Nov 6, 2019
Marni Karlin is CEA Food Safety Coalition’s first executive director  

The CEA Food Safety Coalition, comprised of leading controlled environment (CEA) leafy greens producers, has named Marni Karlin as the organization’s first executive director.

A seasoned public affairs expert with an extensive background in the food & agriculture industry, Karlin will work closely with coalition members, government agencies and industry experts to develop leading food safety standards for the CEA leafy greens industry. In addition to her work on food safety, Karlin’s role will also focus on growing the coalition’s membership, managing day-to-day operations and leading all communications and advocacy work.

Marni Karlin

For over a decade, Karlin has leveraged her expertise in policy, communications and law to institute positive change in the food industry. She previously served as Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel for the Organic Trade Association, where she represented the interests of the organic food, fiber and agriculture sector in Washington, D.C. There, she developed deep relationships with participants in the organic sector, crafted and implemented government affairs strategies and engaged Congress and federal and state agencies to further those policy goals. Prior to her work with the Organic Trade Association, Karlin served as Counsel to Senator Herb Kohl on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she advised the Senator through engaging with coalitions of government, nonprofit, and for-profit stakeholders.

“The CEA Food Safety Coalition is working with the government, with academics and with industry leaders to strengthen what I believe are the most effective food safety standards in the leafy greens industry,” said Paul Lightfoot, Chair of the CEA Food Safety Coalition. “Marni brings a demonstrated history of working with these stakeholders to advance positive change that improves the health of our food system. Her leadership will be invaluable as our industry grows.”

“I’m excited to lead the CEA Food Safety Coalition at this pivotal time,” shared Karlin. “As a growing sector, it’s critical that we build a community of engaged stakeholders to advocate and educate. This community can then work together with external stakeholders to create a healthier, more sustainable food system, in part through strengthening food safety standards to reflect the realities of our sector and to best protect consumer health. It’s an exciting opportunity for our sector and for the food system in general.”  

CEA leafy greens growers, including those using hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic methods, are encouraged to join the coalition. Those interested in joining can contact [email protected].

The CEA Food Safety Coalition is a coalition comprised of leading controlled environment leafy greens producers. Controlled environment agriculture (“CEA”) is agricultural food production in environments that are indoors (such as in greenhouses and vertical farms) and controlled, providing crops with ideal growing conditions and protection from outdoor elements (such as weather and animals). 

The coalition’s objective is to establish food safety standards for our industry, educate, and protect consumer health. Current board members for the organization include: Paul Lightfoot (President & Founder, BrightFarms), Marc Oshima (Co-Founder & CMO, AeroFarms), Paul Sellew (CEO, Little Leaf Farms), Michele Kubista (Food Safety Manager, Revol Greens), Chris Livingston (General Counsel, Bowery), Daniel Malech (General Counsel, Plenty).

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