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OTA Targets New Opportunities With State Agriculture Directors

OTA's Laura Batcha
Laura Batcha

Last updated on June 13th, 2024 at 05:15 pm

Laura Batcha, executive director and CEO of the Organic Trade Association, told the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) Sept. 14 that state agriculture directors are critical in the creation of much-needed policies that provide more choice and opportunity—including the organic option—in today’s U.S. agricultural system.

“This is a great time for farms of all sizes to look at how organic might fit into their operation,” Batcha said. “The State Departments of Agriculture plays a key role in developing and delivering sound public policy that supports diversity in agriculture, including the organic choice for farmers and ranchers of all sizes and backgrounds.

“The greatest challenge facing the $39.1 billion organic industry is how to meet the burgeoning demand for organic food with adequate supply of crops, ingredients and feed. Imports of organic products outpaced exports, amounting to nearly $1.3 billion in 2014. This amounts to a ‘Help Wanted’ message for American farmers. Please support them when they answer this call,” Batcha told the agricultural officials.

Batcha spoke at an OTA-hosted organic lunch for the officials, who have been meeting in Hawaii to discuss key national agricultural policy issues and to network with agricultural stakeholders.

Batcha outlined several key issues and opportunities for OTA and the organic industry to collaborate with the association, including:

• Implementing the new rules of the Food Safety Modernization Act;

• Implementing the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act;

• Increasing the number of organic farmers in the U.S., and increasing organic supply; and

• Improving and making more accessible organic research for farmers and ranchers.

About the author

Shelby Team

The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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