Organic Trade Association helps launch new educational institute: Organic Agriculture and Products Education Institute receives first gift


For Immediate Release     
Contact: Barbara Haumann
Phone: 413-774-7511, Ext. 20 

GREENFIELD, Mass. (Jan. 11, 2008)-The Organic Trade Association (OTA) today announced the launch of the Organic Agriculture and Products Education Institute (OAPEI) and the receipt of the first donation to support its work.

"OTA is excited to have helped to establish this new 501(c) 3 venture, and gratified that a founding donor has stepped forward to help begin its work," said Caren Wilcox, OTA's Executive Director and President of the Organic Agriculture and Products Education Institute.

OAPEI's mission is to educate agriculturists, processors, consumers, students, academics, and other professionals about the attributes and benefits of organic agriculture and products. It will make efforts to reach special and diverse communities as they learn about organic agriculture and the products that fill this fast growing segment of food, fiber and personal care products.

"It is the Institute's intention to implement specific, targeted educational activities that will expand the knowledge base about organic agriculture and certified organic products, and to promote information resources to enhance the amount of farmland under organic management and the integrity of the organic supply chain. This will ultimately improve the quality of life for all of the earth's inhabitants, now and for further generations," Wilcox said.

To show their support for the new institute, Bruce and Alissa Nierenberg of New York City became the first donors by giving a generous founding donation.

"We have chosen this organization to give money to because we believe it will be used to help educate consumers, and others, to take organic to a new level. Outreach to educate consumers will drive and grow the market for organic farmers and organic businesses of all sorts," said Bruce Nierenberg. He cited his affiliation with OTA as leading to this donation.

"OTA has enabled the industry to grow, which has enabled me and my companies to thrive. As a result, I wanted to give back in this way," Nierenberg said. A proponent of organic agriculture and products for many years, he can trace involvement with organic businesses back to selling brownies made with organic ingredients door-to-door in New York City as a 15-year old.

"Just think how big the marketplace for organic would be if we had had more educational outreach over these years. I am very excited that this new institute will provide a platform to educate consumers and others," he said.

For more information about OAPEI or information about making a charitable donation to the new institute, contact [email protected]. OAPEI is developing a new web site that will more fully explain its goals and projects.


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