Michael J. Potter was born December, 1949 in Detroit, Michigan and has been working in the organic foods industry since 1969. He began as a retailer in Birmingham, Michigan and co-founded Eden Foods in Ann Arbor where he has served as President and Chairman since 1972. As sole owner he has steered the growth of the company through multi-phases to its current position as the premier organic food manufacturer in the United States, and one of the most renowned in the world.
In 1984 he brought together the Japanese companies who became joint venture owners with Eden Foods of American Soy Products, Inc., America’s first soymilk manufacturing facilities. He was its Chairman and CEO from 1985 – 1991, and currently serves as a Managing Director. Headquartered in Saline, Michigan, this company is the largest processor of organically grown soybeans in the world. He was one of the founders of the Soyfoods Association of America and served as a Director from 1984 – 1987.
From Eden Foods’ headquarters in Clinton, Michigan he also oversees the operations of the Eden Organic Pasta Company, Detroit, Michigan; New Meridian, Inc., in Eaton, Indiana, the cannery for Eden Organic beans; the Sobaya Noodle Company in Québec, Canada; and their western distribution center and Sales offices near San Francisco. Operating these facilities he has acquired extensive experience with organic food processing, and has supported the development of Structural Pest Management, the most innovative methods for post harvest handling and storage of organic food.
His direct personal contact and relationships with organic farmers throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico, South America, Japan, Belgium, France, Egypt, and the U.K. beginning in 1970, have provided him a broad range of practical information about organic farming practices. Today he acts as an official Advisor to the Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture on matters pertaining to organic food production.
He resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan near his six children (two daughters, four sons) and three grandchildren (two girls and a boy).