A National Organic Promotion Program
May Be the Critical Key to Driving
Consumer Awareness in America
A Discussion with Christine Bushway from the Organic Trade Association,
Members of the Program’s Steering Committee and Huw Bowles
from U.K.’s Organic Trade Board
Most of those reading this article wouldn’t argue with the fact that there is a huge need to educate consumers on or- ganic. Many studies have shown that the majority of the U.S. population doesn’t even really understand what the
term “organic” means, let alone the long list of benefits it
offers when it comes to health and the environment.
The fact is, if we are going to get more Americans to
vote with their dollars for organic, we, the organic industry, have to first collectively invest our own dollars to get
our message into the mainstream so consumers understand why organic is worth it. Grassroots efforts and
word of mouth have
All those in favor of getting the organic message out to more Americans, raise your fork!
taken us this far, but now it’s time for the organic industry
to bring out the megaphone. To reach the masses, we
need a national marketing campaign.
Creating a megaphone for the organic message was the
Organic Trade Association’s goal when it started work on
the Organic Research and Promotion Program in 2011.
Also known as a “Market Research and Promotion Order,”
the program would be a directive from the U.S. Depart-
ment of Agriculture (USDA) that enlists all eligible or-
ganic companies to contribute a small amount to a pool of
funds used to promote the organic industry as a
whole. OTA conservatively projects that around
$30 million could be generated through this
program per year, which then could be used
for everything from television,
print, radio and online