Randall Coleman has more than 6 years of program and data management experience in the certification industry including LEED®, ENERGYSTAR®, ISO 17024, ISO 14000 series, and most recently at the Non-GMO Project. He is passionate about helping environmental and social organizations make better decisions using data; and is particularly interested in addressing the food system. Prior to joining the Non-GMO Project, he consulted for various non-profit, for-profit, and intergovernmental organizations providing expertise on research, sustainability, and database management.
His interests in food led Randall to co-found an international development NGO (Can YA Love) that works with people around the world to grow healthy food in densely urban spaces using vertical gardens. He is also the creator and facilitator of The Food Trade Game, an experiential learning tool to facilitate dialogue and action, and to create a more economically just food system. You can see his work on sustainable development and food systems in various publications and speaking engagements in the U.S. and Canada, as well as the UK, Germany, Colombia, and Kenya.
Away from work Randall enjoys making music and playing in the garden with his wife.
Q&A with Randy:
What interests you about working with the Non-GMO Project and what about this opportunity caught your attention?
As someone who is deeply passionate about GMOs and their impact on the environment and farmers’ livelihoods, I was excited to come and work for the premier verification body for non-GMO products. I am a strong believer in the power of voluntary standards to change the markets and how they operate. My dream job is to work with data and information on topics that matter and work for an organization that is changing the world. I am now working that dream as the Business Information Specialist at the Non-GMO Project.
How do you think your prior experience will help you in working with the Non-GMO project?
My prior experience in certification, non-profits, and food systems will help me tremendously in this role. For more than 6 years I have worked with long established environmental standards and certification processes including LEED®, ENERGYSTAR®, the GHG Protocol, and various ISO standards. This firm understanding of certification processes and my expertise in data management will allow me to improve efficiencies within the organization, provide clients top notch service, and discover business insights to help drive the Non-GMO Project’s mission.
I am very familiar with non-profits and non-profit management. In 2011, I started a non-profit called Can YA Love which works with people around the world to grow healthy food in densely urban spaces using vertical gardens. CYL’s mission is to help communities build food security and food sovereignty in the face of a host of complex challenges for urban dwellers and farmers alike. Working with CYL has taken me to many places around the world to see first hand how a commodity driven, industrial produced food system is depleting fertile land and pushing farmers away from farming and into cities.
In addition, I’m an avid learner of the ever-changing GMO industry and teach what I learn in a workshop I created called The Food Trade Game. The game simulates real life scenarios using particular crops and countries and highlights the negative consequences industrial monoculture has on farmers, consumers, and the environment. I am happy to be working with an organization that is transforming the food supply chain and educating consumers at the same time.
What is important to you about the work you will be doing with the Project?
What is most important to me is that I will be supporting a mission for building and protecting a non-GMO world. I’m happy to use my skills and experience to help the organization meet this mission in whatever way I can. In particular, I look forward to utilizing data to answer questions and discover important insights for the Non-GMO Project.