Organic Trade Association receives $3M from USDA to boost organic exports

The Organic Trade Association will be promoting American organic products at renowned events spanning the globe throughout 2020.

December 16, 2019

6 Min Read
Organic Trade Association receives $3M from USDA to boost organic exports

The Organic Trade Association will be showcasing American organic products at events throughout the world next year, from the world’s biggest organic trade show in Germany and the largest trade show in the Gulf Region, to the leading retail shows in the Pacific Rim, Australia and Canada.
Bolstered by awards totaling almost $3 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Organic Trade Association’s robust export promotion efforts in 2020 and beyond will return to tested venues to build on earlier successes and participate for the first time in exciting and potentially significant new markets.
USDA announced on Thursday the award of $812,786 to the Organic Trade Association by the agency’s Market Access Program (MAP). The association received funds totaling $1,127,085 from USDA’s Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) program earlier in the year. The ATP funds are to be used over the course of three years.
The Organic Trade Association also has received funding for two Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) programs. The first project, funded with $268,400 to be used over two years, will develop an equivalency application template for other countries to use when applying for organic equivalency with the U.S. The second TASC project, funded with $687,000 for a three-year period, revolves around the changing regulations in the European Union and possible impacts on U.S. organic exporters.
“The significant export promotion funding from USDA is allowing the Organic Trade Association to both explore new markets and dig in deeper where we have seen success in recent years,” said Alexis Carey, Manager of International Trade for the association. “Right now, U.S. companies are uniquely situated to expand and diversify the global organic marketplace, and we want to enable them to take advantage of the numerous opportunities available.” 
The Organic Trade Association has been an official cooperator in USDA’s Market Access Program for almost 20 years now–investing in the promotion of American organic agricultural products in global markets and connecting buyers and sellers to create new organic customers around the world.

Taking US-grown organic around the world 

International activities spearheaded by the trade association reached new heights in 2019 with the advent of additional funding from USDA. By the end of this year, the Organic Trade Association will have led 11international events in seven different countries, from Asia to the Middle East, Europe, and South America.  
Between the Market Access Program and Agricultural Trade Promotion Program funding, over $1 million in USDA export promotion funding was put to good use in attending domestic and international trade shows, leading trade missions and buyer missions, and conducting consumer promotion activities in Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, and the U.A.E.

At the Anuga trade show in Cologne, Germany, the largest food and beverage trade show in the world, the Organic Trade Association hosted an Organic Pavilion showcasing organic products from 12 American organic companies – nine of which were new to the show. The participating companies estimated that they generated over $13 million in new sales at the show. A successful trade mission to Seoul, Korea, in November resulted in projected new sales of over $7 million for the four participating companies. In early December, four organic companies participated in a trade mission to the Middle East Natural and Organic show in Dubai where they met with regional buyers and learned more about export opportunities to the Gulf region.

Another full schedule of organic activities spanning the globe is planned for 2020:

  • In Germany, the Organic Trade Association will host its large Organic Pavilion at the BioFach World Organic Fair, the world’s leading organic food show. The Organic Trade Association will showcase 14 member companies, and will also have speaking sessions during the event’s congress.

  • From Germany, the Organic Trade Association will travel to Dubai with six organic companies to participate for the first time in Gulfood, the largest trade show in the Gulf Region. Drawing visitors from some 200 countries, the event is an exciting new export prospect in a region that is experiencing significant organic sales growth.

  • In Tokyo, the Organic Trade Association will return to the FoodEx Japan show after record success in 2019 with a larger pavilion to accommodate eight U.S. organic exporters. 

  • The Food and Hotel Asia show in Singapore will be another first, which the trade association will attend with eight U.S. organic companies. This show draws buyers from major Pacific Rim countries such as Japan and Korea, and also Southeast Asian countries. 

  • Canada is the largest export market for U.S. organic products, and the Organic Trade Association will lead five American organic companies to SIAL Canada in Montreal in April.

  • In the U.K. and the EU, the Organic Trade Association is collaborating with Foreign Agricultural Service offices in London and The Hague to lead for the first time an organic trade mission to these two regions in conjunction with the Free From Functional Food Expo in Amsterdam. This event will give U.S. exporters a better understanding of the European market and two major import centers. Sign-up for this trade mission is coming soon.

  • In the “Land Down Under,” the Organic Trade Association will lead a small group of U.S. organic exporters to the big Fine Food Australia trade show in Melbourne for the first time. Australia’s developed market presents an opportunity for U.S. organic processed products. Sign-up for this trade show is coming soon.

  • In France, the Organic Trade Association will attend two headline events -- the IFOAM World Congress in Rennes, France, and SIAL Paris, the largest trade show in the world for food and beverage products. There, the trade association will host a group of U.S. organic exporters and meet with buyers from around the world. Sign-up for SIAL Paris is coming soon.

  • In South Korea, Mexico, Japan, UAE, and South America, the Organic Trade Association will partner with local retailers to promote U.S. organic products in retail stores, through seminars, or other organic-centered events.

  • In the U.S., the Organic Trade Association will again host a buyers’ mission in Monterey, Calif, at the Organic Produce Summit after massive success in 2019. Buyers will be invited from Mexico and the Pacific Rim for one-on-one meetings with U.S. exporters. Buyers’ missions will also be coordinated at the Natural Products Expo West and Expo East trade shows. Sign up for the Organic Produce Summit Buyers’ Mission,  Expo West Buyers’ Mission, and Expo East Buyers’ Mission.

The membership of the Organic Trade Associations provides the bulk of U.S. organic exports. The market promotion activities administered by the association are open to the entire organic industry, not just association members.

Source: The Organic Trade Association

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