FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Strategic Alliance to Grow and Protect US Organic Agriculture, NLFR joins OTA as newest member of the association’s Farmer Advisory Council (FAC)
January 25-2022, WASHINGTON, DC – The Organic Trade Association (OTA) and the National Latino Farmers and Ranchers (NLFR) announced today a strategic alliance to strengthen their impact on national public policy. OTA is the leading voice for the organic trade in the US, representing over 9,500 organic businesses across 50 states. NLFR represents BIPOC, Latino farm and ranching advocacy groups, farmworkers transitioning into farm ownership, and small-scale producers across the United States, joined the association this month as the newest member of its Farmer Advisory Council (FAC). FAC serves as a critical link between Organic Trade Association and the farmers and ranchers represented by association members. FAC amplifies organic and transitioning-to-organic farmers’ voices by giving them a direct say in OTA’s policy and priority setting processes. OTA and NLFR strengthen their ability to grow and protect US organic agriculture and policies.
“At the farmers markets, on the farm, and at the store, wherever we are selling, our customers are asking us about whether or not our products are certified organic,” says Rudy Arredondo, Executive Director. “We want to be able to serve more of those customers and to bring that price premium to more of our producers, but our farmers and ranchers need support to make the transition. Our partnership with Organic Trade Association will amplify our advocacy and help us get more BIPOC, Latino producers connected with organic.” More info about NLFR https://www.nlfrta.org/
“This is an important partnership for Organic Trade Association, one that will help us to be a better partner and ally to the many farmers and ranchers out there who are dedicated to sustainable agriculture, but not yet organic certified,” says OTA Executive Director and CEO Laura Batcha. “I’m thrilled to have NLFR as part of the OTA community and look forward to the fresh insights and perspectives they bring to the Farmers Advisory Council.” More info about OTA https://ota.com/
NLFR Deputy Director, farmer and advocate Eugene Pickett, will represent NLFR on the council. As one of just 60 Black farmers in New Mexico, Pickett is dedicated to amplifying the voices of farmers and ranchers of color in his own community and across the country.
NLFR certified organic farmer members whose income from farming is less than $250,000 per year are eligible for OTA’s Farmstead membership and may become a direct member of OTA for $50.00 annually. Farmstead members receive the full benefits of membership to OTA at a reduced membership rate, including the right to vote in its annual Board of Directors election.
A leading voice on agricultural and rural policy, NLFR will work with OTA to up-skill producers about the benefits of organic certification and continue to elevate the underserved farmers and ranchers.