OTA wants Biden pick for Ag Secretary to ‘amplify organic’s voice’


US industry group the Organic Trade Association has welcomed reported choice of former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as US Secretary of Agriculture under President-elect Joe Biden.

In a statement, the OTA said that Vilsack  “understands the importance and great potential of the American organic sector”. It notes that, as Agriculture Secretary in the Obama administration, Vilsack recognized the important role of thew organic industry declaring the it was “creating important opportunities for farmers and ranchers and adding to the vibrancy of rural America”.During Vilsack ’s tenure, the OTA notes, the US saw a period of unprecedented growth for organic farmers and businesses.

But the OTA warned that the US faced “deep challenges” and needed “a food system that recognizes the needs of all farmers, eaters and workers; a food system that recognizes the role that agriculture can play in helping to mitigate climate change. It is imperative that the incoming administration look to the future”. The group said it wanted to work with the incoming Agriculture Secretary to “amplify organic’s voice in these critical issues”. 

“The Organic Trade Association looks forward to working with Mr Vilsack to reinvest in organic agriculture”

The OTA statement continued: “Organic has made great strides since the enactment of the Organic Foods Production Act 30 years ago, and has always been at the forefront of transparency and sustainability in food systems. But there is still much room for improvement. The sector needs partners in government to help advance organic standards, and to help fulfill the promise of a fair resilient food system. 

“The Organic Trade Association looks forward to working with Mr. Vilsack to reinvest in organic agriculture and move our nation toward economic stability for farmers and rural communities, improve access to healthy food and foster a more climate-friendly system of farming. We are eager to work together with Mr. Vilsack to address the challenges facing all of food and agriculture.”