The Organic Trade Association enjoyed a successful annual fund campaign in 2012.

“For OTA, support and recognition for the important accomplishments on behalf of the sector were reflected in a nearly 25% increase in contributions to its 2012 annual fund campaign over the previous year, setting a new record,” senior writer and editor Barbara Haumann said.

More than 225 companies joined together to support the campaign this year.

The funds from the annual campaign, which has been conducted since 2000, will go to support the association’s government relations, consumer education programs and media outreach projects, all with the goal of supporting the organic industry in the U.S. and Canada, according to Haumann.

The money raised during this program is a key part of the association’s budget.

“Outside of membership dues, the annual fund is the single largest source of unrestricted income for OTA,” Haumann said.

Each year, the program runs from Jan. 1 through mid-March, although donations are accepted during any point of the year.

“During this time, the annual fund’s volunteer host committee reaches out to as many industry contacts as possible,” she said.

The program allows organizations to choose from various levels of support, ranging from the “supporter” level, to the Leadership Circle.

Donations of $25,555 or greater qualify a company for membership in the Leadership Circle, according to the association’s website.

This year, several produce companies pledged support at this level:

  • Cal Organic/Grimmway Farms, Lamont, Calif.;
  • Earthbound Farm, San Juan Bautista, Calif.;
  • California Certified Organic Farmers, Santa Cruz, Calif.;
  • Mom’s Organic Market, Rockville, Md.; and
  • SunOpta, Toronto, Ontario.