OTA is facilitating an industry-wide conversation to evaluate the merits of pursuing a Research and Promotion Program for organic. Research and Promotion Programs are quasi-government entities where an industry self-pools funds, and democratically determines how the funds will be collected and used. Some familiar examples have produced the "Got-Milk" and "The Incredible Edible Egg" promotions.
In order to distinguish organic in the market place, grow demand, and help the consumer understand all that organic delivers, OTA believes that additional resources and coordination beyond those currently available to the organic sector are required. Today, a check-off program is not an option for the organic industry and in fairness with competing products in the market place, it should be. OTA is advancing a legislative proposal that:
• Does not establish an organic check-off program, but importantly it does remove two impediments that currently prevent the Department of Agriculture from even considering an organic check-off petition from the industry:o These impediments are removed by: 1) clarifying that organic products, as a class, qualify under the check-off program, which has been used only for single commodities in the past; and 2) allowing organic farmers and handlers who otherwise would be covered under both an organic and a conventional check-off program to choose whether to continue to contribute to the conventional check-off programs or to contribute to an organic check-off program should USDA approve an organic check-off program at a later date.• Does put organic and other commodities on equal footing:o Today, any commodity group can petition USDA to establish a check-off program but the organic industry cannot. By removing the above two barriers, the organic industry will have the same opportunity to petition USDA as other groups have.• Does allow and require a full discussion within the industry about the pros and cons of a check-off program; two-thirds industry support must be demonstrated:o Nothing in the OTA legislative proposal would override existing statutory and regulatory protections. The organic industry would remain subject to all the requirements for a check-off petition, including that the industry conduct a referendum and demonstrate super-majority support before a check-off could proceed.
Passage of the OTA legislative proposal would not make an organic check-off program a foregone conclusion, but it would make an organic check-off program an option.
OTA is fully committed to engaging all stakeholders across the organic value chain—farmers, ranchers, handlers, processors, and retailers—in the discussion of the merits and concerns about evaluating the opportunity of an organic research and promotion program. In order to do this we are hosting a series of Town Hall meetings and webinars to explain the process and gather input.
We are seeking an infographic to visually explain the pathway to an Organic Research and Promotion Program, including all the "go" and "no go" decision points and built in checks in the sytem that ensure a collaborative and transparent decison making process.
At this point, we are not seeking a "101 style" infographic that explains what a Research and Promotion Program is, rather, we are are seeking a visual that illustrates the specific pathway as laid out in the associated flow chart. We are ultimatelylooking for an infographic of the content outlined in the document titled DRAFTFlowChart. We do not need any additional context (provided above for your refence/understanding) for the audience since this visual will be presented within the context of an in-person or online presentation.
We would like if the infographic had an agricultural theme if at all possible. Perhaps a farm scene with "gateways" that show where decisions are made. Those main decision gateways are the parts of the flow chart that are outlined in green.
In addition to the flow chart we have provided 15 examples of other infographics that may lend themselves well to creative inspiration for what we are seeking. OTA's Director of Communications, Tessa Young (firstname.lastname@example.org) is available to answer questions via email or on the phone from interested designers.