The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens

Nell Newman named new chair of Wholesome Wave

Nell Newman, co-founder and president of Newman's Own Organics, has become the chair of the board of directors of Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit organization that supports small and medium scale farmers and helps make fruits and vegetables available to people at all income levels. The appointment was announced today at Wholesome Wave's annual conference in Washington.

Newman succeeds Gus Schumacher, an Agriculture undersecretary for farm and foreign agricultural services in the Clinton administration, former Massachusetts agriculture commissioner and World Bank official, who founded Wholesome Wave in 2007 with Michel Nischan, a Westport, Conn., chef and food activist. Nischan remains chief executive officer and president of Wholesome Wave.

Newman, who has served on the Wholesome Wave board since 2008, has worked for a number of nonprofit, environmental organizations, and in the early 1990s persuaded her father, actor Paul Newman, to allow her to establish an organic division of the Newman's Own company.

The Newman's Own Foundation provided initial funding for Wholesome Wave, but the organization today has a wide variety of funders, including the Aetna Founation, Kaiser Permanente and the Agriculture Department.

Wholesome Wave is based in Bridgeport, Conn., but works with more than 170 farmers markets in 26 states that take part in its double value coupon program and fruit and vegetable prescription programs.