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    Three new studies confirm that exposures to common insecticides during pregnancy can cut a child’s IQ 4% to 7%  by age 9.
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Board of Trustees

Laura Batcha

The Organic Trade Association, CEO/Executive Director

Laura Batcha is the current CEO/Executive Director of the Organic Trade Association (OTA). Originally joining the staff of OTA in 2008, she has served in multiple capacities. Hired as Marketing and Public Relations Director, she subsequently became Chief of Policy and External Relations, and later, OTA’s Executive Vice President and Interim Co-Executive Director.  A seasoned organic professional, Laura has been directly involved in organic production and handling for over 20 years, and has  more than 10 years of hands-on experience in the private sector of the organic industry. She currently serves as the Chair of OTA’s Political Action Committee. She also has been appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to serve as a representative of the organic industry on two separate Federal Advisory Committees. The first, AC21, advises USDA on issues related to coexistence of biotechnology and organic and identity-preserved agriculture. The second, APAC, is the agricultural policy advisory committee dedicated to international trade. As CEO/Executive Director of OTA, she also serves on the Board of Trustees for The Organic Center, an independent non-profit research and education organization operating under the administrative auspices of the Organic Trade Association.

Michael A. Berger

Elevation Franchise Ventures, Founding Partner and VP of Supply Chain

As one of the founding partners of the Elevation Burger franchise company, Michael has lead the company’s growth from a single restaurant to a chain of over 55 restaurants in seven countries and an organization of 20+ staff members.  Under Michael’s supply chain leadership, Elevation Burger’s purchases of certified organic, grass-fed beef have grown into one of the largest certified organic beef purchasing programs in the United States. Michael is also responsible for developing the restaurant chain’s organic pork bacon and organic chicken programs, growing each into the largest such program of any restaurant group in the United States.  Additionally, Michael has been the executive in charge of franchise development/sales and real estate development at various times in the company’s history.  Michael has been featured in various forms of media and is a recognized leader in international franchise development and sustainable food supply chains.  Michael currently serves on The Organic Center’s Board of Trustees and Food Tank’s Board of Directors and was recently honored as the Organic Trade Association’s “Rising Star” of 2015.

Asa Bradman

University of California, Berkeley, Associate Director for Exposure Assessment

Dr. Asa Bradman holds the Scientist Seat on the Organic Center Board of Trustees, keeping the center connected with the academic community and current scientific investigations affecting the organic community.  He is an environmental health scientist and expert in exposure assessment and epidemiology focusing on occupational and environmental exposures to pregnant women and children. He co-founded the UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH) and helps direct exposure and health studies as part of the CHAMACOS partnership in the Salinas Valley, California.  His research focuses on  pesticides, flame retardants, metals, emerging pollutants, VOCs,  and other contaminants. Dr. Bradman also leads an initiative to improve environmental health in California childcare facilities and was a recipient of the IPM Innovators award from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.  He participates in extensive community outreach and education and interfaces with other scientists, state and federal agencies, policy makers, and industry. He participates on several advisory bodies and was appointed by Governor Schwarzennegger, and reappointed by Governor Brown, to serve on the  California Biomonitoring Scientific Guidance Panel.

Jeffrey Brams

Garden of Life, LLC., General Counsel and Vice President for Science and International Business

Jeff is General Counsel, Vice President for Science &  International Business for Garden of Life, LLC. (GoL). GoL is the leading supplement and nutrition brand sold in the Healthy Foods Channel and is focused on Organic and Non GMO Verified protein supplements, whole food vitamins, probiotics and Green Foods. Jeff joined the company in 2007, and oversees product formulation, research and development, science, regulatory, international sales and legal departments and advises Garden of Life’s parent company, publicly traded Atrium Innovations, LLC on similar matters.

Joe Dickson

Merryfield Inc., Co-Founder, Head of Standards & Policy

Joe Dickson is a 20-year veteran of the natural and organic products industry and a leading advocate for organic agriculture and integrity in food labeling. He is currently Co-Founder and Head of Quality Standards and Policy at Merryfield, Inc., a new company which aims to make it easier for purpose-driven modern consumers to connect with better products and brands.

From 2004 to 2018, Joe served in a number of roles at Whole Foods Market, ultimately as Director of Quality Standards. He led the team responsible for developing and maintaining standards for the products sold in its stores, and steering the company’s work on food integrity and agricultural policy issues. Joe was instrumental in developing and maintaining the company’s status as the first national certified organic retailer, and in developing and launching numerous company standards programs, including Premium Body Care standard for personal care products, Eco-Scale standards for cleaning products, strict requirements for organic personal care products, and the company’s industry-leading standards for egg production. Joe led the development of the company’s GMO Labeling policy and served as a founding board member of The Non-GMO Project from 2007 to 2011.

Joe is also a leading expert in organic and sustainable agriculture systems and certification programs. From 2010-2015 he was appointed by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to serve as the sole retail member of the National Organic Standards Board, which advises the USDA on organic agricultural standards and practices. He also served on the Texas Department of Agriculture Organic Industry Advisory Board from 2008 to 2015, and has served as a Trustee of The Organic Center since 2017.

