Lotus Foods names Andrew Burke as CEO, paving the way for innovation and global impact in sustainable rice cultivation
Agriculture Appointments Corporate

Lotus Foods Names Andrew Burke as CEO

Lotus Foods, the renowned heirloom and organic rice company, has recently announced a significant leadership transition with the promotion of Andrew Burke to the position of CEO. Previously serving as the President/COO, Burke has been an integral part of the company’s growth and success. The co-founders of Lotus Foods, Caryl Levine and Ken Lee, will remain in their board seats, focusing on expanding the company’s mission to revolutionize global rice cultivation. This strategic move, effective from July 2023, marks an exciting milestone in Lotus Foods’ nearly 30-year history, positioning the company for continued innovation, growth, and impact.

Andrew Burke’s promotion to CEO reflects his exceptional contributions to Lotus Foods since joining in October 2019. As the first C-Level hire in the company’s history, Burke has overseen various crucial aspects, including operations, supply chain management, finance, marketing, and sales. With extensive leadership experience in relevant industries, such as his previous role as CEO of TCHO Chocolate, Burke brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his new position. He has also held senior positions at esteemed organizations like E&J Gallo Winery, Diamond Foods, and Nature Box.

Expressing his gratitude for the opportunity, Burke said, “I’ve had a wonderful four years working with Caryl and Ken and have been humbled to do this important work alongside them. The entire team at Lotus Foods is united around our mission and committed to growing and innovating. I couldn’t be more honored and excited to continue to scale the impact of Lotus Foods with this group of talented people.”

While Andrew Burke assumes the role of CEO, Lotus Foods’ co-founders, Caryl Levine and Ken Lee, will maintain their involvement in the company’s mission-oriented initiatives. They will concentrate on expanding the adoption of a System of Rice Intensification (SRI) regenerative farming techniques among rice growers. Ken Lee will primarily work with existing and new supply chain partners while supporting advocacy and government relations. On the other hand, Caryl Levine will contribute her vision to new product development and innovation, as well as nurturing relationships with important partners, such as Jubilee Justice, an organization supporting Black farming communities using sustainable methods.

Levine and Lee described the transition as a culmination of four years of careful planning stating: “During Andrew’s tenure, he has successfully steered the company through the turbulent pandemic and post-pandemic years, increasing revenue and recruiting new creative talent. We can’t think of a better person to take on the CEO role as we shift our focus to expanding regenerative organic agriculture globally and fighting the urgent issue of climate change.”

Lotus Foods is widely recognized for its efforts to revolutionize rice cultivation practices on a global scale. By partnering directly with small family farmers worldwide, the company promotes sustainable rice farming methods that preserve rice biodiversity. Their diverse product line includes pigmented heirloom and organic rice varieties, such as Forbidden® Rice, Jade Pearl Rice™, Red Rice, traditional Basmati, Jasmine Rice, Tri-color Rice, as well as Rice Ramen, Pad Thai Rice Noodles, and Rice Ramen Noodle Soup Cups. These offerings can be found at major retailers across the United States.

As a certified B Corporation, Lotus Foods is committed to “changing how rice is grown around the world.” The company focuses on rice cultivation using the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), also known as More Crop Per Drop®. This method minimizes water usage, empowers women, financially rewards farmers, and reduces the environmental impact of rice production. 

Lotus Foods’ leadership transition and Andrew Burke’s promotion to CEO mark an exciting chapter in the company’s history. With a strong focus on sustainability, innovation, and global impact, Lotus Foods will continue to make significant strides in changing how rice is grown and fostering a more sustainable future for our planet.

Image provided by Lotus Foods

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