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Organic Trade Association hosting dynamic, forward-driven 2023 Organic Week

Flagship event comes at a pivotal time for organic sector

Maggie McNeil
(202) 615-7997
April 19, 2023
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Washington, D.C. (April 19, 2023) — As the organic sector faces both historic opportunities and challenges, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is gearing up to host its 2023 Organic Week in the nation’s capital. The signature policy-making event from May 9 – 11 will dive into organic’s most critical issues and most promising opportunities and provide organic stakeholders a chance to set the agenda for the future of organic.  

The top findings of the trade association’s annual Organic Industry Survey will be released during Organic Week. Spearheaded by OTA for more than 20 years, this closely followed survey is regarded as the most comprehensive measure of America's certified organic retail market. 

The annual gathering of the organic industry in Washington to meet, network and advocate for organic with congressional and agency representatives comes at a pivotal time for the organic sector. A new Farm Bill is being developed that will help shape the direction of organic, inflation is tightening the wallets of organic consumers and straining the budgets of farmers and businesses, and the need to sustain organic’s growth and expand its benefits has never been greater.       

“Organic has seen some amazing policy advances over the past year that we hope will continue in the future, but we’ve also faced some strong headwinds from other directions,” said Tom Chapman, CEO of the Organic Trade Association. “Organic Week is coming at an opportune time for organic stakeholders to gather, learn, share ideas, hear from the experts and join forces to keep organic advancing.”    

Three days of collaboration, discovery and advocacy 

Over the 72 hours of Organic Week, organic farmers, processors, shippers, certifiers, retailers, organic specialists and policy officials will work on solutions for the complex issues surrounding organic food and farming. Participants will focus on continuous improvement in organic, celebrate organic leaders and work together to advance organic policy priorities. 

Day 1, Tuesday, May 9, is CONFLUENCES DAY. The Organic Trade Association is partnering with The Organic Center to present the 2023 Organic Confluences: Reducing Plastics Along the Entire Organic Supply Chain. Organic Confluences will address the challenges of plastic from the perspective of waste, climate change, the environment and human health. Farmers will share their needs, priorities and experiences with plastic and alternatives; researchers and plastic-alternative innovators can offer potential solutions; and policy experts can guide the discussion in the context of current National Organic Program (NOP) requirements and future NOP direction.  Organic Confluences sessions will occur throughout the day on Tuesday and the morning of Conference Day on Wednesday. 

The official conference welcome reception that evening will honor this year’s exemplary group of Organic Leadership Awards Recipients

Day 2, Wednesday, May 10, is CONFERENCE DAY. Conference Day features keynote presentations and in-depth panel discussions on an encompassing array of critical organic issues, including organic priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill, supply-chain challenges, emerging and untapped growth areas for the organic sector, climate-smart agricultural practices, nutrition equity, and ways to support more diverse business partners in the organic sector.    

  • U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (invited) will share his perspective and priorities for the next Farm Bill and provide an update on the historic initiatives USDA has put in place for organic – from its unprecedented Organic Transition Initiative to its sweeping new regulations to fight fraud in the organic supply chain – and what lies ahead for federal organic policy.  
  • Award-winning journalist Helena Bottemiller-Evich will discuss her leading coverage of the alarming national shortage of baby formula last year with Reuters journalist Leah Douglas. Although organic baby food and formula is much more regulated than conventional, and the organic baby food market is robust with steady growth, there are important lessons for the organic sector from this supply crisis.
  • Identifying growing markets for organic will be the topic of an important panel discussion on the final element of USDA’s Organic Transition Initiative (OTI), a $100 million investment in Pinpointed Market Development Support. A panel of industry experts will look at the challenges of demand signals and market infrastructure for growing organic production and ways to create links between organic growers and buyers. 
  • Roger Cryan, Chief Economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation, will look at the nation’s food and ag economy, particularly as it relates to premium, value-added products. Rising food prices, supply chain issues such as a shrinking labor pool, transportation price increases, weather-related crop issues, and conflicts in key agricultural zones all impact the farm economy, consumer demand and organic. Organic products are made with human, planetary and rural economic health top of mind – but as a result, they carry a price premium. How will they perform in the marketplace in the coming years?
  • Ways to ensure an abundant and equitable food system and the role of organic will be discussed by leading food policy innovators, and influential advocates will discuss tangible ways that businesses can move beyond support to purchasing and partnership to integrate marginalized producers and processors and other diverse businesses into the larger organic supply chain.  

Day 3, Thursday, May 11, is ADVOCACY DAY. With the Farm Bill back on the Congressional agenda, this year’s Advocacy Day and hill visits are critical to the advancement of organic. Organic Trade Association members will work in small teams to attend meetings across Capitol Hill advocating for the trade association’s 2023 organic policy priorities to ensure responsive organic standards, thriving American farmers, and resilient supply chains. 

The Organic Week headquarters hotel will be the Yours Truly DC hotel, where all activities will be based. Registration for Organic Week is open. Register here for the event that unites the entire organic sector to take action on issues at the forefront of organic food, agriculture and trade priorities. 

For sponsorship opportunities, contact the Organic Trade Association at


About the Organic Trade Association

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.