The Organic Trade Association has a new board president: Matt McLean, CEO and founder of Uncle Matt’s Organic Inc., an all-organic citrus juice and produce brand.

McLean succeeds Julia Sabin of Smuckers, who served as president for the past three years. Sabin’s OTA presidency was highlighted in an Organic Spies video. Organic Spies argued that, as VP of the "natural" division of a primarily conventional company, Sabin would support Food Inc.’s efforts to co-opt and water-down organic while protecting industrial agriculture’s GMOs and factory farms.

Sabin continues to serve as an OTA board member, but another OTA leader profiled by Organic Spies, Chuck Marcy of Marcy and Partners, has retired from the Board after serving three full terms, nine years, including eight years as board treasurer.

Marcy was President and CEO of Horizon Organic from 1999 until 2004, when he sold Horizon to Dean Foods for $246 million. Organic Spies argued that the largest conventional milk company controlling the largest organic milk company benefitted Dean Foods and conventional agriculture more than Horizon and organic agriculture. Organic Spies made the case that the Dean-Horizon merger is the reason Horizon fought enforcement of the rule that organic cows must graze on pasture and why the OTA adopted the failed strategy of advocating for "coexistence" between organic and genetically engineered alfalfa, rather than trying to stop GMO alfalfa and the threat that this perennial crop would contaminate and destroy organic alfalfa. (Horizon finally submitted to the organic pasture rule after an OCA boycott, but the USDA ultimately rejected coexistence and approved GMO alfalfa without regulations to protect organic.)

Other officers of the new OTA board are:
– Sarah Bird (Annie’s Homegrown, Division of Annie’s Inc.) as Vice President-United States – NATURAL/ORGANIC
– Gunta Vitins (Vitins Consulting) as Vice President-Canada – N/A
– Kristen Holt (Quality Assurance International) as Treasurer – ORGANIC CERTIFIER
– Todd Linsky (Cal-Organic/Grimmway Farms) as Secretary – ALL ORGANIC

Other members of the current board are:
– Tony Bedard (CEO of Frontier Natural Products Cooperative) – ALL ORGANIC
– Melody Meyer (VP of Global Initiatives, UNFI) – MOSTLY NATURAL
– Scott Nash (CEO of Mom’s Organic Market) – MOSTLY ORGANIC
– Tom Cowell (Growers International Organic Sales Incorporated) – ALL ORGANIC
– Nicole Dawes (Late July Organic Snacks) – ALL ORGANIC
– Chris Ely (Applegate Farms) – NATURAL/ORGANIC
– Kelly Shea (WhiteWave Foods) – CONVENTIONAL/NON-GMO/ORGANIC
– Craig Weakley (Craig Weakley Consulting) – N/A
– Leslie Zuck (Pennsylvania Certified Organic) – ORGANIC CERTIFIER