For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Katherine Paul, 207.653.3090

Alexis Baden-Mayer,, 202.744.0853

Organic Consumers Association to Host NYC Climate Convergence Workshops Featuring Vandana Shiva and other Experts and Activists

FINNLAND, Minn. - The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) will host a series of workshops on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, at the New York City Climate Convergence

The workshops will focus on topics related to the role organic farming—and organic consumers—can play in reversing climate change. The workshops are being held in conjunction with the People’s Climate March and the United Nations Climate Summit 2014

“OCA is participating in the organization of this year’s Climate Convergence workshops in order to draw attention to the climate crisis caused by our modern industrial agriculture model, and the role organic agriculture can play in solving this crisis,” said Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association and its Mexico affiliate, Via Organica.

The science is clear. While it’s true that we need to reduce fossil fuel emissions, the greatest opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions—and capture the carbon already in the atmosphere—lies in transitioning away from our chemical- and fossil fuel-intensive model of industrial agriculture to a sustainable, organic, regenerative farming and ranching model.”

Schedule for the September 20 OCA Workshops at NYC Climate Convergence

For venue and location details and to register, visit

9 a.m. -10:30 a.m.The Carbon Underground

Stopping fossil-foolishness isn't enough. We've got to get the carbon in the atmosphere back underground. There are tried and true, low-tech ways to do this: organic agriculture, composting and carbon ranching. If practiced globally, these soil-building techniques could sequester 100 percent of current annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Speakers: Andre Leu, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements

Courtney White, The Quivira Coalition, author Grass, Soil, Hope

Seth Itzkan, Biodiversity for a Livable Climate, Planet-TECH Associates

Tom Newmark, The Carbon Underground

10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Film Screening: Soil Carbon Cowboys

Peter Byck's short film introduces Allen Williams, Gabe Brown and Neil Dennis, ranchers who are regenerating their soils while making their animals healthier and their operations more profitable. Soil ecologist Dr. Richard Teague will introduce the movie to explain how regenerative grazing sequesters carbon.


Dr. Richard Teague, AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Texas A&M University

12:30 p.m.- 2:00 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. -3:45 p.m. Family Farmers Can Solve the Climate Crisis, But Only if We Restore Economic Justice

The world's 2 billion family farmers, whose low-tech, land-management practices conserve water, improve soil health, prevent soil erosion and increase crop yields, are capable of feeding the world. They also hold the solution to climate change: The more organic matter they add to the soil, the more CO2 they draw out of the atmosphere. But while family farmers, primarily in the Global South, produce 70 percent of the world's food on 25 percent of the world's land, these so-called "subsistence farmers" have always struggled. Climate change makes their struggle even harder. How do we empower these farmers and reverse global warming at the same time? In this workshop, farmers from the U.S. and around the world will offer their proposals for economic justice, from support for organic and Fair Trade agriculture, to community rights to natural resources, and the human right to food.


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Speakers 12:30 p.m.- 2:00 p.m.

Jim Shultz, The Democracy Center (moderator)

Antolin Huascar, Confederacion Nacional Agraria Peru/La Via Campesina

TBA, CLAC (Latin American Fairtrade Farmers)

Dr. Tolbert Jallah, the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa

Speakers 2:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Nancy Romer, Brooklyn Food Coalition (moderator)

Dena Hoff, National Family Farmers Coalition/La Via Campesina

Will Allen, Cedar Circle Farm (VT)

Elizabeth Henderson, Northeast Organic Farming Association

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Cook Organic Not the Planet: Now that the U.S. Supports "Climate-Smart Agriculture" Is Reform of Our Climate-Dumb Food System Possible?


Ronnie Cummins, Organic Consumers Association

Adam Sacks, Biodiversity for a Livable Climate

Tara Ritter, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Elizabeth Kucinich, Center for Food Safety

The OCA is also inviting its network of more than one million consumers to march under the “Cook Organic, Not the Planet” banner, with activist Vandana Shiva, as part of the Food Justice contingent of the People’s Climate March. The march will take place Sunday, September 21, 2014. Marchers will convene at 11:30 a.m. in the area just north of Columbus Circle.

As part of its advocacy on behalf of the environment and sustainable agriculture, the OCA’s “Cook Organic, Not the Planet” campaign seeks to educate consumers on the link between organic agriculture and food, public health, and environmental health, including climate change.


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The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The OCA deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children's health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability and other key topics. We are the only organization in the US focused exclusively on promoting the views and interests of the nation's estimated 50 million organic and socially responsible consumers.

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