May 4, 2022
OPS educational session to look at consumer connection to CEA produce
The burgeoning growth of controlled environment agriculture and how growers and consumers view this emerging segment of fresh produce production is the second of two educational sessions devoted to CEA at Organic Produce Summit 2022.
“CEA Part 2 – CEA of Tomorrow: From the Greenhouse to the Consumer” will feature leadership from a pair of top organic CEA producers and one of the fresh produce industry’s most progressive retailers, offering their insight on how indoor-grown fresh produce items are performing, pricing, marketing challenges and how consumers are reacting to them.
Moderated by Todd Linsky, host of Todd-versations, the session is the second of a two-part educational series at OPS focused on CEA. Panelists for the session include Matt Ryan, CEO of Soli Organic; Brendon Krieg, co-founder and vice president of Revol Greens, and Andrew McGregor, VP of produce for Sprouts Farmers Market.
A $100 billion-plus industry, CEA-grown fresh produce requires no pesticides and less water than traditional farming methods while incorporating innovative and efficient technologies to provide fresher produce to consumers. The ramifications of hydroponically grown items being eligible for organic certification is the subject of the first of the two-part session, “CEA Part 1-Hydroponics: To Soil or Not to Soil?” The session will feature industry leaders from opposing sides of the issue discussing the current lawsuit filed against USDA, and what the future of organic hydroponics may look like.
“The race to feed 9.8 billion people by 2050 has begun,” said Linsky. “How we are going to do it organically is a work in progress. The issues and opportunities surrounding CEA are certainly worthy of greater input and understanding. This panel will offer attendees the chance to hear from CEA and retail leadership on how these products are grown and marketed while learning more about the challenges and opportunities these new items offer consumers.”
OPS 2022 is a two-day event specifically designed to bring together organic fresh produce growers, shippers, and processors with retail and buying organizations from across North America. The sixth annual event will be held July 13-14 at the Monterey Conference Center in Monterey, California.
In addition to the pair of educational sessions devoted to CEA, other sessions slated for OPS 2022 will explore regenerative agriculture, branded vs. private label organic offerings, sustainability across the supply chain, organic sales data (from the first half of 2022), and the impact of inflation on consumer purchasing behavior.
OPS 2022 will feature three keynote presentations, two of which have been announced. In the first, John Ruane, senior vice president and chief omnichannel merchandising officer for The GIANT Company, will discuss The Growth of Omnichannel Merchandising That’s Driving Retail Sales and how consumers will spend more and become more loyal to a brand with an effective omnichannel merchandising and marketing program.
In the second announced keynote presentation, David Katz, founder of Plastic Bank, will share how the world’s most progressive companies are stewarding the collection of ocean-bound plastic waste and empowering communities to thrive.
OPS 2022 also includes a selection of field tours for qualified retailers and buyers, a gala opening night reception, and a sold-out trade show floor featuring over 150 producers and processors of organic fresh produce from across North America and the globe.
More information will be made available in the coming weeks as the event’s program becomes finalized. Registration to attend OPS 2022 is available at www.organicproducesummit.com.