Organic Produce Summit 2022 Unveils First Educational Session; Susan Canales and Todd Linsky Comment
MONTEREY, CA - July may seem like it’s a way off, but if the past few years have proven anything, it’s that time has seemed to speed up—especially in the produce industry. Anticipating its Organic Produce Summit (OPS) 2022, held July 13–14, the Organic Produce Network (OPN) announced the subject of its first educational session, Hydroponics: To Soil or Not to Soil?
“[Controlled environment agriculture] is changing the landscape of food production and providing consumers a variety of new items that will continue to evolve in the years ahead,” said Susan Canales, President of the Organic Produce Summit. “This first of a two-part session dealing with CEA at this year’s event will explore both sides of the soil debate, with a goal of finding common ground as the industry looks to the future.”
As CEA continues to grow and hydroponically grown products become eligible for organic certifications, the session will feature industry leaders from both sides of the issue discussing what the future of organic hydroponics might look like. According to a release, the session will also touch on the current lawsuit filed against the USDA regarding the topic.
Production of fresh produce using CEA has created an over $100 billion-plus industry, all while using less water and no pesticides, while also incorporating innovative and efficient technologies. In the first two education sessions focused on the sector, panelists will debate “soil vs. soilless” from a production and legal standing. The panel will also explore whether hydroponic operations should remain exempt from the soil fertility requirement.
This session will be moderated by Todd Linsky, host of Todd-versations. Panelists include: Lee Frankel, Executive Director for Coalition for Sustainable Organics; Karen Archipley, Co-Chief Executive Officer for Archi’s Institute for Sustainable Agriculture; Aaron Brookes, Director of Sales and Marketing for Jacobs Farm del Cabo; and Sylvia Wu, Senior and Managing Attorney for the Center for Food Safety.
“It is apparent that the debate around greenhouses, soil, and where in the ethos organic fits are a few of the hottest and most polarizing topics today. Many people do not realize the ramifications of the pending lawsuit filed against the USDA, or the movement to end already allowed organic container, greenhouse, and new emerging farming technologies,” said Linsky. “We are at a crossroads moment for the industry as it relates to CEA and hydroponic growing. Will we raise the bar on agriculture technology or run from it?”
In addition to this panel discussing CEA, OPS 2022 will feature discussions on topics such as regenerative agriculture, sustainability, branded vs. private label organic offerings, and a data dive of organic fresh produce sales analysis.
The two-day event will bring together organic fresh produce growers, shippers, and processors with retailers and buyers from across North America, and will be held in Monterey, California.
To see more information about the event or to register, click here.
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