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The OTA Calendar is full of events that are either organized or attended by OTA. We are pleased to organize and support dozens of events that advance organic agriculture and trade throughout the year. Some of these are signature OTA events hosted for members, while others are regional, national, or international conferences where OTA staff are featured keynotes and panelists. Whether we’re bringing the latest news and trends about the organic industry to diverse audiences, sponsoring business networking gatherings, or hosting listening sessions to gather feedback from the sector, you can count on OTA to be part of the action. 

OTA Hosted Event

February 2019

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Global Organic Produce Exposition (GOPEX)

Global Organic Produce Exposition (GOPEX)

Friday, February 1, 2019 - 8:00am to 5:00pm

The Packer’s Global Organic Produce Exposition & Conference (GOPEX) provides a forum to meet the rapidly changing needs of professionals who grow, distribute, pack and market organic produce. This international trade show and conference provides the ideal opportunity for organic produce professionals from around the world to network, exchange ideas, source new products and services, and do business with the industry's leading growers, distributors, packers, marketers and retailers.

The Organic Trade Association is organizing a keynote and two panel discussions at the Conference on February 1, 2019. More details on each session below, and for more information contact Angela Jagiello

Keynote Speaker - Shannon Allen 
8:45am - 9:45am
Shannon Allen is the creator of grown™ and a hardworking mom-on-the-go. She lives in Miami with her husband, Ray Allen, two-time NBA champion, and their five children. grown’s restaurant concept evolved after searching unsuccessfully for an organic, nutrient dense meal on-the-go for her children.

The Organic Center Presents: For Growers: Breeding for flavor
11:00am - 11:50am
Hear from cutting-edge researchers about what’s possible when seed breeders expand their focus beyond yield and transportability as primary desirable traits and begin selecting for other qualities, such as flavor, nutrition and resilience to weather and pest pressures. Discussion Leader: Amber Sciligo, Science Program Manager, The Organic Center

The Organic Center Presents: Combatting Citrus Greening Disease in Organic Systems
1:30pm - 2:20pm
Citrus Greening is a devastating disease affecting citrus around the world – though Florida citrus has been particularly hard hit. Infected trees are unable to extract the nutrients they need from soil, resulting in severely compromised yields and fruit that is unsuitable for sale. Until now, most of the protocols used to fight the spread of the disease have not been compliant with organic regulations. The Organic Center has collaborated with University of Florida researchers to publish a study that outlines a rigorous, multi-faceted approach to protecting citrus trees in organic systems. The paper is based on a review of existing literature, previously unpublished research and grower observations. Our panel of experts will discuss the effect Citrus Greening Disease has had on the Florida citrus industry (especially in organic), and will give a high-level overview of the paper’s findings. The discussion will be led by Amber Sciligo, PhD, Science Program Manager, The Organic Center. Panelists include: Marty Mesh, Organic Visionary, Found Florida Organic Growers, Ben McLean, Head of Research, Uncle Matt's Organic, Inc.

Conference Information:

January 31 - February 2, 2019

Diplomat Beach Resort

Hollywood, FL

- 8:00am to 5:00pm
 
 
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Farmers Advisory Council (FAC) Fly-In 2019

Farmers Advisory Council (FAC) Fly-In 2019

Monday, February 4, 2019 - 6:30pm to Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - 3:00pm

The Organic Trade Association’s Farmers Advisory Council (FAC) Fly-In brings organic farmers from across the country to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress, USDA and national agriculture organizations to discuss issues of importance to organic farmers. The Fly-In will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, February 4 and conclude at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 6.  Special thanks to our generous sponsors, Organic Valley and Stonyfield. 

This event elevates the voice of farmers in Washington, D.C. and is a great opportunity to network with a dedicated group of organic farmers from across the country. Participants have an opportunity to welcome the new Congress and educate them on the importance of organic to U.S. agriculture.

For more information about the 2019 FAC Fly-In contact the Organic Trade Association's Farm Policy Director, Johanna Mirenda

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6:30pm to 3:00pm
 
 
Organic Trade Association Winter Board Meeting [In-Person]

Organic Trade Association Winter Board Meeting [In-Person]

Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 9:00am to 4:00pm

The In-Person Winter Board Meeting will take place in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, February 7th, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., directly following the 2019 FAC Fly-In.

The OTA Board of Directors typically meets as a full Board at least four times a year, two or three in-person meetings and one or two via teleconference. Each Board member serves on one of the three committees: Executive, Community Relations, or Governance.  Each committee typically meets once per month.

