WASHINGTON, D.C., and SANTA CRUZ, California (March 2)-The Organic Trade Association (OTA) and California Certified Organic Farmers Inc. (CCOF) have formed a strategic alliance to strengthen the organic industry’s national public policy effectiveness to benefit the entire organic sector.
Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director and CEO, and Will Daniels, Chair of CCOF’s Board of Directors, are pleased with the member benefits this union will provide.
“This important collaboration enhances the resources and capacity needed to grow and protect U.S. organic agriculture in the current fast-changing political environment,” Bushway and Daniels explained. “As the two leading organic agriculture and trade associations in the United States, we will work together, while remaining independent organizations to leverage the collective reach of our diverse memberships.”
OTA will collaborate with CCOF Inc. to increase the representation of organic producers in federal legislative advocacy. As part of the agreement, OTA recognizes CCOF Inc. as a member of OTA’s new Producers Advisory Council. OTA’s Producers Advisory Council provides OTA with input from organic farmers, ranchers, and growers on matters pertinent to the advancement of organic agriculture. OTA, with a permanent Washington, D.C., office, advocates for the organic industry on the national level. OTA has pledged to support CCOF on its policy positions and political advocacy to protect and encourage organic food and agriculture in the state of California.
With over 470,000 acres in certified organic production, California is the nation’s leading state for organic agriculture. “Now, OTA will bring the voice of over 6,500 organic businesses, more than 2,500 from California alone, to official Washington. Together we will advance organic”, added Bushway. Domestic National Organic Program standards, areas covered under CCOF Certification Services LLC accreditation, are excluded from the agreement.