Set at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, 2019’s Southern Innovations Organic & Foodservice Expo organized by the Southeast Produce Council kicks off Wednesday, Sept. 11, and runs through Saturday, Sept. 14, with a spectacular agenda and speaker series packed into three full days.
Onions are well-represented at the event, with Shuman Farms of Reidsville, GA, rolling out its new organic packaging.
A release from Shuman noted that through “the use of a different netting and thinner film, the plastic in the new consumer bags will be reduced by 38 percent while maintaining the structural integrity of packaging.” Company President John Shuman added, “The revamp of our organic packaging is just the beginning of an overall initiative to increase sustainability across all of our RealSweet brand products. Innovative marketing is a part of our core values, and we believe that innovation should lead to more sustainable offerings at retail following trends of consumer and retailer demand.”
The redesigned organic packing, like the rest of the RealSweet brand line of consumer bags, “reduces shrink by design, allowing good airflow around the onions to keep them fresh,” the release said.
As it works to educate consumers on reducing food waste through its packaging, Shuman Farms also partners with Feeding America®. The organization has noted that while 40 percent of food in America goes to waste, one in eight persons struggles with hunger. Shuman Farms will greet visitors at Booth 301.
Among the agenda highlights on Thursday is a Recipe Session for foodservice members, moderated by Ronnie De La Cruz of De La Cruz Consulting & Training. The session will feature teams of industry experts and guest chefs. There will also be a women-only luncheon hosted by the ladies of Southern Roots and featuring keynote speaker Shasta Nelson, noted motivational speaker, author and founder of GirlFriendCircles.com, a global online community that introduces women to new friends and inspires better friendships.
Friday’s educational sessions include “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Organics but Were Afraid to Ask,” “Avocado to Zucchini: Trending Produce in Foodservice.”
The General Session and Keynote Luncheon, with a State of the Council update, will be followed by the keynote address given by Steve Robinson, former Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Chick-fil-A. The Expo will run from 1-5 p.m., and among this year’s onion exhibitors are Eagle Eye Produce headquartered in Idaho Falls, ID; L&M Cos. of Raleigh, NC; Herndon Farms of Lyons, GA; Shuman; and Wada Farms of Idaho Falls, ID.
The event is also a chance for Nashville to shine, and singer/songwriter Chris Lane will be on hand with entertainment at the Chairman’s Dinner Dance Friday night.
Saturday will dawn with the Founders Memorial Golf Tourney, and other Southern Exposure activities include tours, receptions and an outstanding venue for networking. For additional information on this event, visit http://www.cvent.com/events/southern-innovations-2019/custom-19-872583fcac28486797f85fd44a344da5.aspx.