Organic Trade Association members are welcome to attend and observe in-person Board meetings, with the exception of any Executive Session. 

For more information, contact Stephanie Jerger

Meeting Information:

Thursday, February 7th, 2019 | 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Washington, D.C.

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- 9:00am to 4:00pm
 
 
 
 
 
 
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World Ag Expo

World Ag Expo

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 10:00am to Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 5:00pm

World Ag Expo is the largest annual outdoor agricultural exposition featuring 1,450+ exhibitors and more than 100,000 attendees each year. Each year it is held at the International Agri-Center in Tulare, California,  starting on the second Tuesday of February. It has officially been designated by the U.S. Department of Commerce as an affiliate of the Foreign Buyer Program, which encourages exportation of American made goods. 

The Organic Trade Association's Director of Industry Relations, Membership and Development, Cassandra Christine, will be attending to walk the show floor on Wednesday, February 13. If you'd like to connect with us at the World Ag Expo, contact Cassandra Christine!

Trade Show Information:

February 12-14, 2019

International Agri-Center

Tulare, California

10:00am to 5:00pm
 
 
 
 
 
Biofach

Biofach

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 8:00am to Saturday, February 16, 2019 - 5:00pm

Biofach is the world's largest trade show for organic, taking place February 13-16, 2019 in Nuremberg, Germany. The Organic Trade Association will host a pavilion of 14 U.S. organic companies at the show, come visit us at booth 4A-627! This pavilion is already filled, but if you are interested in being added to the waitlist for participation, contact the Organic Trade Association's International Trade Manager, Alexis Carey.

Organic Trade Association's CEO/Executive Director, Laura Batcha, will be presenting the following sessions at Biofach on February 14, 2019:

Global Organic Market | 10:00am - 11:30am | St. Petersburg
Laura will discuss the organic market in North America as well as import/export trade data

Blockchain, remote sensing and non-analytical tools for enhancing integrity in supply chains | 1:00pm - 2:30pm | Oslo
Despite all efforts to improve the regulatory system and components of the organic guarantee, fraud is ongoing. The most recent one was made public in Italy mid-November 2018 by the anti-fraud office. Technologies and tools for improving, if not solving, the core problems are available. It needs a dedicated discussion about new ways to change our approach to action

Additionally, Organic Trade Associatoin staff will also host the following meetings in conjunction with Biofach on February 14, 2019:

GOTS Certifiers Council Meeting | 1:30pm - 4:30pm | Lissabon 
Johanna Mirenda, Organic Trade Association's Farm Policy Director, will facilitate this meeting with the GOTS Certifiers Council. 

EU Stakeholder Meeting |4:00pm - 6:00pm | Prag
During this meeting US and EU organic stakeholders will discuss the effects of changing EU regulations as well as Brexit's effect on the US-EU organic equivelency arrangement. This meeting is invite-only. 

Trade Show Information:

February 13-16, 2019

Nuremberg, Germany 

8:00am to 5:00pm
 
 
 
Organicology

Organicology

Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 8:00am to Saturday, February 16, 2019 - 5:00pm

Organicology 2019 will be taking place February 14 -16 in Portland, OR. With intensive training sessions, workshops, world class keynote speakers, amazing entertainment and networking, Organicology is a conference of its own class. Organicology seeks to bring all of the stakeholder groups to the table to not only develop skills in their own areas of activity but to gain exposure to the challenges and accomplishments of those in other areas of the trade and movement. Each day of Organicology offers different opportunities to learn. Thursday is for intensives, Friday is for workshops and our Ark of Taste Dinner and concert, and Saturday is our Exhibitor Showcase.

The Organic Trade Association’s VP of Regulatory and Technical Affairs, Gwendolyn Wyard, will be leading the following Intensive session taking place on Thursday, February 14.

Intensive: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? Integrity, Continuous Improvement and Evolution in the Organic Trade

In this intensive, we will look at IFOAM’s “Organic 3.0” and the OTA’s “Bold Steps” as potential guides for navigating the challenges now before us, and the “Middle Path”, developed by Organic Agsystems Consulting and Organically Grown Company staff as a process for deliberating options with the requirement that they provide open paths to continuous improvement through “relentless but patient” progress. Want to participate in shaping the future of the organic sector?  Want to learn how to break-down complex situations and find pragmatic, workable solutions?  Want to develop your management and problem-solving skills?  Then this is the intensive workshop for you!  Be prepared to be engaged!

