Melody has enjoyed over 40 years working in the organic trade helping it grow and flourish. She provides a unique perspective of thought leadership and on all things organic.
Melody’s career spans several decades in the organic and natural foods industry including 9 years of international trade and development. She began her career in 1976 working in an Iowa Natural Food Cooperative. Her early years in the retail segment of the burgeoning organic industry provided valuable experience buying from local farmers and providing fair returns in order to increase their organic acreage. This experience led to a lifelong dream of changing the way people eat and farm.
Melody founded her own business in 1995, Source Organic, which joined organic producers all over the country directly with national retailers and wholesalers. Source Organic was eventually acquired by Albert’s Organics (a division of United Natural Foods UNFI) in 2001 and it became the procurement department for all organic fresh produce purchased for the company. Her dream was being realized on a national scale!
In 2004 she began importing directly from small banana producers in Latin America. They were uniting and developing self-governed organizations enabling the small producers to export internationally for the first time. This international business provided a new level of prosperity allowing the communities to increase much need social systems and infrastructure.
She has been deeply involved in introducing Fair Trade certification to growers in Latin America with Fair Trade USA and FLO. The Fair Trade premiums are managed by self-governed worker groups to provide education, reforestation, access to clean water and health care.
She served 9 years on the Board of Directors for the Organic Trade Association (OTA). She served over a decade on the California Department of Food and Agriculture Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC).
Melody’s lifelong passion coupled with her experience and relationships supports her goal of continued involvement and influence in the organic food community. In her words, “It is an honor to serve our industry and the grower community through my continued work. Let’s strive to make organic food available to all consumers while enhancing the prosperity of our rural communities and preserving our environment.”