The Global Organic Produce Expo drew attendees from all over the world, including Chile, China, Hong Kong, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Malaysia, Peru, New Zealand and Netherlands.
GOPEX events began Thursday, Jan. 9, with the PortMiami tour.
The tour was followed by a TopGolf networking event.
Friday’s educational and informational sessions began with a presentation from Jenny Tucker, deputy administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program, on the current state of organic regulations.
David Magaña from Rabobank then spoke on a financial approach to market forecasts, “What fresh produce commodities are seeing retail organic premiums rise and what commodities are seeing organic premiums come under pressure?”
Next on the docket for GOPEX attendees was a retail panel with moderator Mike Mauti from Execulytics Consulting and these panelists:
- Randy Riley from Kroger;
- Alexis Carey from The Organic Trade Association;
- David Magaña from Rabobank; and
- Charlie Xu Ain from Win Chain.
Todd Linsky of Todd Linsky Consulting moderated the organic and climate session following the retail panel. Panelists include Dr. Erin Silva from the University of Madison and Dorn Cox, research director at Wolfe's Neck Center for Agriculture & the Environment. This session explained how organic farming can be part of a climate change solution.
Next, a sustainable packaging breakout session asked the question, “How are organic marketers and consumers responding to consumer desires for sustainable and compostable packaging?”
Moderator Van Agiros from Albert’s Fresh Produce led the conversation with Tim York from Markon Cooperative, Ross Farnsworth from Walmart, Dan Davis from Starr Ranch Growers and Roger Plank from Deline Box and Display as panelists.
Great discussion around sustainable packaging at #GOPEX. Watch for an article later that will cover some of the perspective from Walmart, Markon and others. #freshproduce #Sustainability #packaging pic.twitter.com/VSY9AFrDiW— Produce Retailer (@produceretailer) January 10, 2020
Another breakout session covered the basics of organics. The session discussed best practices with an eye toward alignment with organic regulations, as well as those that have been proven most successful with retailers and shoppers. Jo Mirenda of the Organic Trade Association moderated, with panelists Mike Dill of Organically Grown Co. and Logan Petrey of Cal-Organic/Grimmway Farms.
The sessions were followed by a food safety panel hosted by Produce Retailer’s Ashley Nickle, with panelists Marco Azzaretti of Tomra, Douglas Marshall of Eurofins Microbiology Laboratories, and Dave Corsi of Wegmans and chairman of the board for the Center for Produce Safety.
Next up on the GOPEX events list was Angela Jagiello, director of education and insights for the Organic Trade Association, talking about consumer messaging for maximum impact. Read the in-depth article, written by our editor, Tom Karst, here.
A logistics panel moderated by Jerry D’Amore of Inteligistics Inc., described logistics advancements and the innovation used to track fresh shipments.
At the same time, Jo Mirenda, farm policy director for the Organic Trade Association, and Mike Dill of Organically Grown Co., spoke as part of an organic policy panel.
Saturday’s events began with Ashley Tyrner of Farmbox Direct/Farmbox RX speaking on “How Produce will Change Health Care in America.”
Kicking off expo day at #GOPEX with a presentation from Ashley Tyrner with Farmbox Direct, which is now partnering with insurance to give free food boxes with produce to elderly Medicare patients with diet-related and chronic diseases. #freshproduce #grocery #retail pic.twitter.com/w9Za6nSbFe— Produce Retailer (@produceretailer) January 11, 2020
The keynote speaker, Antoni Porowski, is the food expert on Netflix’s “Queer Eye.”
“GOPEX is excited to showcase Antoni’s views and perspectives around fresh organic produce because he brings to light a generational shift in how we relate to food,” said Jessie Gunn, vice president of marketing and events for produce at The Packer and Farm Journal. “Antoni believes all food has a story and the story to organic food is so powerful.”
Then attendees were invited to explore the expo floor.