OTA seeks ideas for voluntary ‘check-off-like’ program | TheFencePost.com

OTA seeks ideas for voluntary ‘check-off-like’ program

-The Hagstrom Report

The Organic Trade Association today asked organic stakeholders "to send in their biggest and brightest ideas" on how best to collaboratively design and implement a voluntary industry-invested "check-off-like" program for the organic sector.

The announcement followed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue's decision in May not to proceed with a mandatory checkoff for the organic industry.

The private sector initiative is being called "GRO Organic."

"We want GRO Organic to be a bold and engaged opt-in program that pools resources from everyone who can contribute so that we can collectively address critical needs across the organic sector," said Laura Batcha, executive director and CEO of the Organic Trade Association.

"The need for more investment in organic is widely agreed upon — how we solve for it is what we must now work together to determine."

"We have a saying at Organic Valley — none of us is as smart as all of us," said Melissa Hughes, chief mission officer and general counsel of Organic Valley, who also serves on the GRO Steering Committee.

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"By putting our heads together, and bringing our ideas to the table, the organic industry will continue to be at the center of the good food movement, driving change in agriculture for the health of consumers and the environment."

The deadline if April 20, 2019, for Ideas, which must be submitted by email and can include attachments.