Among the highlights at this year’s 7th Annual Organic Produce Summit,a two-day event set for July 12-13 at the Monterey Conference Center, is an educational session specifically designed to bring together organic fresh produce growers, shippers, and processors with retailers and buying organizations from across North America.
The session will look at “The Shifting Organic Assortment at Retail” and how “inflation and rising costs have impacted organic sales over the past year” as well as steps being taken as “producers and retailers are seeking new ways and opportunities to grow sales.”
One of five educational presentations, “Shifting Assortment” will feature “an exclusive analysis of organic fresh produce sales through the first half of this year, an examination of how consumer purchasing behavior is changing, and an exploration of opportunities to drive sales in an inflationary environment.”
It will be moderated by Tom Barnes, CEO of Category Partners, and panelists will include Scott Dray, global buyer for Walmart, and Greg Veneziano, vice president of perishables for Bozzuto’s.
Barnes will kick off with an overview of organic fresh produce sales through the first six months of 2023, analyzing the price gap between conventional and organic produce, geographic differences, and the performance of specific organic commodities.
The retail panelists will discuss the changing grocery landscape of the organic fresh produce category, with an overview of consumer trends and an exploration of future opportunities for growth.
“This session will not be one to miss if your company has any organic products in a retail store,” said Barnes. “I am excited to discuss the change in demand and consumer behavior toward organic produce with Scott and Greg and hear how suppliers can potentially pivot their organic assortment to meet these changes.”
Other ed session topics for OPS 2023 include sustainability, the growing importance of CEA (Controlled Environment Agriculture), the power of plants, and new organic rules and regulations.
Also slated for the event are a pair of keynote presentations, the first to feature Divert’s Co-Founder and CEO Ryan Begin. Begin will share info about his company’s leading role in addressing the human and environmental crises created by food waste in a TED Talk-style presentation titled “Protecting the Value of Food: Learning to Value Food at All Stages of Its Lifecycle—from Seed to Wasted Food to Renewable Energy.”
The second keynote is the “Retailer Roundtable:What Lies Ahead for Fresh Produce and Grocery Marketing.” This roundtable will feature leadership from three of the nation’s most progressive retailers. Panelists will be Abhi Ramesh, founder and CEO of Misfits Market; Sonya Constable, vice president of produce for Sprouts Farmers Market; and Daniel Bell, director of produce for Grocery Outlet.
OPS 2023 will also include field tours for qualified retailers and buyers as well as a gala opening night reception and a sold-out trade show floor featuring over 170 producers and processors of organic fresh produce from across North America and around the world.
Registration is open and can be handled at https://www.organicproducesummit.com/registration/
A flip page presentation of the full schedule can be viewed at https://www.organicproducesummit.com/schedule