Foreign Ag Service Awards Organic Trade Association More Than $1 Million

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has approved $1,666,000 in Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) funding over five years to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), in partnership with Sustainable Strategies, for projects that analyze and address trade issues for U.S. organic products.

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“This funding will be used to help further understand hurdles that impede the trade of U.S. organic products and help work toward finding solutions to opening trade options for U.S. organic producers,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director.

With the funding, OTA will oversee the development of various comparative GAP analyses and overviews of international markets for U.S. organic products. Comparative GAP analyses are detailed, side-by-side comparisons of the U.S. national organic standards and those of designated countries. Each analysis identifies the barriers to exporting U.S. organic products to specific international specialty markets.

In the first year, FAS will provide $220,000 to the two partners. Activities will include developing and delivering an online International Organic Trade Technical Resource Guide, with resources to help U.S. producers, processors, certifiers and traders of organic products to be successful in export endeavors. In addition, OTA will develop international trade issue assessments and strategic advice, establish an International Organic Equivalency/Technical Trade Barrier Task Force, and provide international organic trade seminars and workshops to support FAS, the U.S. National Organic Program, and U.S. Trade Representative’s Office on behalf of the U.S. organic industry.