Lee Frankel is executive director for the San Diego-based Coalition for Sustainable Organics, which was founded in 2016 by a group of growers committed to maintaining the USDA’s current high standards for certifying organic produce. The coalition advocates for the continued allowance of containerized growing methods under the National Organic Program, while enabling growers to select the most appropriate production system for their specific site and commodity needs, including soil-free operations. Before helping found the coalition, Frankel was business development and supply chain coordinator for USA and Canada for ROCA Productores, based in the Culiacán area in Mexico. He was director of special projects and regulatory affairs for Andrew & Williamson in 2012-13, and was president of the United Potato Growers from 2008 to 2011. He was president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas from 1996 to 2008. Before entering the produce industry, Frankel was an analyst with the U.S. International Trade Commission from 1991 to 1996.
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In advance of the National Organics Standards Board meeting in April, the board’s Crops Subcommittee shared a draft proposal calling for the end of organic certification for hydroponic and aquaponic growers. This proposal, if enacted, will have far reaching and damaging effects on hundreds of producers, thousands of retailers and wholesalers and millions of consumers… Continue Reading