Washington, D.C.—Two of the major forces in the organic agriculture and products industry will now merge together under one roof. The Organic Trade Association (OTA) will assume administrative responsibilities for The Organic Center, which will move its headquarters here from Boulder, CO. The Organic Center has traditionally been a scientific voice for the merits of organic agriculture, while the OTA serves its members by advocating for the values, benefits and regulatory standing of organic products in the media and in government.

The move is effective from September 1. The Organic Center will remain an independent non-profit 501(c) (3). “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.

During this transition, The Organic Center will be overseen by an interim board made up of five OTA board members and four member of The Organic Center’s current board. These individuals will appoint an independent Board of Trustees, which will govern the Center moving forward. The Organic Center will also re-establish its cross-disciplinary Scientific Advisory Board. OTA executive director Christine Bushway will take on a leadership role for the Center alongside the new Board of Trustees.

A search is also taking place for a new Director of Science Programs for the Center. This person will work to coordinate ongoing research initiatives with scientists and research organizations, as well as the Center’s education and communication efforts. Several studies and reports being conducted by the Center are on schedule to continue as planned during 2012.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, October 2012