Sep 12, 2023
OTA to spotlight organic trends, issues at Expo East

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is partnering with New Hope Network at this year’s Natural Products Expo East to offer a wide-ranging set of education sessions spotlighting some of the hottest trends and most critical issues in today’s organic sector.

Some of the questions include: What makes a consumer choose organic? How important are the USDA Organic label and other labels for the grocery buyer? What are the big issues and challenges facing the organic sector? How will organic fare in the new Farm Bill, and how is organic preparing for sweeping new federal regulations going into effect next year? How can organic help agriculture become more resilient to climate change? What are the latest trends in the suddenly hot beverage aisle?

Organic Trade Association logo

Answers to those questions will be addressed in four sessions on Sept. 21 at the trade show, which is scheduled for Sept. 20-23 in Philadelphia.

“Expo East always attracts thousands of attendees, and OTA will have a strong presence at this premier event,” Tom Chapman, OTA’s CEO, said in a news release. “Our education sessions will delve into the opportunities and challenges facing organic businesses, the concerns and questions of organic consumers, and provide new insights into the organic sector.”

Chapman is part of a panel at the “Inside Organic: Elevating the Benefits of Organic from Seed to Shelf” education session. The session brings together top organic experts and policy makers who will dive into the latest organic research, policies and initiatives shaping the organic marketplace and tackle the issues that can be a barrier to organic certification.

Joining Chapman will be Jennifer Tucker, deputy administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program and Jeff Tkach, CEO of Rodale Institute. The panel will address critical topics for the organic industry, such as the new Strengthening Organic Enforcement rule, the upcoming farm bill and the importance of pairing “regenerative” with organic.

Sherry Frey, vice president of Total Wellness, NielsenIQ, will share insights on today’s organic consumer, while Tucker will lead a discussion on market development, branding and regulatory issues.

Other organic sessions being offered are:

Natural Products Expo East logo

  • Sustainable Harvests: Strategies for Supply Resilience & Business Prosperity
    From regenerative organic practices that increase the climate resilience of crops to finance models that grow the health and well-being of farming communities, an expert panel will look at how the natural products industry can shore up agricultural supply and economic resilience for years ahead.
  • A Thirst for Change: Beverage Innovations in Natural & Organic
    Drinks are a hub of innovation, and this category is often the first place a trend presents itself – be it an emerging ingredient, lifestyle choice, or dietary preference – before fanning out to the other aisles of the store. This session will examine what’s trending in the segment, why shoppers are willing to experiment here, where the most organic ingredient innovation is occurring and more. The session starts at 1 p.m. on Sept. 21.
  • From Labels to Loyalty: Understanding What Resonates With Consumers
    Organic and marketing experts will discuss what is driving consumer decision-making in the aisle. From certifications and labels with strong market recognition to the importance of community and storytelling, many factors impact where shoppers place their loyalty and trust.

The full expo agenda is available here.

Based in Washington, DC, OTA is North America’s membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products. A leading voice for the organic trade, OTA represents more than 10,000 organic businesses. Members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers’ associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants and retailers. OTA’s mission is to promote and protect organic products.

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