OTA Holding Virtual Fly-In on Climate Change

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OTA Holding Virtual Fly-In on Climate Change

By Bridget Goldschmidt - 09/18/2020
OTA Holding Virtual Fly-In on Climate Change
OTA’s first-ever virtual fly-in, on the issue of climate change, is also its first devoted to a single topic.

In the age of COVID-19, there have been virtual conventions, conferences, trade shows and awards ceremonies – so why not congressional fly-ins? The Organic Trade Association (OTA) will host just such an event Sept. 21-Oct. 2 to address climate change.

Almost 60 organic stakeholders from across the United States, representing all points in the supply chain, will digitally converge on Capitol Hill to speak with lawmakers about climate change and how the organic industry can help with the issue.

The event will not only be OTA’s first-ever virtual fly-in, but also its first devoted to a single topic.

“Climate change is a real threat to all of us, and bold policy solutions are required to mitigate the impacts and help farmers and communities adapt to the changing climate,” said Laura Batcha, CEO and executive director of Washington, D.C.-based OTA. “We are grateful to our members for their engagement, especially as many of them are struggling with the devastating results of climate change in their areas in the form of wildfires. They’re still contributing their valuable time to take part in virtual meetings with dozens of House and Senate lawmakers and their staff, and advocate for meaningful climate action.” 

Attendees will work in small teams with other OTA members at 30 pre-scheduled virtual meetings with federal lawmakers and their staffs. Participating organic operations include Amy’s Kitchen, Pipeline Foods, Lundberg Family Farm, Cliff Bar, Organic Valley, Applegate, Danone North America, Stonyfield, Patagonia Works, True Organics and CCOF.

A recent white paper from OTA on organic’s ability to mitigate climate change identifies policy opportunities and makes specific recommendations to boost the role of organic in the climate change discussion, support organic farmers and urge the transition to organic farming.

“Congress is showing a renewed interest in climate policy, and momentum for transformative action to prevent the most devastating impacts of climate change is happening now,” said Megan DeBates, OTA’s director of legislative affairs and coalitions. “It’s important that our members reach out to Congress now to begin the important discussions to advance organic in climate policy, and to develop policies that will enable all to benefit from organic’s ability to mitigate climate change.”

The climate change fly-in's sponsors are Patagonia Works, Applegate, True Organics. and Organic Valley.

OTA represents more 9,500 organic businesses across 50 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others