Farmer Focus Welcomes Matthew Dillon as Chief Sustainability Officer

Dillon’s extensive experience with impact-driven brands will help lead the company toward a sustainable future for independent farming

HARRISONBURG, Va., March 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Farmer Focus, the only 100% USDA organic and Humane Certified® chicken company with a mission to promote and protect generational family farms, announces the appointment of Matthew Dillon as Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO). Dillon brings extensive experience with social impact brands, sustainable supply chains, and federal and state advocacy, along with a passion for organic agriculture and a comprehensive understanding of the sustainability challenges and opportunities ahead for purpose-driven food companies. Dillon is a thought leader in organic agriculture, serving as a regular speaker at industry events and a member of the Organic Trade Association board. This addition to the executive team solidifies Farmer Focus’ commitment to minimizing the company’s environmental impact while also scaling for a new phase of growth and development.

“Matthew’s appointment to Chief Sustainability Officer echoes our deep commitment to creating a sustainable future for our farmers and the planet,” said Corwin Heatwole, Farmer Focus founding farmer and CEO. “As Farmer Focus has grown, so has our opportunity to impact change. We aim to build an organic food system and supply chain that reflects the values we hold as a company. I can think of no one more equipped to take on this ambitious challenge than Matthew Dillon.”

Dillon previously served as Vice President of Government Affairs and Social Impact at Clif Bar & Company, where he led multiple functions, including agriculture programs and investments, social impact, and government and public affairs. His experience scaling a mission-driven company rooted in sustainability aligns seamlessly with Farmer Focus. Before Clif, Dillon co-founded Organic Seed Alliance where he launched the nation’s first organic plant breeding programs, helped establish two farmer seed cooperatives, and built a network of technical assistance for organic seed growers. In 2012 he was appointed to serve on the National Genetic Resource Advisory Council. GOOD Magazine has recognized him as one of the GOOD 100, an award bestowed upon those improving the world in creative and innovative ways.

“Economic sustainability for farmers and stewardship of the planet are built into Farmer Focus’ ethos, mission, and operating model,” said Dillon. “The approach and commitment is truly unique, and I could not be more excited to take on the challenge of growing the company's impact.”

As CSO, Dillon will lead the company in implementing practices and protocols that positively impact rural communities by ensuring succession of family farms while facilitating healthier soil and water, and continuously improving organic farming practices. Heatwole and Dillon will be working collaboratively to build an organic grain and feed supply chain that reflects the company’s values more closely than those in existence today. This news is just the most recent indication of Farmer Focus' expansion and commitment to its mission. Other noteworthy points include:

  • In 2021, the Farmer Focus farming family grew by 62%. The company currently works with over 70 family farms, with over 100 more on the waiting list.
  • Farmer Focus is the #1 fastest growing natural or organic chicken brand in grocery stores over the 52-week period ending 2.22.22 as indicated by IRI data.
  • Farmer Focus is the #2 organic chicken brand in grocery stores over the latest 26-week period ending 2.22.22 as indicated by IRI Sales Data
  • The company was recognized by the White House in January when Heatwole was invited to join President Biden at a roundtable to discuss competition in the meat industry. During this conversation, he advocated for independent farmers and explained how Farmer Focus is creating a new and equitable business model for the poultry industry.

Founded by sixth-generation farmer Corwin Heatwole in 2014, Farmer Focus is the only 100% USDA organic and Humane Certified® chicken company with a mission to promote and protect generational family farms. By shifting farm-level decision-making and chicken ownership back to farmers and empowering them to farm the way they know is best, Farmer Focus significantly improves the financial viability of the farm and farmer profit. Available in 2,500 stores throughout the East Coast and Midwest, including major retailers like Publix, Kroger, Harris Teeter and more, Farmer Focus is committed to consistently producing exceedingly delicious, 100% USDA organic and humanely raised chicken that is better for people, the planet and animals.

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:

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