OCA representatives Ronnie Cummins, Alexis Baden-Mayer, and Molly Blakemore "walked the beat" at Natural Products ExpoEast in Boston this week, putting personal care and cosmetic companies on notice that OCA will soon be launching a boycott of brands that claim to be "organic" but aren’t certified.
Also at ExpoEast, OCA joined the Teamsters and Jobs with Justice to pressure Whole Foods Market and its leading supplier, United Natural Foods, Inc (UNFI). OCA and the Teamsters startled and delighted the crowd at the annual Organic Spirit Awards ceremony by sending aloft a helium balloon-powered banner designating Whole Foods as the recipient of the "Mean-Spirited 365 Days a Year Award" for 2009. Leaflets distributed to the crowd criticized Whole Foods and UNFI as companies that supposedly support Fair Trade, yet oppose workers’ rights and health care for all. Market leaders pay lip service to organics, when in fact two-thirds of their sales are not organic but rather conventional products green-washed and sold at premium prices as "natural." The protest was cut short, however, when the police forced OCA director Ronnie Cummins and other OCA staffers to leave the Convention Center.
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