A native New Englander, Joe first fell in love with organic and sustainable agriculture while he was an undergrad in New York State’s Hudson Valley, where he earned a BA in Cognitive Science from Vassar College. He lives on a ranch in Bastrop County, Texas where he and his husband raise goats and chickens, grow vegetables and manage the property as a songbird and wildlife sanctuary.

Mike Ferry

Organic Advocate,

Mike Ferry is the former President of the Horizon™ brand, responsible for managing the brand’s marketing, research and development, operations, sales and international business units.  Over the course of his 18 year marketing career, Ferry has held positions of increasing responsibility at Abbott Nutrition, leading the company’s Healthy Living Nutrition Business, the Campbell Soup Company, Segway LLC and Procter & Gamble and has been responsible for driving strong business results and developing strategies that have grown the revenue, profit and market shares for a number of popular brands.

Bob Kaake

General Mills, Organic & Natural Technical Director

Bob Kaake is the Organic & Natural Technical Director at General Mills where he leads a passionate team of product development and quality professionals to ideate, develop, and bring innovations to market that drive Annie’s and General Mills’ long-standing mission to create great-tasting foods that are better for people and the planet. Bob firmly believes meaningful partnerships across all levels of the organic supply chain are the key to a successful food company. Bob has over 25 years of experience in the food industry in product development and quality.  He is a Certified Food Scientist and has a B.S. in Food Science from Purdue University.  He lives in San Francisco, which is a perfect place for his science brain and foodie spirit to coexist.

Todd Linsky

Linsky Consulting, Owner

Todd Linsky, a veteran of over 28 years in the organic produce industry, started his career as a produce manager in a small natural foods store.  He moved as a retailer to a pioneering Southern California multi-chain store in charge of all their produce departments. Todd continued to hone his skills.  Working nights on the Los Angeles produce market as an organic buyer at S&S Produce, he started the next phase of his journey moving him eventually to its sister company, Ocean Organic, the first grower/shipper in the industry.  In 1989 Todd was asked to represent one of those growers, and the Cal Organic sales company started.  What began as a few hundred acres grew to almost forty thousand by 2014.  Todd was elevated to the position of Vice President of Organic Sales under the ownership change to Grimmway Farms. In the spring of 2015 Todd left to fulfill his dream of starting his own company, Todd Linsky Consulting (TLC), to more effectively serve the comprehensive needs of businesses worldwide. His company’s goal is to help build brands and increase supplies while maintaining the integrity of the natural products industry.

Jessica Lundberg

Lundberg Family Farms, Vice President of People, Planet and Process

Jessica Lundberg is Vice President of People, Planet and Process as well as a member of the Board of Directors of Lundberg Family Farms, the United State’s leading producer of organic rice and rice products. A member of the Lundberg family’s third generation, she oversees the quality, human resources, safety and environmental initiatives at the company as well as the seed nursery, overseeing the maintenance, purity and development of proprietary rice varieties such as Wehani®, Black Japonica and California Arborio.

Marty Mesh

Organic Pioneer & Sustainable and Socially Just Food Systems Advocate,

Marty first started growing organically in 1972. His passion led to forming a co-op that same year. Since then, Marty has been named as one of the top 25 people who have greatly influenced the development of the organic industry. As an organic farmer, Marty helped start Florida Certified Organic Growers & Consumers (FOG) in 1989 and served as the non-profit’s Executive Director. Aside from FOG’s policy work to further organic agriculture, FOG’s organic certification program, Quality Certification Services (QCS), provides services in 12 countries for more than one thousand farm and handling operations.

Melody Meyer

Source Organic,

Melody discovered her passion for the organic food industry in 1976 when she began working at a Natural Foods Coop in Iowa.  Years in the industry have given her extensive knowledge in international trade, organic marketing, policy and regulations. Melody was most recently Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility, Policy and Industry Relations at UNFI and served as the founding Executive Director for the UNFI Foundation. Melody served on the Board of Directors for the Organic Trade Association for 9 years, and is currently consulting at and providing thought leadership on her blog

Logan Peterman

Organic Valley, Director of Agricultural Research & Analytics

At Organic Valley, Peterman applies his expertise leveraging fresh insights to inform strategy and operational tactics for the farmer-owned cooperative that is Organic Valley—2,000 family farms strong across the country, and its increasingly international supply chain. With development efforts spanning from product nutrition and identifying biological drivers, to on-farm management and conservation, the scope of his work can involve nearly any part of the modern organic food system.  His primary goal, is to validate member intuition regarding organic benefits, nutrition, and resilience, using the research expertise of peer-reviewed academics and private research institutions.   Improving nutrition, reducing externalities, and ensuring integrity of organic foods into the future.

Susan Shields

Pluot Consulting, Partner and Co-founder

Susan is currently a Partner and co-founder at Pluot Consulting, which is focused on helping natural and organic companies grow profitably and sustainably. Prior to this, Susan was with Jamba Juice as SVP and Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Marketing Officer. Shields has over 25 years of strategic leadership experience in marketing, brand and product development, innovation, and business development within the retail and CPG food industry with an emphasis on the development of better-for-you food offerings.  Susan holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where she was an Austin Scholar, and she has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College.  Susan is a member of the Board of Directors for The Organic Center, Traditional Medicinals, and the YMCA of the Central Bay Area.