If You Care About Organic, Show up for Organic

GrassrootsOnce again I find myself in the air racking up miles and enjoying the white cotton-ball clouds festooning my flight path. I cross the continent yet again to have meetings and presentations at Expo East. While my body is hurtling towards the delectable food, illuminating conferences and critical connections to come, my thoughts are set on the future of organic and the NOSB meetings in November. I want to make sure everyone who cares about organic shows up for organic in a meaningful way. Continue reading

Dominican Republic – Women Matter!

Follow the yellow Brick roadIt is the last day of my work on this island of Hispaniola and I am a speaker at a celebrated conference for Women in Trade Leadership. A bevy of dignitaries, ambassadors and ministers circle the event with television camerawomen documenting the festivities. A diverse group of strong women business leaders engaged in cacao, pineapple, and avocado and greenhouse vegetable production are in attendance. They have taken time from their busy day to listen and learn about sustainable business practices, international marketing and trade as well as the benefits of organic. Continue reading

Dominican Republic Mission: Why am I Here?

pina-truckAt the turn of the century, I used to traverse the globe in search of organic producers. I gallivanted off to Ecuador and Peru customarily accompanied by Fair Trade USA. I traipsed and traversed continents to develop direct relationships with banana growers: important because bananas were our biggest single selling item in terms of volume. I remember long dusty drives on bumpy roads through poor villages only to arrive at some overheated office to meet a group of hardworking Spanish-speaking farmers. I often sat a bit dumbfounded, understanding about half of the conversation, I would ask myself “Why am I here, why me?” Continue reading

Dominican Republic Repose with the Storm

House2My newest wanderlust leads to a volunteer mission in the Dominican Republic. Ever since my tour in Tunisia, International Executive Service Corps (IESC), has coaxed, cajoled and finally secured another foreign assignment. My past efforts made an impact on organic producers with intentions to enter the international market. So as I fly south over the Bermuda Triangle, I admire the magnificent Cumulonimbus clouds over the wide expanse of blue and I ruminate how I can make a worthwhile impact. Continue reading

Can The National Organic Program Regulate Perfection?

OrganicI’ve been in the organic industry for several decades now, and there is an increasing trend to move the organic standards towards complete and utter purity. Some in the organic community are clamoring for the National Organic Program (NOP) to regulate perfection in the organic rules. They want zero tolerance, exact measurements and prescriptive protocols. I wonder, can organic achieve ultimate perfection in an imperfect world? To what end does this ultimate penchant for perfection actually harm us? Continue reading