The first European Organic Processing and Trade Association, OPTA, was officially formed in Milan yesterday (7 June), with Eosta CEO Volkert Engelsman one of the founding board members.
"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," said Engelsman.
"The multi-values-included organic food and farming system is best equipped to lead the transfer to a sustainable food system," he added. "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: Ecology, 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."
The OPTA board consists of five members from four European countries. The Netherlands have a strong representation in the Association with six out of 15 founding members.
One of the aims of OPTA is to present the organic sector as a major economical player in Brussels. The new association will work closely with already established organic lobby organisations at national and European level. A close collaboration is intended with IFOAM EU Group, the EU department of the international organic umbrella IFOAM.
OPTA’s founding members include The Organic Factory (Italy), Eosta BV(The Netherlands), SIA Aloja Starkelsen (Latvija), Tradin Organic Agriculture B.V. (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).