Food Alliance to cease operations, board to remain active

Nine of the USDA grants in Oregon will go to finance rural solar installations.

The Food Alliance, which certifies farms as sustainable, will cease to operate with paid staff on Feb. 15.

The Food Alliance, an organization that certifies sustainable food and agriculture, will cease operations on Friday.

"The Food Alliance is dependent upon grants and funding from the private sector as well as the public sector, both of which have changed drastically in the last several years" said Chair Jeff Picarello. "Most of the funding sources available to support sustainable agriculture in the state have dried up."

The Portland-based nonprofit, which operates nationwide, lost roughly $58,000 in 2011, according to its latest tax documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service. It had nearly $790,000 in 2011 revenue. The Food Alliance lost more than $8,000 in 2010 on $833,000 in revenue.

Picarello said the organization's board will continue to meet on a voluntary basis in order to consider requests to use the Food Alliance certification. The board will likely be reconfigured to meet the added workload.

The cease in operations means the Food Alliance will no longer have paid staff to make field visits and certify farmers as sustainable.

"The organization is not going away," Picarello said. "The standards are not going way."

The organization's last day of operations will be this Friday, Feb. 15.

The Food Alliance was founded in 1994 when Oregon State University, Washington State University and the Washington State Department of Agriculture landed funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to launch the program.

Last year it announced a program to certify nurseries as sustainable.

Comments

If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.