Oregon Tilth calls off merger plans

Oregon Tilth members failed to approve the merger with California Certified Organic Farmers with the required two-thirds majority.

Oregon Tilth members failed to approve the merger with California Certified Organic Farmers with the required two-thirds majority. 

Plans to merge Oregon Tilth with the California Certified Organic Farmers — known as CCOF —came to a halt this week after Oregon Tilth members failed to pass approval of the merger with the required two-thirds vote.

"We are disappointed that plans proposed by our board of directors to strengthen and expand programs were not endorsed by the required two-thirds majority," wrote Chris Schreiner, executive director of Oregon Tilth, in a letter to members. "However, our organization is resilient and we will continue to do the important work that we have been doing for more than 25 years."

Oregon Tilth and CCOF announced in May their intention to merge, with the effective date planned for Oct. 31.

Both nonprofit groups are leaders in organic certification — CCOF certifies more than 2,300 organic farms while Oregon Tilth certifies more than 1,400 — a growing sector of the food industry.

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