Organic Grower Summit Announces Sun Basket COO Don Barnett as Keynote

Organic Grower Summit Announces Sun Basket COO Don Barnett as Keynote

MONTEREY, CA – The first ever Organic Grower Summit (OGS), a joint production between California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and Organic Produce Network (OPN), has finalized its keynote speakers, rounding out the line-up with Sun Basket COO Don Barnett.

“Our mission at Sun Basket is to make healthy cooking easy and delicious by delivering Northern California’s healthy food culture to the rest of America,” Barnett said, in a recent press release. “We’re re-imagining the food supply chain with state-of-the-art technology that allows amazing food from the best organic farms to reach a wider American audience. To be able to share information and network with organic growers at OGS benefits all of us in the world of organic food.”

Sun Basket Salmon Dish

With over 25 years of fresh produce experience, including acting as Co-Founder/Partner and CFO of NewStar Fresh Foods, Organicgirl Produce, and Pessagno Winery, Barnett has been confirmed as the final keynote presenter and will represent Sun Basket, a leading nationwide delivery service that provides recipes and pre-portioned organic ingredients for home-cooked meals, at this year’s OGS.“We are thrilled Don is able to talk to OGS attendees about the growing direct-to-consumer marketplace and the challenges and opportunities for those producing organic fresh products,” said Tonya Antle, Co-Founder of OPN. “Sun Basket has made a tremendous commitment to the organic and sustainable space and is positioned to be a leader in this category."

The inaugural OGS will bring together organic growers, producers, and processors for two days of education, information, and networking opportunities with organic production supply chain and service providers in Monterey, CA. Held on December 13-14, the event includes a series of educational sessions, keynote presentations, meal functions, and a sold-out trade show floor exhibiting over 75 service providers and supply chain companies, sponsored by Western Growers. Among participating exhibitors are leaders in the fields of seed, packaging, soil amendments, and food safety, who will be connecting with organic field production staff, supply chain managers, pest management advisors, and food safety experts.

Organic Grower Summit

The education-rich program of OGS includes six different sessions covering an array of subjects from technology to soil optimization and will feature some of the industry’s leading experts. Among the scheduled educational sessions are: “Issues Facing Organic Farmers Today,” “Clean and Renewable Technology,” and “Tools for Plant and Soil Health.” Additionally, a Grower Roundtable titled “From Wall Street to Main Street, Organic Means Good Business” is slated as a keynote presentation and features Scott LaRue of Piper Jaffray as moderator, and Bill Reiman of Gladstone Land Corp, founder of Mission Ranches Stan Pura, and President of Grimmway Farms Jeff Huckaby.

Participating grower attendees also will have an opportunity to meet with a team of Costco buyers as part of a special "Meet the Organic Farmer" session. This unique session provides certified organic farmers and grower representatives the opportunity to meet one-on-one with Costco organic produce, dairy, meat, and wine buyers to discuss operations and products.

Heather Shavey, Assistant Vice President, Costco“Costco is committed to meeting directly with organic farmers, who are truly on the front lines of bringing top quality organic products to market,” said Heather Shavey, Assistant Vice President for Costco. “We appreciate the work OPN has done in putting together this unique opportunity to meet face to face with those responsible for actually growing organic products. Our buying team is looking forward to learning more about organic production, hearing about new product innovations, and building new supplier opportunities to meet the growing demand for organics for our shoppers.”

Additionally, OGS is finalizing an educational outreach program for PCA, PRC, and qualified applicators to kick off the event. Attendees are eligible for two hours of approved continuing education credit and can learn about new requirements for pesticide use near schools and worker protection standards.

For a complete schedule of events and more information, visit For more produce industry news, stay up-to-date with AndNowUKnow.

Organic Grower Summit