Effective Sept. 1, The Organic Center is combining efforts with the Organic Trade Association and relocating its headquarters from Boulder, Colo., to Washington, D.C. The Organic Center will remain an independent non-profit 501(c) (3), but now will be under the administrative auspices of OTA.
"The Center will continue to conduct credible, evidence-based science on the health and environmental benefits of organic food and farming, and communicate those benefits to the public," said Mark Retzloff, Board Chair for The Organic Center. "By combining efforts under one administrative umbrella, we will gain overhead efficiencies and improve access to government and foundation grants. Our enhanced collaboration with allied groups in D.C. will stimulate greater research and increased information to the public to convince them of the benefits of organic."
Matt McLean, president of OTA's Board of Directors, added, "We're excited to have the opportunity to help foster this new era for organic research and education. OTA and The Organic Center have worked separately but cooperatively over the years to fulfill their respective yet related missions. By moving the Organic Center to D.C., it gains the same access to OTA's established resources. This endeavor will directly benefit the organic industry."
During the transition, The Organic Center will be governed by an interim board comprised of five OTA Board members and four Board members from The Organic Center. This board will appoint an independent Board of Trustees to govern the Center going forward, and re-establish its cross-disciplinary Scientific Advisory Board.
In addition, Christine Bushway, OTA's Executive Director, will assume leadership responsibilities for The Center in partnership with the center's independent Board of Trustees. A search is underway for a new Director of Science Programs to coordinate ongoing research initiatives with leading scientists and research organizations, as well as education and communication efforts for the center.
The Organic Center remains committed to conducting and communicating the science behind organic agriculture, making it more relevant to the everyday lives of millions of consumers. It will continue delivering meaningful and evidence-based science on the benefits of organic. It has a number of studies and reports that are on track to fulfill its project goals for 2012.
The Organic Trade Association is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA's members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others.