The Organic Processing and Trade Association (OPTA) has been founded as the first European association for organic trade companies and processors.
According to Volkert Engelsman, general manager of Eosta, and OPTA board member: “the association’s goal is to further the development of organic food and agriculture in Europe, in close cooperation with our customers, growers and other partners in the supply chain.”
Engelsman says the new association has an important social task, “the organic food and agricultural system with its strong values is best equipped to lead the transition to a more sustainable food system. The current system of food production, which is driven by externalising costs, is a dead-end. The OPTA will encourage the sustainable innovation and quality development of organic products, based on the principles of the organic movement: ecology, health, care and fairness. We need a powerful supply chain with active processors and trade companies to build a future-proof food and agricultural system in Europe.”
OPTA’s management comprises 15 founding members, with six coming from the Netherlands. One of OPTA’s goals is to represent the organic sector to politicians in Brussels. The new organisation will work closely with existing national and European lobby organisations, as well as the IFOAM EU Group.
Although the European organic food industry has grown in stature over the last two decades, it remains fragmented. Ecovia believes OPTA is a positive step and it could become the voice of an increasingly influential organic sector.
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Source: News Release / Ecovia (14/06)