Melody Meyer, vice president for policy and industry relations at UNFI, has been named the new Board president of the Organic Trade Association, succeeding Matt McLean of Uncle Matt’s Organic who served as president for the past two years.
“I am grateful to have the opportunity to apply my passion and commitment to the organic community through my service as the OTA board president,” said Melody. “We have great opportunities ahead to protect and advance organic agriculture and educate consumers on its benefits.” Melody is in her second term with five years on the board. She represents a diverse section of the OTA membership in her role at UNFI, and brings over 37 years of organic industry experience working in retail, wholesale, fair trade, policy and education.
Other officers, announced at OTA’s Annual Meeting Sept. 25 in Baltimore, Md., are Sarah Bird of Annie’s Inc. as vice president-USA, Ian Walker of Left Coast Naturals as vice president-Canada, Leslie Zuck of Pennsylvania Certified Organic as secretary, and Tony Bedard of Frontier Natural Products Co-op as treasurer.
Returning to the Board after the recent OTA election are Chris Ely of Applegate Farms and Leslie Zuck, who each were re-elected for a three-year term. In addition, Melissa Hughes of Organic Valley is beginning her first term on the Board. Meanwhile, Marci Zaroff of Under the Canopy/Portico Brands has been re-appointed by the Board to serve a three-year term, and Ryan Benn of Alive Publishing Group Inc. has been appointed by COTA to represent Canadian interests on the OTA Board for a one-year term.
Other members of the current Board are Samantha Cabaluna (Earthbound Farm), Perry Clutts (Pleasantview Farm), Nicole Dawes (Late July Organic Snacks), Matt McLean (Uncle Matt’s Organic Inc.), Scott Nash (MOM’s Organic Market), and Kelly Shea (WhiteWave Foods).
Julia Sabin of Smucker Natural Foods Inc., who served as Board president for three years prior to Matt McLean, is retiring from the Board after serving the maximum three three-year terms. Also going off the Board is Gunta Vitins of Vitins Consulting, who had served as vice president-Canada on the Board.
OTA’s Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. In the recent election, 31.5 percent of OTA’s trade member companies eligible to vote did so. The directors were present at OTA's Annual Meeting, where they met directly with members. The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for the organic trade in the United States, representing over 6,500 organic businesses across 49 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.