WASHINGTON, June 23, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Monique Marez this week joins the staff of the Organic Trade Association (OTA) as its Senior Manager for International Trade. Marez most recently served as Strategic Projects Manager for Great Performances, a leader in the hospitality industry that specializes in using and promoting organic food.
Marez brings with her a wealth of knowledge on research and analysis of markets, strategic implementation and outreach, and the global food and agricultural industry. With a Master's in Food Systems from New York University and a Bachelor's in Economics and International Studies from Yale, Marez's academic background focused on food and agriculture in the context of international trade and globalization.
Prior to Great Performances, Marez worked with the James Beard Foundation, a non-profit group dedicated to educating people about America's culinary culture through educational initiatives, conferences, and awards.
"The organic world is an international world, and Monique's training in international trade, coupled with her specialty in food and agriculture, will serve us well," said Laura Batcha, CEO and Executive Director of OTA. "Monique's informed outlook on the current state of the food supply in the United States, including organic, along with her knowledge of the global market make her an exciting addition to OTA."
The global market for organic products has posted steady gains in recent years. The United States exported almost $450 million worth of organic products in 2012, an increase of nearly ten percent from the previous year. Estimates are that global sales of organic products that year totaled $64 billion, with over 40 percent of those sales occurring in the United States.
Marez says she was raised with a deep appreciation for healthy, wholesome food, and the importance of the availability of such food. "I believe mothers and fathers should be able to nourish their families with the safest, most wholesome food possible, and making organic products more readily available from Harlem to Helsinki will make that vision a reality," said Marez.
As Senior Manager for International Trade, Marez will be responsible for implementing OTA's international trade strategy through collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, external contractors and industry representatives, and will manage OTA's international trade grant funding development. Marez will play a key role in helping OTA achieve its commitment to developing markets around the world and creating new opportunities for America's organic growers.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for organic trade in the United States, representing over 6,500 organic businesses across 49 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA's Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.
SOURCE Organic Trade Association