The Organic Processing and Trade Association, new trade association aimed at accelerating the progress of organic food and farming in Europe was formally inaugurated in Milan, Italy, this week.
Commenting on the development, OPTA chair Volkert Engelsman, CEO of organic fruit and vegetable distributor Eosta, said: “The goal of our association is to empower the progress of organic food and farming in Europe in close cooperation with our customers, the organic farmers and other parts of the organic chain.”
According to Engelsman, the new association has an important social task. “The multi-values-included organic food and farming system is best equipped to lead the transfer to a sustainable food system. The current food and farming system, which is based on externalising costs, is running at a dead end.”
Engelsman added: “OPTA will stimulate the sustainable innovation and quality development of organic products, based on the organic principles as set up by the organic movement: ccology, health, Care and fairness. What we need is a powerful organic supply chain with active processors and traders working toward a future proof food system in Europe.”
OPTA’s board comprises five members from four European countries. One its aims is to present the organic sector as a mayor economic player in Brussels. The new association will work closely with already established organic lobby organisations at national and European level. A loose collaboration is intended with IFOAM EU Group, the EU department of the international organic umbrella IFOAM.
OPTA’s founding members are: Board members: The Organic Factory (Italy), EOSTA BV (The Netherlands), SIA Aloja Starkelsen (Latvia), Tradin Organic Agriculture BV (The Netherlands) and Hipp (Germany). Other founding member are: DO-IT BV (The Netherlands), Aboca S.p.a. Società Agricola (Italy), De Groene Weg/Vion (The Netherlands), Freiland Puten Fahrenzhausen (Germany), Green organics (The Netherlands), Grupo Fileni (Italy), La Sanfermese Spa (Italy), L.D.C. (France), Ulrich Walter GmbH (Germany), Toppas (The Netherlands).