As demand for organic products made in the U.S. increases globally, the Organic Trade Association is rolling out resources to support the industry’s rapid growth.
The global organic trade market is on the verge of reaching more than $100 billion by 2015, and the Organic Trade Association says American producers have a lot to do with that. So its newest resources aim to keep them connected with the expanding global marketplace.
“U.S. organic has such a strong brand, not only here in North America, but around the world,” said OTA CEO Laura Batcha. “Other countries want to emulate what we’ve done here, so it makes our U.S. companies’ products really attractive to overseas markets.”
In developing a series of new online resources, the association set out to help members seize the opportunity to leverage that brand strength. “What we can do is help the business community shortcut a number of steps in terms of being able to quickly understand where the opportunities are, what the regulatory challenges are, and help them get to qualified buyers, and vice versa,” Batcha said.
“One of our top priorities is to keep these resources always current—that’s the key to these being a value over time to an industry.”
At last week’s Natural Products EXPO West tradeshow, OTA unveiled a new Global Organic Trade Guide that includes a market data section and an interactive map tool that will display global organic trade regulatory information in real time. And its new U.S. Organic Export Directory will give qualified global buyers direct access to U.S. organic producers.
“The whole series of resources are intended to work together,” Batcha said.
At EXPO West, OTA also hosted several global buyers meetings, where U.S. producers met with buyers from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North and South America.
“There was tremendous interest, a lot of sales right onsite, commitments to establish long-term relationships. And there was a lot of talk, particularly, about the value of the trade resource guide amongst our members,” she said. “It really has very quickly become the place that people can go to get their questions answered.”
Batcha said the continued success of the resources will depend on how well OTA can stay on top of new data and ever-changing regulations around the globe.
“One of our top priorities is to keep these resources always current—that’s the key to these being a value over time to an industry,” she said. “We’re investing resources in making sure the latest market research and changes in the regulatory scheme in any country are immediately updated onto our trade resource guide. Also, we’re building out the export guide to include new companies that are coming into the export market. So that’s going to be a big focus for us, this year and going forward, is to keep those resources current all the time.”