they pay for when they buy organic. We’re operating in a growing global market. It is essential that we modernize and get up to speed to prevent organic fraud and to ensure that every stakeholder in the organic chain is playing by the rules. This bill takes important steps towards making that happen.”

 


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 9,500 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.

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