The 9th annual meeting of the Inter-American Commission for Organic Agriculture was July 17-21, 2017, in Portland, Oregon.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) partnered with USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service to develop an agenda that provided participants with valuable tools they can use in their home countries to support organic agriculture. Meeting participants included government officials from ICOA member countries who are responsible for control and promotion of organic agriculture.
The central mission of ICOA, an inter-governmental organization, is to develop the organic sector in the Americas and facilitate trade. ICOA’s 19 member countries include the United States and many of the U.S.' top Latin American trading partners. ICOA membership is a way for the U.S. to help build strong, well-aligned regulatory systems in Latin America that ensure the integrity of organic imports and reduce trade barriers for U.S. products.
The meeting agenda included working sessions and technical presentations covering a range of topics, from organic materials review and standards development, to strategies to support growth in the sector, and enforcement. Speakers from OTA, the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), and Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO) also gave presentations. Director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Alexis Taylor, addressed the meeting, highlighting the importance of organic agriculture in Oregon’s diverse farming community and rural economy.
Miles McEvoy, Deputy Administrator for the AMS National Organic Program noted that continued engagement with ICOA is central to building knowledge, technical capacity and relationships that support NOP’s work on oversight and facilitating trade. Additionally, hosting this year’s ICOA meeting provided AMS and the U.S. organic community an important opportunity to share their experience developing a global organic control system and supporting a growing industry.
Source: USDA AMS