Agriculture, Food, Nutrition

ORGANIC CENTER FOR EDUCATION AND PROMOTION INC

aka The Organic Center, Inc.

Washington, DC

Mission

Our Vision is a sustainable and secure food system that promotes the health of humans and the environment. Our mission is to conduct and convene credible, evidence-based science on the environmental and health effects of organic food and farming and communicate the findings to the public.

Ruling Year

2002

Principal Officer

Jessica Shade

Main Address

444 North Capitol St NW Ste 445-A

Washington, DC 20001 USA

Keywords

organic, research, education, agriculture, food

EIN

02-0626006

 Number

1580010702

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (K05)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (B05)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (C05)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Many substances used in conventional agriculture are known to pose serious health risks to farm workers and agricultural communities, and research suggests that chronic low level exposures may also pose health risks to consumers. Organic farming methods also benefit the environment by supporting biodiversity, improving the health of our soils, reducing water pollution and helping to mitigate climate change. In spite of these benefits, the majority of agricultural research dollars in the U.S. are still devoted towards progressing conventional industrial farming methods instead of organic methods and relatively little investment is directed at understanding the associated health and environmental risks. The Organic Center is working to advance a sustainable, organic food system that supports healthy people, healthy environments and healthy communities for generations to come.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Nutrition

Pesticides

Climate Change

Food Safety

Food Security

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Total number of conferences held

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Adults,

Farmers

Related program

Climate Change

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context notes

The Organic Confluences is an annual Summit organized by the Organic Center in collaboration with the USDA that brings together farmers, scientists, extension agents, industry members.

Number of research studies conducted

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Farmers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context notes

The Organic Center collaborates with academic and governmental agencies to conduct research filling gaps in our knowledge about organic food and farming.

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

To engage and develop partnerships with universities, research institutions, federal agencies, organic farmers, and food systems advocates that are working to improve and transform agricultural systems. To stimulate and participate in research that will (1) fill knowledge gaps about the health and environmental benefits of organic farming and (2) increase the viability and sustainability of the U.S. agricultural system. To empower consumers to make choices that will improve their health, the health of the environment and the health of their communities through education and outreach. To serve as a resource for the public, policy makers, scientists, farmers and industry on the science supporting sustainable organic food and farming. To strengthen and expand organic practices and commodities which reduce the use of toxic, synthetic chemicals and have clear benefits to human health and the environment.

Our strategies include: Empowering the consumer: By communicating credible, evidence-based science that supports the health and environmental benefits of sustainable organic food and farming we empower the everyday consumer to make educated choices that support human and environmental health. Providing access to information: By serving as a resource for the public, policy-makers, scientists, farmers and industry on the science supporting sustainable organic food and farming. Advancing research: By facilitating, supporting and disseminating scientific research we aim to (1) foster a more complete understanding about the health and environmental benefits of organic food and farming and (2) improve the efficacy and sustainability of organic farming methods

The Organic Center’s science education programs are directed towards diverse audiences including consumers, policy makers, scientists, and industry members, and we have extensive capabilities for meeting our goals. We strive to empower consumers to support sustainable food systems by enabling them to make educated choices in the market place. We meet this goal by transforming evidence-based science that supports the health and environmental benefits of sustainable organic food and farming into forms that are easily understandable and which spark further interest and enthusiasm. Additionally, we serve as a resource to policy-makers, scientists, farmers and industry on research that is critical for decision-making. We meet this goal by actively disseminating in depth and up-to-date information about scientifically backed best practices in farm management, the health and environmental benefits of sustainable organic food and farming, and concerns that drive consumer choices. Furthermore, we facilitate interaction and communication among these diverse stakeholder groups. Our current outreach projects include: The Organic Center Website: On our website we publish non-technical summaries of the most recent peer-reviewed scientific research, blogs on the science behind key issues in the field of organic agriculture, recipes which highlight commodity specific research findings, interviews with scientists to bring a spotlight on some of the most interesting, cutting-edge work that is being done in the organic field and fact sheets to provide the public with clear and concise information on the benefits of organic food and farming. The Organic Center Newsletter: We publish bi-weekly newsletters for the public and industry with updates on current Organic Center projects and recently published science of interest. Biannual Publications: We review, compile, and synthesize literature on current topics in human and environmental health as they relate to food systems to produce comprehensive and understandable publications on key topics of interest. Farmer Focused Publications: We create and publish educational materials for farmers that are focused on improving agricultural sustainability and overcoming production challenges. Workshops, Webinars and Presentations: We actively participate in grower meetings, industry events, and scientific conferences to educate, learn from and engage diverse stakeholders.

Program evaluation and performance reviews are critical to programmatic success, and we use many metrics to measure and report progress on our specific projects as well as our overall mission. Additionally, we continually reach out to stakeholders to understand how we can improve our programs and increase our efficacy at reaching the public. Our successes are communicated through a variety of methods such as press releases, blogs, and our annual report. To measure the success of our scientific projects we examine metrics such as target audience reach, publication success, budget maintenance, and timeline adhesion. For example, we measure a variety of statistics such as our presence in media stories, web site visitation, social media engagement, newsletter signups, and scientific study communication coverage.

We have been able to accomplish several projects focused on human and environmental health. For example, here are some of our most recent projects: Pesticide, Hormone, & Antibiotic Presence in Milk This peer-reviewed and published project looks at the extent to which hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides used in milk production can be detected in retail conventional milk, as compared to organic milk. Specifically, cow’s milk was tested for a wide variety of growth hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics. Organic milk tested clean, with no detectable levels of synthetic residues, as compared to conventional milk where over 60% of samples showed contaminant resides. Results were highlighted in media outlets such as USA Today. Farmworker Health This project details the science on the health effects of occupational exposure to pesticides for agricultural workers and how the organic regulations reduce these exposures, providing a safer working environment on the farm. It also highlights techniques that are used on organic farms that can be incorporated by all farmers – regardless of farming system. Combating the Development of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria The Organic Center released a report on organic food and farming as a tool to combat antibiotic resistance and protect public health. This report takes an in-depth look at the role of antibiotic use in conventional agricultural livestock production in contributing to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It covers everything from mechanisms by which resistance develops in bacteria to how organic agriculture provides a simple and effective means to combat the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and to protect the health of consumers. Pollinator Health The Organic Center released a Pollinator Health report that documents the benefits of organic on pollinator populations. The publication reviews specific cases of pesticide impacts on pollinator health, and discusses the lesser-known benefits of organic farms, such as more diverse habitat for pollinators and an increase in food sources. Next, we will focus projects on climate change, the organic benefits of products such as meat, and soil health.

External Reviews

Financials

ORGANIC CENTER FOR EDUCATION AND PROMOTION INC

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable

Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Gender

Sexual Orientation

We do not display sexual orientation information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Diversity Strategies

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We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
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We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
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We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
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We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
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We have a diversity committee in place
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We have a diversity manager in place
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We have a diversity plan
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We use other methods to support diversity