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Home > Panel Discussion: Shoring up the Demand Side – Pinpointed Market Development to Support Transitioning Farmers Speakers

Panel Discussion: Shoring up the Demand Side – Pinpointed Market Development to Support Transitioning Farmers Speakers

Angela Wartes-Kahl | Member and Consultant for Organic Integrity Cooperative Guild

Angela Wartes-Kahl has been an organic farmer since 2005 and crop, processing, and textile inspector since 2011. She is the former Fiber and Textile Coordinator at Oregon Tilth, managing their Global Organic Textile Standard program. Angela served as the vice-chair of the Organic Trade Association’s Fiber Council for two terms. Angela co-founded Fibrevolution Inc in 2016, and grows organic fiber flax for the reemerging linen market. She is Board advisor to the new North American Linen Association and BOD member of Twisted Strait Fiber Coop Mill in Washington state. As a consultant, she is a member owner of the Organic Integrity Cooperative Guild, serving NOP operations with certification assistance.




Chris Wiegart | Chief Sustainability Officer at Healthy Food Ingredients

Chris Wiegart is the Chief Sustainability Officer for Healthy Food Ingredients, a specialty ingredient supplier bringing food safety and supply assurance to protect your brand promise.





Aimee Simpson | Senior Director of Sustainability, Advocacy and Standards at PCC Community Markets

Aimee Simpson is the Senior Director of Sustainability, Advocacy and Standards for PCC Community Markets. Started in 1953, PCC Community Markets is the largest community-owned food market the United States, with over 110,000 members, 16 stores in the Puget Sound region, and nearly $400 million in sales. PCC’s mission is to ensure that good food nourishes the communities we serve while cultivating vibrant, local, organic food systems. In everything, we strive to inspire and advance the health and well-being of people, their communities, and our planet. An attorney by trade and environmentalist at heart, Aimee has cultivated over a decade of legal and policy expertise on a wide range of food, environmental, health, social, and consumer protection issues. Aimee’s work at PCC ensures that the co-op operates stores, sells products, and supports policies that further its mission, vision, and values.




Ryan Smith | Senior Manager of Regenerative Agriculture, Impact & Partnerships at Danone

Ryan Smith is Senior Manager of Regenerative Agriculture Impact and Partnerships at Danone whose mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible. Ryan works at the intersection of regenerative business, financing on farm regenerative transitions, sustainable sourcing, fueling soil carbon sequestration and costs savings across the value chain






Kellee James | Founder & CEO of Mercaris (Discussion leader)

Kellee James is the Founder and CEO of Mercaris, a start-up company that provides a market information service and online trading platform for organic and non-GMO crops and ingredients. Kellee currently serves on the Board of Oregon Tilth. Kellee has an interest and experience in values-driven entrepreneurship, finance, and governance issues.




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