To protect and advocate for consumers’ right to safe, healthful food and other consumer products, a just food and farming system and an environment rich in biodiversity and free of pollutants.
Who we are
OCA is an online and grassroots 501(c)3 nonprofit public interest organization, and the only organization in the U.S. focused exclusively on promoting the views and interests of the nation’s estimated 50 million consumers of organically and socially responsibly produced food and other products.
What we do
OCA educates and advocates on behalf of organic consumers, engages consumers in marketplace pressure campaigns, and works to advance sound food and farming policy through grassroots lobbying. We address crucial issues around food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children’s health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability, including pesticide use, and other food- and agriculture-related topics.
In the U.S., OCA education campaigns reach more than two million consumers and organic businesses either through our newsletter, our social media networks or mainstream and progressive news outlets. Our U.S. and international policy board is broadly representative of the organic, family farm, environmental, and public interest community.
What we support
• Policy reforms that shift agricultural subsidies and appropriations away from industrial monoculture commodity crop farming and industrial meat and dairy production toward support for farmers transitioning to an organic regenerative paradigm that improves public health, revives strong local economies, renews biodiversity, reduces environmental pollution and restores climate stability.
• Strong standards for USDA Organic certification and the strict enforcement of those standards, including the requirement that organic farmers maintain or improve the physical, chemical and biological condition of their soil, and that animals raised for food must be treated humanely. OCA also supports strong standards for “beyond organic” or regenerative organic standards, such as the Regenerative Organic Certification being developed by the Rodale Institute and the Savory Institute’s Land to Market (L2M) Program.
• Global Fair Trade and economic justice policies that promote job security, fair wages, safe working conditions, and dignity and economic independence for laborers and farmers, in contrast to corporate-driven “Free Trade” policies that almost exclusively benefit multinational corporations.
• A global moratorium on genetically engineered foods and crops, and on the widespread use of pesticides in food production.
• Corporate accountability, including truth and transparency in food labeling and marketing and full disclosure of the health and environmental impact of corporate products and practices.
• The phase-out of factory farms, including: the elimination of GMO animal feed, toxic pesticides, antibiotics and other drugs in meat, poultry and dairy production; the end of dangerous and unjust factory farm labor practices; the end of unfair contracts that enrich huge corporations and put small family farms at risk of bankruptcy; and the end of inhumane treatment of animals.
• Universal healthcare with an emphasis on nutrition, disease prevention, and natural health and wellness promotion.
• In solidarity with the majority of Americans, we support end of corporate money in politics and the return to a democratic government that is for the people, by the people, of the people.
A brief history
OCA was founded by Ronnie Cummins and Rose Welch in 1998, in Finland, Minnesota, in the wake of the mass backlash by organic consumers against the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s controversial proposal to allow genetic engineering, irradiation and toxic sewage sludge in organic production and products. Through OCA’s Safeguard Organic Standards Campaign and collaboration with other organizations, OCA successfully mobilized hundreds of thousands of consumers to pressure the USDA and organic companies to preserve strict organic standards.