Mar 29, 2022
Organic Trade Association announces new CEO and executive director
The Organic Trade Association announced March 29 the selection of its next CEO and Executive Director, Tom Chapman. The announcement was made during OTA’s 2022 Organic Week, which Chapman attended.
Chapman’s hiring concludes a year-long planned succession process for Batcha that began in 2021. Batcha has been a key figure in the organic movement for several decades. She joined the staff of the Organic Trade Association (OTA) in 2008 and has served as CEO and executive director for the past nine years. Chapman, who also has a long history of service to the organic industry – including a five-year stint on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) – will formally assume the position at the association on April 18.
“I couldn’t imagine a better, more experienced person for this role than Tom,” outgoing OTA Executive Director and CEO Laura Batcha said in a news release. “Tom has been contributing to the advancement of the organic industry for nearly 20 years, and has led many different aspects of the work, which gives him a great sense of the entire organic tapestry. With Tom at the helm and working alongside our capable staff and dedicated members, OTA and organic will continue to thrive.”
Chapman is a proactive leader with a deep background in organic that spans the value chain. Over his many years in the industry, Chapman has helped to advance certification and compliance, successfully managed global supply chains and managed multi-million dollar contracts, and worked closely with diverse brands, growers, and other organic stakeholders. He has significant experience building relationships from the ground up and nurturing public-private partnerships. Chapman is also a skilled policy setter with years of experience at both the state and national levels.
“I am honored to be joining the Organic Trade Association,” Chapman said. “More and more, Americans are looking for products that protect the environment, that make positive impacts on climate change and that enhance their communities – choosing organic achieves all that and more. I am thrilled to be leading an organization with such incredible staff who are ready to champion organic causes on behalf of our members.”
Most recently, Chapman served as senior director, supply chain at Kinder’s Sauce and Seasoning. Before that, he worked with OTA members Clif Bar and Quality Assurance International. Chapman has also served as a board member with OTA members Mercaris and California Certified Organic Farmers, as NOSB Chair from 2015-2020, and as a member of the California Organic Products Advisory Committee at the California Department of Agriculture from 2007-2016.
“We are thrilled to have Tom Chapman join the Organic Trade Association as our new CEO,” said Paul Schiefer, OTA board chair and senior director of sustainability at Amy’s Kitchen. “Tom has dedicated his career to furthering organic agriculture and brings professional expertise, values-alignment, and a collaborative and deliberate management style that delivers results. We have full confidence that Tom will make an immediate positive impact to grow our trade, move our bold steps forward, and support continuous improvement to achieve even more remarkable social and environmental outcomes.”