Matt McLean, president of Uncle Matt’s Organic Inc., has been named the new Board President of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), succeeding Julia Sabin of Smucker Natural Foods Inc. who served as president for the past three years.
“I am humbled to have been selected, and look forward to embracing the challenges ahead as we advance the organic agenda,” said McLean, adding, “The Board and I will work diligently toward OTA’s vision of organic products becoming a significant part of everyday life for families across North America.”
McLean, who has already completed two terms (six years) on the Board, is an organic citrus grower, with over 13 years of organic industry experience in marketing, distribution, farming, certification and public policy.
Other officers, announced at OTA’s Annual Meeting Sept. 23 in Baltimore, MD, are Sarah Bird (Annie’s Homegrown, Division of Annie’s Inc.) as Vice President-United States; Gunta Vitins (Vitins Consulting) as Vice President-Canada; Kristen Holt (Quality Assurance International) as Treasurer; and Todd Linsky (Cal-Organic/Grimmway Farms) as Secretary.
Returning to the Board after the recent election are McLean, Bird, Tony Bedard (CEO of Frontier Natural Products Cooperative), and Melody Meyer (VP of Global Initiatives, UNFI). Scott Nash, CEO of Mom’s Organic Market, is beginning his first term on the Board.
Other members of the current Board are Sabin, Tom Cowell of Growers International Organic Sales Incorporated, Nicole Dawes of Late July Organic Snacks, Chris Ely of Applegate Farms, Kelly Shea of WhiteWave Foods, Craig Weakley of Craig Weakley Consulting, and Leslie Zuck of Pennsylvania Certified Organic.
Chuck Marcy of Marcy and Partners has retired from the Board after serving three full terms (nine years), including eight years as OTA Board Treasurer.
In addition, members attending OTA’s Annual Meeting learned more about the affiliation agreement signed by the OTA and COTA (Canada Organic Trade Association) Board of Directors to create a new relationship and member recognition between them. Under the agreement, COTA will have its own member-elected Board and by-laws. Current trade members of OTA who have operations located in Canada will be eligible for membership in COTA, and will enjoy the same benefits and services they currently enjoy under OTA. With two dedicated Canadian seats still on the OTA Board, OTA will remain the representative of the North American organic sector.
OTA’s 2011 Annual Report was also unveiled at the meeting, and is now available online.
“This report reflects the tremendous organizational accomplishments of OTA over the past year under the leadership of its Board of Directors,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director and CEO.
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 Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.