SALINAS, CA--(Marketwire - Oct 3, 2012) - Organic Alliance, Inc. (OTCQB: ORGC), a global grower and marketer of fresh, organic and Fair Trade fruits and vegetables, today announced it has launched its Fair Trade initiative with the certification of three of its Mexico-based growers as "Fair Trade" by the international Institute for Marketecology ("IMO") (www.fairforlife.net). Additionally, the Company is preparing to ship its first Fair Trade product, bell peppers, to a U.S.-based customer next week.
Offering Fair Trade certified, Organic Alliance-branded sustainable and ethically grown products to consumers is a core company strategy that offers strong incremental revenue potential in 2013 and beyond.
In addition to bell peppers, Organic Alliance has certified certain of its growers for heirloom tomatoes, grape tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, and tomatoes on the vine - which are expected to be the first-ever Fair Trade tomatoes in the U.S. when they ship later this month. From these five products today, it plans to at least double its product portfolio of Fair Trade certified produce to ten or more different items within the next twelve months.
"With extensive planning, preparation and investment, launching our Fair Trade initiative is a historic event for our company, one we reached ahead of schedule. It is the beginning of a growing business line that strongly supports our core mission and has tremendous potential," said Parker Booth, Organic Alliance Chief Executive Officer. "Today, we have greatly strengthened our position in the demand-driven yet supply-constrained organic and Fair Trade produce sector."
"Executing this product launch demonstrates Organic Alliance's unique ability to quickly and efficiently develop Fair Trade certification for its international production sites," added Chris White, Organic Alliance Chief Development Officer. "It is a complex process, hard work on the ground, but the unmet consumer demand for Fair Trade produce and its potential for large scale social impact makes it worthwhile. Fair Trade products carry premium pricing, and we expect to generate significant Fair Trade social development funds over the next year to reinvest directly in our production communities."
With its Fair Trade certification of multiple growers and products, Organic Alliance is building a leadership position in this demand driven $1.5 billion U.S. Fair Trade marketplace. Data from SPINS LLC reveals that sales of Fair Trade certified products grew 75 percent between Q1 and Q4 in 2011. This overall growth in sales was mainly driven by national food brands increasing their commitment to Fair Trade.
By offering the first Fair Trade heirloom tomatoes in the U.S. as well as other scarce Fair Trade produce, Organic Alliance seeks to build strong working relationships with the nation's largest and fastest growing conventional and specialty grocers.
Later in the fourth quarter, Organic Alliance will launch a marketing campaign to support its Fair Trade produce sales. It is designed to actively engage consumer interest and loyalty, add marketing value for its grocer customers, and build Organic Alliance brand value. The campaign will include a website, accessed by a smart phone scanning a QR code applied to each piece of Fair Trade produce. The website will allow consumers to learn about the growing communities and the impact of their Fair Trade purchase, as well as to instantly link their mobile devices to video clips of the growing communities.
About Organic Alliance
Organic Alliance, Inc. is a global grower and marketer of organic, Fair Trade and conventional fresh food products. By establishing collaborative relationships with key growers, Organic Alliance has built a vertically integrated supply chain through an alliance of growers that enables it to support its customers with an increasing variety of certified sustainable products, sensible pricing, steady supply and inspiring multi-media stories from our many producing communities. For more info, visit: www.organicallianceinc.com.
About Institute for Marker Ecology
The Institute for Marketecology (IMO) is a highly experienced international body for the inspection, certification and quality control of organic, eco-friendly and socially-responsible products. Active in the field of organic certification for more than 20 years, IMO is also a renowned pioneer in natural textiles, timber and fair trade & social accountability monitoring. IMO employs more than 400 experts worldwide for the certification of operations in about 90 countries.
Safe Harbor Statement
This news release contains forward-looking statements which are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about our business based, in part, on assumptions made by our management. Actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements could differ materially from those discussed or implied in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including future economic, competitive, regulatory, and market conditions, future business decisions, changes in the supply and demand of the products we sell, our relationships with our existing suppliers, our success in finding additional supply sources, our ability to attract and retain customers, and the risks and other factors discussed in our Form 10-K for the year ending December 31, 2011 or in the other documents we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In light of the significant uncertainties inherent in such forward-looking statements, they should not be regarded as a representation that our objectives or plans will be achieved, and they should not be relied upon by investors when making an investment decision. Words such as "believes," "anticipates," "expects," "intends," "may," "forecasts, "foresees," and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements. Similarly, statements in this release that describe our business strategy, outlook, objectives, plans, intentions or goals are forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made except as required by law.