The Case for Independence in the Organic Trade: Creating and Sustaining Business Enterprises that Provide Vision, Leadership and a Path to Succession

Business Management

Thursday, February 2


Intensive flyer PDF

As the organic trade has experienced increasing consolidation under large, publicly-traded companies accountable to stock market returns, or to venture capital interests that may not be interested in the organic movement, we witness the disappearance of the visionaries who played critical roles in the creation of the organic trade from payrolls—a silencing of their progressive/ revolutionary voices that have lead on mission, values, vision to transform agriculture and achieve triple-bottom line returns—that are now required to adhere to parent company guidelines designed to protect their conventional holdings. 

The continued evolution of the organic foods trade can best be accomplished with a strong presence of privately held businesses in the mix, capable of participating unfettered in dialogue about how to maintain and express the values of embraced complexity, wholeness, transparency, and ethical behavior that brought us this far.

This day long intensive will focus on the experiences of organic trading companies that have both held onto and surrendered their private ownership, with guidance on how to walk the path of independence, from creating your business to sustaining it and passing the torch to those who follow.

Speakers: Tony Bedard, CEO, Frontier Co-op; David Bronner, Cosmic Engagement Officer, Dr. Bronner’s; David Lively, VP of Sales & Marketing, Organically Grown Company; George Siemon, CEIEIO, Organic Valley; Keely Wachs, Communications Director, Clif Bar; Stacy Kraker, Director of Communications & Marketing, Organically Grown Company; Denise Trepanier, President, Denise Trepanier Consulting, Inc.; Bená Burda, Founder and CEO, Maggie’s Organics/Clean Clothes Inc.; Arran Stephens, Co-Founder and CEO, Nature’s Path; Jyoti Stephens, HR and Sustainability Sr. Director, Nature’s Path