Matthew Holmes, Executive Director of the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA), has been elected to the World Board of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). He is the first Canadian to be elected to the World Board. COTA is the exclusive affiliate of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), representing the organic sector in North America.
Holmes was elected for a three-year term by the majority of IFOAM members in the first round of voting Oct. 4 at IFOAM’s World Congress held in South Korea. The resulting final Board of ten members was selected from 20 candidates. Board members elected represent Africa, North America, Oceania, Asia, South America, and Europe.
The World Board is responsible for setting the direction, strategy and advocacy priorities of IFOAM.
“Through my work at COTA, I have worked to bridge the organic sectors in North America through cooperation and trade equivalency. I now hope to bring that experience to the world stage and ensure that we continue to speak as one on the issues facing organic farmers, businesses and consumers around the world,” Holmes said.
He added, “Organic agriculture offers compelling answers to the complex issues facing the world today—whether hunger, land sovereignty, environmental degradation or the threat of GMOs in the food chain. I am proud to be part of the organic movement, and will work to ensure our voice is heard.”
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America, affiliated with the Canada Organic Trade Association. OTA’s members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA’s Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.