Organic Trade Association to lead panel discussion at United Fresh 2014

Leaders will explore impact of organic produce sales on overall produce growth

United Fresh 2014What does it mean for fresh fruit and vegetable sales that almost a quarter of the carrots now being purchased in U.S. grocery stores are organic? What impact does the promotion of organic agriculture have on the overall fresh produce market?

Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) Executive Director and CEO Laura Batcha and two other organic industry leaders will explore how innovation in the organic sector has benefitted non-organic producers and the growth in overall fruit and vegetable consumption in a panel discussion on Wednesday at the United Fresh 2014 show in Chicago at the McCormick Place Convention Center.

Co-sponsored by OTA, the session entitled “Expanding Organic Sales’ Impact on Overall Produce Growth” will feature Batcha, along with Todd Linsky, Vice President of Organic Sales at Grimmway Farms/Cal-Organic Farms, the biggest organic carrot grower in the nation, and Michael Hollister Sr., Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Driscoll’s, the world’s largest distributor of organic fresh berries.

In the discussion scheduled for 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. today, the three organic leaders will present facts about historic sales of both conventional and organic produce, as well as current trends in fruit and vegetable consumption.

Of the more than $32 billion worth of organic food sold last year in U.S. grocery stores, organic fruits and vegetables accounted for close to 40 percent of those sales. Sales of organic fruits and vegetables totaled $11.6 billion in 2013, jumping 15 percent from the previous year.
The panel presentation promises to be informative and of interest to anyone watching developments in consumer purchases of fruits and vegetables in the United States.

For more information about the trade show and how to register, please go to

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for organic trade in the United States, representing over 6,500 organic businesses across 49 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers’ associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA’s Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA’s mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.

Contact: Maggie McNeil (; 202-403-8514 or 202-615-7997)


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