Organic Produce Summit 2022 Reports Record Attendance; Susan Canales Comments
MONTEREY, CA - It was truly a sight to see as a record 1,700 industry members gathered at the sixth annual Organic Produce Summit (OPS), held last week in Monterey, California, to discuss a host of topics pertinent to organic fresh produce. As experts explored how to connect with consumers in an era of inflation, the future of supply chain sustainability, and more, several esteemed keynote speakers shared valuable insights to uplift the future of organics.
“Based on feedback from attendees, OPS 2022 was a tremendous success, meeting the goals and objectives in discussing the growth, opportunities, and challenges of the organic fresh produce industry in the post-pandemic landscape,” said Susan Canales, President of OPS. “From the retailer field tours, engaging ed sessions, and a sold-out trade show floor, OPS attendees celebrated the organic fresh produce industry and what the future may look like.”
The second day of the event included six educational sessions and a trio of inspirational keynote presentations featuring leadership from several of the nation’s most progressive retailers.
John Ruane, The GIANT Company Senior Vice President, Omnichannel Merchandising, and Chief Merchandising Officer, discussed the evolution of the grocery landscape and the importance of retailers creating a seamless brand experience by developing a consistent shopping experience across all consumer touchpoints.
“The Future of Grocery Retailing,” led by Walter Robb, former Co-Chief Executive Officer of Whole Foods Market and current Principal of Stonewall Robb Advisors, featured retailers Michael Schutt, Director of Produce for Raley’s; Jeff Cady, Director of Produce for Tops Markets; and Edmund LaMacchia, Former Global Vice President of Procurement for Whole Foods Market. During this presentation, the retail experts discussed how the industry can maintain growth in the face of supply chain issues, the role of technology and e-commerce, the evolving consumer, and new innovations in retail.
Plastic Bank Founder David Katz also took the stage in the third keynote to highlight the challenges of ridding the ocean of plastic, sharing how he developed an ecosystem that provides consumers living in impoverished areas an opportunity to collect and trade plastic waste for currency.
Among the subject matter in the six educational sessions, attendees heard from experts about the growth of regenerative agriculture, supply chain and sustainability challenges, and a look at the state of controlled environment agriculture, a press release explained.
Cheers to another successful OPS event!