Laura Batcha, CEO and executive director of the Organic Trade Association (from left) Tonya Antle, Co-founder of the Organic Produce Network and Brett Burdsal, business development and sales representative with Dayka And Hackett, Reedley, Calif. visit after a workshop July 11 at the 2019 Organic Produce Summit.
( The Packer )

MONTEREY, Calif. - The organic industry is in growth mode, and that was reflected in the 2019 Organic Produce Summit.

The fourth edition of the event attracted good crowds, estimated at more than 1,600 by event organizers. The show floor included 148 exhibitors, and organizers said the event attracted 260 retailers from close to 100 banners.

The agenda for July 10 included field tours of Ocean Mist Organic, Driscoll’s, Taylor Farms, Braga Fresh Family Farms, and Tanimura & Antle facilities and operations.

Keynote presentations on July 11 at the Organic Produce Summit included author and vice president of RePlant Capital, Robyn O’Brien, and Dan Barber, chef, and author of a New York Times best-selling book called “The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food.” A retail roundtable discussion and other educational workshops preceded the expo on July 11.

The organic focus of the event makes it attractive, said Mark Munger, vice president of sales and marketing at 4Earth Farms, Commerce, Calif.

“Most of the shows are general shows, and this one is focused on one really exciting, really fast growing and energetic section of our industry right now,” he said.

Rob Adams, president of One/Better Banana Co., New York. N.Y., said Monterey is a great city to host the event, but the show’s success goes beyond the setting.

“I think there’s just a huge interest around organic produce, and I think it continues to grow,” he said. “I think people are trying to stay ahead of the curve and understand what consumers want and understand what the availability is out there and sell more fruit.”

The event will return to Monterey next year, organizers said.

“We’re just thrilled with the overall response and feedback that we got from retailers and the entire organic community,” said Matt Seely, co-founder of event organizer Organic Produce Network. Attendance this year was double the attendance of the show’s first year, he said. 


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