Request for Farmer Feedback on OTA Initiatives

Hi Jamie,

 In planning for 2021, the Organic Trade Association is requesting feedback from farmers for two initiatives we are very excited about: (1) Continuous Improvement and Accountability in Organic Standards and (2) Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the organic community. To be able to hit the ground running our goal is to have results by November 30th.

 Given the valuable input you and your organization provide to the Farmer’s Advisory Council and OTA as a whole, we would greatly appreciate if you could send the surveys to your membership however you feel is appropriate to meet our November 30th deadline. Some suggested language for each survey is below:

 Continuous Improvement and Accountability in Organic Standards

Chickens outside, standards for shampoo, and strategies for avoiding GMO contamination—that’s just a taste of what organic farmers, businesses, and consumers are asking for. In the past 10 years, the organic industry has advanced 20 consensus recommendations for improvements to the organic standards via the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) but USDA has not completed rulemaking on a single one of them. Click here to learn more.

 The failure of government to keep pace with consumers and the industry is harming and fragmenting the market. Inconsistent standards are becoming the status quo. A new framework must be set for advancing federal organic standards to keep up with the marketplace and ensure the credibility of the USDA Organic seal. The Organic Trade Association is prepared to do the legwork, but we want your input.

 The Organic Trade Association is asking all organic stakeholders to fill out this survey and rank each unimplemented NOSB recommendation in order of importance to you. Your responses will help us prioritize what recommendations need to be implemented in the short-term and inform our advocacy efforts.

 Take the Survey Before Nov 30

 Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The Organic Trade Association is requesting input from farmers in their first Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Survey. Unlike some of the membership engagement surveys you may have taken in the past, this survey asks important, though sensitive, demographics like gender identity, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation. OTA wants to hear directly from farmers on how you would like to engage in work to address systemic inequities within our industry. The survey is 100% secure and optional, but your participation will help inform their vision and action plan over the next 3-5 years.

 If you have any questions, please let me know ASAP. We appreciate your support!

 Best,

Ben

__________________________________

Ben Knuth | Policy Associate

Organic Trade Association | OTA.com | @OrganicTrade

Direct: 651.307.9353 | Main: 202.403.8520

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