RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA — Nature’s Path Foods, producer of breakfast and snack foods in more than 50 countries, has broken away from the Organic Trade Association (O.T.A.). This follows the company voicing concern that the O.T.A. has shifted its commitment away from organic products due to a misrepresentation of organic food companies, its support of a G.M.O. labeling law and of hydroponics being allowed to fall under the organic certification label.
“Our departure from the O.T.A. is an act of protest to raise awareness of our concern that the important role organic plays to support the health of consumers and our planet is being compromised,” said Arran Stephens, co-chief executive officer of Nature’s Path. “We believe giant food corporations, that also happen to own small organic brands, use the O.T.A. to influence policy decisions to protect the best interest of their large, non-organic food portfolios.”
Nature’s Path was one of the first certified organic companies in North America. It has membership with the Canadian Organic Trade Association, and funds research by the Organic Center, the Organic Farmers Association and the Rodale Institute.
The company plans to continue its support of the organic movement by starting a public campaign on social media and calling for consumers to sign a petition before July 3, the date the G.M.O. bill closes.
“We are committed to rebuilding what we believe is lost, by being a strong voice to ensure that organic continues to change food and agriculture for the better,” Mr. Stephens said. “From using our social channels to raise awareness and action, to investing in research, farmers and organic associations that closer reflect our vision for organic, we will publicly work to protect and enhance the health of both people and planet.”