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Providing an in-depth look at the produce industry’s path forward in an era of unprecedented social and environmental awareness, The Packer’s Sustainable Produce Summit is scheduled for May 28 at the JW Marriott Palm Desert, Palm Desert, Calif.

“We are excited to focus the produce industry, in this deep dive kind of format, on sustainability, in an ongoing and consistent conversation,” said Jessie Gunn, vice president of marketing and events for produce at The Packer and Farm Journal.

“Sustainable Produce Summits (SPS) will empower, enable and equip the fresh produce industry to grow fresh produce that cares for life and planet. That’s our mission statement for the summits, and I think it will be as it should be, our North star.”

The event, which occurs just before The Packer’s May 29-30 West Coast Produce Expo, also in Palm Desert, will include:

  • A full day of education with multi-track sessions;
  • A focus on three United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Climate Action, Responsible Consumption and Production, and Reduced Inequalities; and
  • An ecological Jeep tour of the San Andres Fault line and dinner and a presentation under the stars at Metate Ranch.

Consumer insight

Consumer research by The Packer will answer several questions related to sustainability, according to event organizers:

What elements of sustainability drive consumer choices;

  • Monitoring the importance of sustainable certification in the consumer purchasing process;
  • Geographic and demographic comparisons of sustainability preferences;
  • What impact sustainability measures will have on price point sensitivity and/or loyalty; and
  • Investigating the impact of meal kits and consumer’s perceptions of sustainability.

After the May summit, the next SPS event is scheduled for Jan. 28, 2021, just prior to the start of the Global Organic Produce Expo in Miami, Fla.
Gunn said the Sustainable Produce Summits will help guide the industry’s path forward on related issues.

“By using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as our map to lead the conversation, we’ve aligned ourselves with a global effort that American retailers and producers alike are embracing,” Gunn said. 

“We want to build a table around which the retailer, grower, input, seed producers and packaging and allied companies can discuss, learn and solution-seek in collaboration to move this entire industry forward,” she said. 

“We want the information (to be) scalable and to meet companies where they are to push the work they’re doing, from first steps to their fifth-year work, forward. Sustainability is about measurement and constant improvement and we are all in it together.”

For more information about The Packer’s Sustainable Produce Summits, contact Jessie Gunn at [email protected]

View more related content here. The Sustainable Produce Summit is scheduled for May 28 at the JW Marriott Palm Desert, Palm Desert, Calif.

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