The Organic Trade Association's Director of Legislative Affairs and Coalitions, Megan DeBates, will be leading the following workshop at the Conference on Friday, February 15.

Farm Bill & Organic Policy in 2019 | 10:00am – 12:00pm
Speakers: Megan Debates; Steve Etka, National Organic Coalition; Nichelle Harriott; Chris Schriener, Oregon Tilth; Brise Tencer      

This workshop will provide an update on the 2018-19 Farm Bill, and dig into policies ranging from working lands conservation and crop insurance to research, certification cost share, and enhanced enforcement against fraudulent organic imports. Learn about key strategies and opportunities for grassroots outreach to engage and mobilize around critical organic wins. Panelists will provide a primer on new and returning members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, the Organic Caucus, and other policy needs.

Also on Friday, February 15, Gwendolyn Wyard will be speaking at the following workshops:

Ferreting out Fraud and Securing Future Supplies |1:30pm  3:00pm
Speakers: John Saunders; Chris Schriener, Oregon Tilth; Jessica Shade, The Organic Center; Gwendolyn Wyard

This workshop focuses on the tools and technologies to verify organic integrity throughout an increasingly complex supply chain. Panelists will discuss a variety of available and emerging mechanisms for preventing organic fraud, including Blockchain, organic-approved fumigation, and upgrades to electronic organic certificate management.

Private Sector Solutions to Increasing Organic Seed Usage | 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Speakers: Andrew Black; Heron Breen, Fedco Seeds; Micaela Colley, Organic Seed Alliance; Kristina Hubbard, Organic Seed Alliance; Logan Peterman, Organic Valley; Gwendolyn Wyard

The availability of organic seed and planting stock has dramatically increased, yet further improvement is needed. From improving regulatory frameworks to strengthen and clarify organic seed requirements to increased investments in research, education, and resources, this interactive workshop explores private sector solutions to expanding organic seed usage. Panelists will focus on how to develop the relationship and commitment between organic food processors, growers, and seed providers.

Organic Trade Association Board Member David Lively of Organically Grown Company is organizing an Organic Trade Association social at Organicology on Friday, February 15th at 5:00 p.m, taking place at the Hilton in Broadway I/II. 

But What has the Organic Trade Association Done for Me Lately?
Ever wonder exactly what the Organic Trade Association (OTA) does, or how its efforts benefit you?  Or maybe you are one of those of the opinion that the OTA’s activities only serve the needs of “the big boys” and not the historic trade and the organic grower base? Here is a chance to sharpen you awareness of the many challenges facing the organic movement and trade, and learn how our most significant national organization takes them on. This event, sponsored by OTA members from the fresh produce sector, will feature OTA Executive Director Laura Batcha in a Q&A session covering the broad range of concerns and activities that occupy the OTA’s staff and members on a daily basis. The setting is casual and the refreshments first rate. This event is open to both members and non-members. Please join us for an enlightening discussion!

Conference Information:

February 14-16, 2019

Hilton Portland Downtown

Portland, OR

8:00am to 5:00pm
 
 
 
 
OFRF Organic Agriculture Research Forum

OFRF Organic Agriculture Research Forum

Saturday, February 16, 2019 - 9:00am to 5:00pm

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) Organic Agriculture Research Forum will be taking place on February 16, 2019 in Portland, Oregon, in partnership with Organicology. The day-long forum will feature innovative presentations from researchers across all disciplines related to organic farming and food systems. The intent of the forum is to share the most current information with farmers, ranchers, extensionists, educators, agricultural professionals, and others interested in organic agriculture.

Jessica Shade, The Organic Center's Director of Science Programs, will be speaking at the Forum about The Organic Center's work with examining the impacts of organic on climate change. Jessica will speak on a climate change panel from 1:30pm-1:50pm discussing the real impact of organic agriculture on climate change, and adjusting LCA data to more fully account for organic systems.

For more information, contact Jessica Shade

Forum Information:

February 16, 2019

Hilton Portland Downtown

Portland, OR

- 9:00am to 5:00pm
 
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Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Annual Meeting

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Annual Meeting

Monday, February 18, 2019 - 8:00am to Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 5:00pm

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Annual Meeting will take place in Izmir, Turkey from February 18-20, 2019. 

