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Organic Produce Association names new chairman

The Organic Produce Association elected Theojary (Theo) Crisantes Jr., chief operations officer for Wholesum, as its chairman. Crisantes has been serving in an acting capacity since the fall of last year.

Crisantes, a trained agronomist, has worked for over 20 years in the organic produce industry, growing certified organic tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers and eggplant at his family’s third-generation farming operation. Wholesum currently supports over 21.8 million square feet of greenhouses and grows 2,500 acres of in-ground produce.

“I am honored to be elected as the inaugural Chair of OPA,” said Crisantes. “From the beginning, our goal has been to increase consumer access to affordable organic produce. Since our formation, we have met with key leaders in Congress and at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, submitted comments with suggestions to improve the National Organic Program and National Organic Standards Board, and advocated for appropriations increases. As chair, I look forward to working with all our OPA members to address key issues with the goal of expanding the production and consumption of organic produce. I am also excited to help grow the OPA membership.”

“As a founding member of OPA, NatureSweet is proud to announce our inaugural chair and the great work being done by this organization to increase access to affordable organic produce,” said Skip Hulett, vice president and general counsel for NatureSweet.

The Organic Produce Association consists of members in the organic produce industry who focus on science-based policymaking and the ability to be innovative while respecting the tradition of organics and the integrity of the USDA Organic Seal.

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