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    Organic Institute Rolls Out Major Education Campaign

    The Organic Trade Association is sponsoring "Organic. It's worth it.," a Web-based initiative.

    The Organic Agriculture and Products Education Institute (Organic Institute) has introduced "Organic. It's worth it.," the nonprofit organization's inaugural national consumer education and marketing campaign.

    "The mission of this campaign is to answer consumer questions about organic, with the clear message that organic is worth it in every way, from health care and economics to farming and the environment," explained Christine Bushway, president of the Organic Institute and executive director of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), the sponsor of the campaign "It will increase consumer trust, knowledge and purchase of organic products."

    Created to assist families with young children, the campaign particularly targets new mothers, the primary gateways to organic, noted OTA marketing director Laura Batcha, who developed the campaign in partnership with Minneapolis-based PR firm Haberman.

    "Helping mothers make the connection between the personal health of their families and the health of the environment is key to this education and marketing initiative," said Batcha. "It gives them the rationale they need to make the organic purchase."

    "Organic. It's worth it." is a web-based campaign that employs banner ads with the look and feel of to-do lists as its main educational tool. Each banner ad tells how organics enable consumers to "check off " tasks from their practical to-do lists while meeting goals on their wish lists.

    "By buying organic food, for example, consumers can check off grocery shopping from their personal to-do lists and meet some of their wish list's goals, too, like helping to keep their kids healthy and supporting the environment," observed Batcha.

    The campaign encompasses a range of concerns for families who might be open to choosing organic, including organic's link to healthy kids, nutritious meals, food people trust, clean water and a healthy future. A separate banner ad deals with each of these issues.

    All of the banner ads lead to a microsite (www.organicitsworthit.com) that expands on the banner ads by speaking to consumers about organic agriculture and products in a friendly but non-preachy manner. The ads will run March 5 through late May on sites such as CafeMom.com, NPR.org, CNN.com, Parents.com and IdealBite.com. Haberman's public relations campaign promoting the benefits, worth and availability of organic products will coincide with the banner ads and microsite initiative.

    The aim of the Greenfield, Mass.-based Organic Institute is to educate about the attributes, benefits, and practices of organic agriculture and products by informing, educating and training agriculturalists, processors, academics and other professionals, as well as students, consumers, and the general public, to increase the amount of farmland under organic production and the number of people choosing organic products.

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