July , 2019
For immediate release
The European association Organic Processing and Trade Association (OPTA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the American association, Organic Trade Association (OTA). The two associations sharing the general values of organic farming, recognize that organic agriculture and food systems rely on ecosystem management rather than external inputs. Organic agriculture is based on
natural cycles and ecological based management of the system. The signing of the MoU arrives after a dialogue started with a workshop organized by OPTA held during the BIOFACH fair in February 2019, in which OTA took part.
The organic food system is based on a holistic understanding of farm practices and food quality. Additionally, careful processing and fair trading practices are important elements. This specifies management practices that maintain and increase long-term soil fertility and biodiversity, prevent pest and diseases by natural, and provide a wide range of high-quality organic foods is delivering common goods
like better carbon management, biodiversity protection, minimised chemical pollution and a more healthy nutrition.
During the Open Dialogue Day, the OPTA members discussed solutions and improvements for several key issues in the organic sector, such as import regulations, supply chain management and dealing with residue cases. To support this dialogue, OPTA had invited independent experts from FiBL, IFOAM and EOCC to share insights and to lead the discussions.
“We are very happy to formalize with this MoU the exchange of information between the two associations as well as the sharing of knowledge”, said Benedetta Merlo, OPTA EU Association’s manager. “Many issues addressed by our association are shared with our American colleagues, we believe that by linking our members with those of OTA we can create excellent synergies.”
The two associations will be together at the SANA fair in Bologna, where they will attend in the panel of discussion the workshop “Quality for the future: how to upscale organic production” organized by the Italian association Federbio together with that of the Dutch colleagues, Bionext. The meeting, to be held on Saturday 7 September will address issues related to the main challenges that the organic sector, in Europe and US, will face in the coming years.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is an independent non-profit membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America.
OTA’s mission is to promote and protect organic with a unifying voice that serves to engage its diverse members from farm to marketplace. OTA’s vision is to grow organic to achieve excellence in agriculture and commerce, protect the environment and enhance community well-being. OTA recognizes the closeness of interests with the European association and is happy to start collaborating.
OPTA was founded in 2017 by a group of industry leaders in the organic processing and trade sector. OPTA works together with its members to share expertise, to encourage uniform interpretation of the organic legislation and to support EU policy making, with the aim of strengthening the organic sector.
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