The GOTS Regional Seminar will take place on Monday, February 18 from 9:30am - 5:30pm. Through focused and challenging discussions, this one-day seminar shall address pressing issues relevant to the organic textiles industry. It shall equip participants with best practices and know-how relating to the biggest opportunities – and challenges – help to transform their supply chains to achieve efficiency through sustainability. Along with speakers from the international GOTS team, it will also bring together top business leaders, brands, social and chemical compliance experts and practitioners, certification bodies and manufacturers, offering the exciting opportunity for a thorough exchange of experience and ideas.

The Organic Trade Association's VP of Regulatory and Technical Affairs, Gwendolyn Wyard, as well as the Organic Trade Association's Farm Policy Director, Johanna Mirenda, will be attending the meeting. For more information, contact Johanna Mirenda

Meeting Information: 

February 18-20, 2019 

Movenpick Hotel

Izmir, Turkey 

8:00am to 5:00pm
 
 
USDA's 2019 Agricultural Outlook Forum

USDA's 2019 Agricultural Outlook Forum

Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 8:00am to Friday, February 22, 2019 - 5:00pm

“Growing Locally, Selling Globally” is the theme of USDA’s 95th Agricultural Outlook Forum. The Feb. 21-22 conference will feature sessions on global trade trends, innovations in agriculture, developments in animal and crop biotechnology and frontiers in conservation as well as the 2019 outlooks for food and commodity markets.

Organic is on the agenda on Friday February 22 at 2:45pm. Catherine Greene, Senior Agricultural Economist, ERS-USDA,will present the U.S. Outlook for Organic Agriculture, discussing consumer demand for organic food, and examine market trends and outlook for U.S. organic grains, dairy, poultry and specialty crops. Click here to review the full Forum agenda

Conference Information:

February 21-22, 2019

Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel 

Arlington, VA

8:00am to 5:00pm
 
 
 
 
 
 
MOSES Organic Farming Conference

MOSES Organic Farming Conference

Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 8:00am to Saturday, February 23, 2019 - 5:00pm

The Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) will host the 2019 MOSES Organic Farming Conference February 21-23 in La Crosse, WI. This Conference is the largest event in the U.S. about organic and sustainable farming, offering 66 workshops over 6 sessions, inspiring keynotes, engaging roundtables, and a resource-packed exhibit hall with over 170 vendors. Organic University, day 1 of the conference, provides full-day courses that dig deeper into specific farming topics.

Melody Meyer, founder of Source Organic, will present the following sessions at the Conference on behalf of the Organic Trade Association. 

International Trade | Friday, February 22, 3:30pm
Speaker: Melody Meyer

The global organic marketplace is constantly shifting, making your farm products more or less desirable. Gain an understanding of the global marketplace and learn how to interpret its forecast so you can make better decisions about what to grow and market.

Organic Check-Off | Saturday, February 23, 8:30am
Speakers: Melody Meyer, Jim Riddle, Kathleen Delate

Since the USDA halted a mandatory organic check-off to fund research and promotion of organic, members of the organic sector are looking at a voluntary check-off program called GRO Organic. Learn about this option and hear different perspectives on the need for organic research, promotion, and consumer education. Weigh in with your own “big idea” to advance organic.

The Organic Center's Science Project Manager, Amber Sciligo, will be presenting the following session at the Conference:

Beyond Till vs No-Till | Saturday, February 23, 10:30am
Speaker: Amber Sciligo

Intensive agriculture practices have depleted our soils and accelerated climate change, but the good news is practices employed by organic farmers can rebuild soil. Learn about cutting-edge research on organic’s soil-building potential and strategies you can use on your farm to help mitigate climate change.

For more information, contact Adrienne Messe.

Conference Information: 

February 21-23, 2019

La Crosse Center

La Crosse, WI

8:00am to 5:00pm
 
 
 
 
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CCOF Annual Meeting & Conference

CCOF Annual Meeting & Conference

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 8:00am

The CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) Annual Conference will be taking place on February 27, 2019 in Fresno, CA. The theme for the 2019 Annual Membership Meeting is "Organic Generation: The Next Era."

The Organic Trade Association's CEO/Executive Director, Laura Batcha, will be speaking at the Conference from 11:25a.m. - 12:00p.m. on "What Generations are Eating", this session will cover market trends and how they will impact the future of the organic sector. 

For more information contact Gwendolyn Wyard

Conference Information: 

February 27, 2019

Fresno DoubleTree Hilton Hotel

Fresno, CA

- 8:00am
 
 
 
 
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