34: Michael Rozyne, Co-founder of Red Tomato

About Michael Rozyne

Michael Rozyne has been a marketer of small farm products for three decades. He worked on conventional and organic farms in Maine, and was Purchaser and Marketer for a regional food distributor in New England. He was cofounder of the fair trade coffee company, Equal Exchange. He started Red Tomato in 1996 and now works as Red Tomato’s Evangelist. He lives with his partner Kimberly and two daughters in Middleborough, Massachusetts. In addition to his continued leadership at Red Tomato, Michael connects with others in the food movement by serving on the following boards:

 

 

About Red Tomato

Red Tomato was founded in 1996. Michael Rozyne, a co-founder of Equal Exchange, took a sabbatical from the fair trade coffee world to explore what it might look like to apply the same concepts on farms in the northeastern U.S.  Local food had yet to grab the attention of consumers, retailers, food writers or policy makers. What was clear was that small- and medium-sized farmers were losing their ability to compete in an increasingly consolidated, global marketplace. Red Tomato was born out of the search for a way to connect farmers with consumers through good produce.

 

Learn more about Red Tomato: Website

Our Conversation:

We discuss:

    • Why is sustainability important in the food industry?
    • Ideological perspectives–influencing how people think about food
    • Learning to appreciate other’s viewpoints in the food industry (and in general)
    • What does “Organic” actually mean when it comes to growing, farming, and selling?
    • Pesticide usage – what does it actually mean?
    • General pest control in the food industry
    • Red Tomato’s “Integrated Pest Management” (IPM)
    • What is the impact of pesticides on the environment?
    • “Native Pollination” and honeybees
    • Michael’s use of poetry (“rhyming”) in his public speaking
    • Michael’s background and journey in food
    • and so much more!

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