Garden Organic’s Chief Executive, James Campbell, has announced that he will be stepping down from the role in the summer.
Since joining the charity in 2013, James has implemented a major change agenda resulting in the charity reaching more organic growers than ever before with an increase in supporters, a focus on working at a regional level and the running of a number of successful campaigns on key organic issues such as pesticides, pollinators and peat.
Most importantly James is leaving the charity in an improved financial position having overseen the sale of its headquarter site to Coventry University while negotiating for the charity to remain on a smaller portion of the site as a tenant. This change will culminate in the opening of a new organic demonstration garden in the summer and enables Garden Organic to continue the important seed conservation work undertaken by the Heritage Seed Library.
James also oversaw the development of a number of key relationships. A highly successful partnership between Garden Organic and garden retailer Dobies to provide ‘The Organic Gardening Catalogue’ has gone from strength to strength, resulting in a significant increase in organic seed and plant sales.
James also played a pivotal role in the English Organic Forum, helping to raise the profile of organic gardeners with stakeholders, government and beyond. This and many other partnerships have enhanced the charity’s reputation in the horticultural world.
Commenting on his time at the charity James said:
“It has been an honour and a privilege to lead Garden Organic for nearly eight years, and to have worked with a supportive board, a talented staff and a loyal and inspirational membership. I will reflect on these years with pride, and look forward to following with interest the next successful phase in Garden Organic’s development”.
Dr Margaret Goodman-Eyre, Chair of the Board of Trustees said: “On behalf of the Board of Trustees and all the staff at Garden Organic I would like to thank James for his outstanding work in helping us to focus the charity on addressing its core aims of encouraging people to grow organically, and delivering a renewed focus on attracting new members which resulted in growth of the supporter base during 2020 when many other organisations experienced the opposite.
“James leaves the charity in a strong position with an excellent team. We wish James all the best for the future and hope that he enjoys a relaxing change of pace, with plenty of time to indulge in his passion for organic growing”.
The Board of Trustees has begun recruitment for the charity’s next CEO, full details of which can be found at gardenorganic.org.uk/our-vacancies. Any members wishing to contact James can do so by writing to James Campbell, Garden Organic, Ryton Gardens, Wolston Lane, Coventry, CV8 3LG