The Soil Association has appointed Martin Cottingham as its new marketing director.
Previously South-west regional campaigns manager for Oxfam, he replaces Emma Collins, who has left to pursue a career in music. Cottingham will report to deputy director Kathie Burton.
The Soil Association, which certifies producers of organic food, has increased its marketing department from five to 20 people in the past two years, mirroring the boom in organic food sales.
Cottingham, who starts his job around Christmas, will oversee publications, fundraising, media liaison and informing the public about organic food.
He says the Soil Association is researching a lengthy response to comments made by Sir John Krebs, head of the Food Standards Agency, who claims organic food does not provide value for money.
Cottingham says: “There is a great deal of concern about GM food and BSE and I think the time for organic farming has come.
“The comments [Krebs] made do not do justice to the food industry. He was talking about low standard, imported products which are not certified by the Soil Association.
“We hope the research will show the arguments he is putting forward don’t hold water and that there are substantial health benefits.”