RSF Social Finance Announces a Loan to Organic Trade Association

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Keywords: Ethical Production and Consumption | North America | RSF Social Finance | csr | organic | organic research | organic trade association | sustainability

RSF Social Finance Announces a Loan to Organic Trade Association

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Press Release
Monday, January 28, 2013 - 4:00pm

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 28, 2013 /3BL Media/ - RSF Social Finance is pleased to announce a new relationship with the Organic Trade Association (OTA), a membership-based business association that focuses on the organic business community in North America. Founded in 1985, its mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public, and the economy. OTA is the largest and most recognizable voice for the organic industry in the United States as it represents over 6,500 organic businesses across 49 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers’ associations, distributors, importers exporters, consultants, retailers and others. RSF’s line of credit to OTA will be used to bridge short-term cash needs, as necessary, within its fiscal year.

OTA serves its members by helping to shape the regulatory and market environments for organic products. It advances organic standards with input from its diverse membership base, and focuses on demonstrating the benefits of organics to officials and advocating for greater funding for research and organic support programs. Its current priorities include organic research and data collection, organic crop insurance, and organic certification cost-share. The association also helps more growers go organic by providing knowledge and resources and by advocating for assistance for transition farmers.

Fortunately many people are waking up to the importance of organic food—not just because it may be better for them to eat, but also for the healing benefit it brings to farmers and the environment. However, only slightly more than 4% of all sales of food and beverage products in the U.S. are certified organic and less than 1% of all land used for crops and livestock in the U.S. is certified organic.  This represents a tremendous opportunity and challenge in the coming decades, and Organic Trade Association is helping to catalyze the change.

Scott Hackenberg, Lending Manager at RSF, says “Through its advocacy work, public policy activities and educational programs, OTA's staff and the members they serve are addressing some of the world's most pressing social, economic and environmental issues.  RSF's focus on food and agriculture is perfectly aligned with and further defined by the mission of the Organic Trade Association, and we are extremely proud to support their work".

“It is wonderful to work with a company with similar social and environmental values that are in synch with those of OTA and its members,” says Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director and CEO. She noted that many OTA members also work with RSF for financial services.

About RSF Social Finance
Located in San Francisco, CA, RSF Social Finance (RSF) is a financial services organization dedicated to transforming the way the world works with money. Since 1984, the organization has made over $275 million in loans and $100 million in grants to non-profit and for-profit social enterprises working in the areas of Food & Agriculture, Education & the Arts, and Ecological Stewardship.

RSF's lending capital comes primarily from 1,200 individuals who have invested $1,000 or more in the organization's Social Investment Fund. Investors earn a competitive return on their money comparable to a certificate of deposit while their funds are deployed to leading social enterprises. To learn more, visit www.rsfsocialfinance.org.

About Organic Trade Association
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for the organic trade in the United States, representing over 6,500 organic businesses across 49 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA’s Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.

Contact
Scott Hackenberg, Lending Manager
Scott.Hackenberg@rsfsocialfinance.org
415.561.6173

Jillian McCoy, Senior Associate, Communications
jillian.mccoy@rsfsocialfinance.org
415.561.6156

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