The Organic Consumers Association announced the launch of its new project, La Asociación de Consumidores Orgánicos (ACO), a Spanish-language online and grassroots public interest network focused on the rights of Mexico’s consumers and farmers.
“Mexico ranks third in the world in the number of organic farmers,” said OCA’s international director, Ronnie Cummins. “These farmers are threatened by Monsanto and other transnational corporations intent on destroying Mexico’s rich and diverse history of corn cultivation. Transnational junk food companies threaten Mexico’s consumers, who have surpassed the U.S. in obesity rates and whose health is threatened by a near-epidemic of diabetes.
Cummins added: “La Asociación de Consumidores Orgánicos represents the formalization of our work in Mexico, which is part of our larger international strategy to protect the interest of consumers and local farmers from the promotion of junk food and factory farms, and combat global warming through regenerative farming and land-use practices.”
OCA has built a following of over 110,000 Spanish-speaking consumers in Mexico and Latin America, by collaborating on campaigns with organizations including Semillas de Vida, Millones Contra Monsanto, and Greenpeace México. With the formation of ACO, the group will initially focus on campaigns in Mexico, due to its appeal to U.S. multinationals, the pressing need to protect Mexico’s farmers, and the country’s rapidly growing market for organics. Long term, ACO plans to expand its campaign operations into Latin America.
Current ACO campaigns include a cross-border campaign with the OCA and Greenpeace Mexico, targeting Bimbo, the world’s largest baking company. The campaign has consumers from both countries asking Bimbo to Cut the Pesticides!
The ACO is also launching its #PonteAbeja campaign ahead of the COP13 UN Convention on Biodiversity, which will be held in Cancun Mexico later this year. A coalition of organizations is working with the ACO to increase public awareness and push for concrete actions from government and industry to address the role of pesticides in declining bee and pollinator populations in Mexico. The coalition’s first action is a consumer petition asking SAGARPA, Mexico’s version of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to regulate the use of highly bee-toxic pesticides in the country.
The ACO website, ConsumidoresOrganicos.org, and Facebook page will promote Mexico’s organic movement through consumer-oriented campaigns such as Millones Contra Monsanto and #PonteAbeja. It will also serve as a resource for Spanish-language news and reports focused on the organic industry, natural health and social justice.
La Asociación de Consumidores Orgánicos (ACO) is the Spanish-language arm of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA). The OCA is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization advocating on behalf of more than two million consumers in the U.S. The Organic Consumers Fund is a 501(c)4 allied organization of the Organic Consumers Association, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action.
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