Laura Batcha, the longtime leader of the Organic Trade Association, plans to step down in spring of 2022, the organization announced Monday.

Batcha has been with OTA since 2008 and has been the organization’s executive director and CEO since 2014. The search for her successor is now underway, the group said in a release Monday.

In a statement, Batcha said she is “confident that the next person we select to lead this organization is going to bring a new outlook, fresh ideas, and a dedication to moving organic forward.” 

“Our work at the Organic Trade Association is always evolving, and I’m proud that we have the team in place — as well as support from our membership — to tackle the difficult issues that must be addressed in order for our industry to grow and move forward,” she added.

The organization credits Batcha with expanding OTA’s reach in Washington by “establishing the association’s D.C. office and government relations arm” and “positioning OTA as the voice of organic on the Hill.”

Paul Schiefer — the senior director of sustainability for Amy’s Kitchen and an OTA board member — will lead the search committee, which will consist of other OTA board members.

“The growth of our association and across the organic community during Laura’s tenure has been nothing short of spectacular,” Schiefer said. “Since Laura took the helm in 2014, OTA has been able to attract new partners at every scale and at every position along the value chain.”

“What we’re looking for is someone who can match that level of passion for organic, a visionary leader who can build on Laura’s legacy of success,” he added. “OTA is steering the organic sector into the future; our next CEO will have the unique honor of guiding that journey.” 

The organization has hired consulting firm Korn Ferry to lead its search and asks interested parties to submit applications by Nov. 29.

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