( Courtesy SEPC )

The Southeast Produce Council, Millen, Ga., has cancelled Southern Innovations because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual event was scheduled for Sept. 16-19 in Savannah, Ga.

David Sherrod, SEPC president and CEO, said the decision was made with a “heavy heart.”

“Our sincere desire was to provide a beacon of shining a light for an in-person event to provide hope and healing for our industry and country,” Sherrod said in a news release. “However, we recognize that the current environment is not allowing for Southern Innovations to occur as planned.

“We have exciting efforts underway to connect our SEPC members in new and unique ways, and we are focused on delivering an incredible Southern Exposure in Spring of 2021,” he said in the release.

The SEPC plans to launch a platform to provide membership and industry resources, “to create the rich values of face-to-face experiences” provided by the council, according to the release.

“Four months ago, we started praying that the world would be back to normal soon and that we would be able to gather back up as a family in Savannah for our annual Southern Innovations event,” Brandon Parker, SEPC board chairman, said in the release. “Even the best-laid plans just sometimes do not work out.”

Registration for Southern Exposure, scheduled for Feb. 25-27, is set to open in mid-September.

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