SALINAS, Ca. (February 15, 2018) – The California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) has welcomed 17 year organic industry veteran, John McKeon, Senior Manager of Organic Compliance and Sustainability for Tanimura & Antle, as a producer alternate to the committee.
Cathy Calfo, Executive Director & CEO of the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), nominated and endorsed McKeon, and Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), officially appointed him to the committee.
“John thoroughly understands certified organic production and is also knowledgeable about organic marketing, food safety, and shipping. He has devoted his career to California’s organic farming sector and will bring a wide range of valuable organic experience to the COPAC table,” stated Cathy Calfo.
The committee consists of 15 members that advise the California Secretary of Agriculture on California’s State Organic Program. The 15 members include six producers (at least one producer of meat, fowl, fish, dairy products, or eggs), two processors, one wholesale distributor, two consumers, one environmental representative, two technical representatives, and one retail representative. As a producer alternate, McKeon will attend all COPAC meetings and subcommittee meetings to discuss industry compliance, new regulations, and enforcement actions. Upon the absence of a producer committee member at official meetings, McKeon will substitute for that committee member with the same duties and power. McKeon’s term as producer alternate will carry through October 2020.
“John is doing a wonderful job managing Tanimura & Antle’s organic compliance for growing, harvesting, cooling and our international customers in Taiwan, Japan, Europe, Canada, etc.,” said Dr. Gurmail Mudahar, Vice President of Research & Development and Food Safety for Tanimura & Antle. “John is a valuable expert and a team player for our quality assurance department.”
A recent graduate of the California Agriculture Leadership Program, Class 47, McKeon’s scope of agriculture experience expands past California and the United States. During the program, the class visited and studied agriculture production and industry issues in Morocco, Gibraltar, and Spain. The California Agricultural Leadership Program, a 16-month program, is the longest continuously operating leadership training experience of its kind in the United States and is widely considered the premier program, in its niche, in the world.
“John’s recent appointment to the COPAC committee and graduation from the California Ag Leadership Program are significant accomplishments,” said Jeffrey Jackson, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Tanimura & Antle. “Our company is very fortunate to have highly skilled and passionate individuals like John on our team of employee owners.”
McKeon graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies. He has obtained numerous certifications in his career, with the most recent being the PSA Grower Training Course, Foreign Supplier Verification Rule Training, and the United Fresh Harmonized GAP Training.