Sep 17, 2020
Virtual fly-in on climate change planned by Organic Trade Association
Organic Trade Association

The need to tackle urgent problems never goes away, even in the midst of a global pandemic. Responding to that need, the Organic Trade Association is putting into motion a Congressional fly-in unlike any it’s held in the past to address one of today’s most serious challenges – climate change.

Over two weeks at the end of this month, almost 60 organic stakeholders from across the country representing the entire diverse organic supply chain will “virtually” converge on Capitol Hill to talk with lawmakers about climate change and how organic can be part of the solution to dealing with this pressing and immediate issue.

Hosting its first-ever “virtual” fly-in, and its first fly-in devoted to a single subject, the Organic Trade Association is spearheading the campaign to elevate the voice of organic in climate policies, advance organic as a solution to climate change and to protect organic from the risk of a changing climate.

“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 the Organic Trade Association. “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.”

The Organic Trade Association’s Climate Action Virtual Fly-in will take place Sept. 21 to Oct. 2. Participants will work in small teams with other Organic Trade Association members to attend some 30 pre-scheduled virtual meetings with federal lawmakers and their staff. Lawmakers will get the chance to hear from organic stakeholders ranging from dairy farmers and grain and produce growers to ingredient and baby food makers, food companies, and certifiers. 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, CCOF, and more.

The Organic Trade Association recently released a major report on organic and its ability to mitigate climate change. The white paper identifies policy opportunities and makes specific recommendations to elevate the role of organic in the climate change discussion, support organic farmers and encourage transition to organic farming. It incorporates key principles identified by the Organic Trade Association’s Board of Directors to achieve meaningful climate policy solutions.

“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, Director of Legislative Affairs and Coalitions for the Organic Trade Association. “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 generous sponsors for the climate change fly-in are Patagonia Works, Applegate, True Organics, and Organic Valley.

The Organic Trade Association represents over 9,500 organic businesses across 50 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others.

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