Oct 25, 2021
OGS speakers to talk technology in field, analyze retail data
Organic Produce Network, Western Growers

A pair of recently announced educational sessions will explore how technology is enhancing the production of organic crop production and offer a look at the growth of organic fresh produce sales at grocery stores across the nation over the past two years as part of the 2021 Organic Grower Summit (OGS) presented by Western Growers and OPN educational program, slated for December 1-2 in Monterey, California.

The first session, “SmartFarm: AgTech in the Field,” will explore how new technologies – from robotics to equipment to data management – are making organic growers more efficient in crop production. As growers expand their toolkit by incorporating new technologies, the ed session will explore the impact on production, costs, and the environment. Moderated by Bart Walker, President of Pacific Ag Rentals, panelists for the session include Josh Roberts, President and general manager of Triangle Farms; Gabe Sibley, CEO and Co-Founder of Verdant Robotics; and Sebastien Boyer, Co-Founder and CEO of FarmWise.

Clockwise, from the upper left, are Sebastian Boyer, Gabe Sibley, Tom Barnes, Josh Roberts, Ben Hartman and Bart Walker. Photos: OGS
Clockwise, from the upper left, are Sebastian Boyer, Gabe Sibley, Tom Barnes, Josh Roberts, Ben Hartman and Bart Walker. Photos: OGS

“Technological advances and data management continue to evolve for organic growers, providing a wide array on new tools designed for greater efficiency in the production of crops. This session will highlight some of the newest technologies, equipment, and programs available for growers and how they can best be utilized in the ever-changing landscape of organic fresh produce production,” said Walker.

The second announced session, Organics at Retail–Performance and Consumer Expectations,” will feature an in-depth look at organic fresh produce sales at retail over the past two years and offer consumer insight on organic compared to conventional fruits and vegetables. The session will feature an analysis of sales by Tom Barnes, CEO of Category Partners; and Ben Hartman, Senior Category Manager, Perishables of Good Eggs will offer insight on how consumers view organic fresh produce and how e-commerce is altering consumer buying behavior.

“Since the pandemic started nearly two years ago, sales of organic fresh produce have flourished as consumers look for healthy, nutritious products to feed their families. While that growth has slowed slightly, the prospect for organic sales continues to be bright. The session will explore the growth of organic produce over the past two years, and what the future may look like for consumers,” said Barnes.

The fourth annual OGS is designed to provide information vital to organic growers and producers, as well as an overview of the opportunities and challenges in the production of organic fresh food. The newly announced sessions are part of an extensive educational program designed to inform and engage organic producers, their service providers, and supply chain partners. OGS exhibition and general registration is currently open. With only three booths available before the OGS trade show floor sells out, exhibitors include soil amendment, ag technology, food safety, packaging, and equipment manufacturers connecting with organic field production staff, supply chain managers, pest control advisors, and food safety experts.

OGS 2021 will be held December 1-2 at the Monterey Hyatt Conference Center in Monterey, CA. More details on the educational program, including session topics and speakers, will be released in the coming weeks. For more information on the fourth annual Organic Grower Summit, visit www.organicgrowersummit.com.

Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California, Colorado, and New Mexico. OPN is a marketing organization serving as the go-to resource for the organic fresh produce industry.

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