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OTA, Organic Alliance Promote Mother Earth

ST. PAUL, Minn.--Earth Day 2000 will see consumers from coast to coast learning more about organic agriculture at their mainstream supermarkets, through a marketing campaign developed by The Organic Alliance, based here, and the Organic Trade Association (OTA), in Greenfield, Mass.

More than 500 stores, representing eight to 12 retail chains, are expected to participate in Mother Earth's Organic Food Festival. The promotion is a direct outgrowth of the Organic Food Celebration campaign, held this September, which included 312 mainstream groceries and created 40 million consumer impressions. Mother Earth's promotion will include retail participants from this event (such as King Soopers, Wegman's and Byerly's) as well as new stores such as Stop & Shop in the Northeast and Safeway stores in Oregon and Alaska. Organizers expect the Mother Earth's campaign to create 60 million consumer impressions.

This marks the first time OTA and Alliance have teamed up, bringing marketing and organic expertise to the table. "We're both dedicated to promoting the organic industry, and these retail promotions are the perfect venue to get the message out," said Angela Sterns, executive director for the Alliance. Seconded Katherine DiMatteo, executive director of OTA, "This is an excellent marketing opportunity that will introduce more families and children to the products of organic agriculture."

All food product categories, including produce, grocery, dairy, frozen, snacks and meat, will be included in the promotion, and manufacturers must provide proof of organic certification to participate. As of Oct. 26, the following companies had signed on: Adrienne's Gourmet Foods, Blue Sky Organic, Country Choice Naturals, Duchy Originals, Horizon Organic Dairy, Mountain Sun, Nature's Path, the New Organics Co., Organic Garden, Organic Valley, San-J International, Seeds of Change, Stonyfield Farm, Walkers Shortbread, White Wave and Woodstock Organics.

Participation in the promotion is $10,500, plus an additional $30/demo and product for a minimum of one demo at each participating store. The Alliance estimated that for a 500 store promotion including promotion materials, educational materials, advertising, shipping and event development, such an extensive promotion would cost nearly $300,000 per company. The deadline to sign up for the program is Nov. 25; for information or a contract, contact Glory Ramsey, development director, (651) 265-3683, e-mail ramsey@organic.org.

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