( File photo by Ashley Nickle )

Looking at the future of organic produce marketing after COVID-19, the United Fresh Produce Association and Organic Produce Network will co-host an Organic General Session during United Fresh LIVE!

The session is scheduled for noon Eastern on June 17, according to a news release.

Organic Produce Network co-founder and executive vice president Tonya Antle will lead the session, which also will feature several industry leaders considering the future of organics in a post-coronavirus environment, according to the release.

“We’re pleased to collaborate with the Organic Produce Network for this dynamic general session,” said Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of United Fresh.

“As shown in our FreshFacts on Retail reports, organic sales have been growing consistently. Organic fresh produce continues to capture consumer interest and it’s important that we explore the opportunities for further growth in a post-pandemic world.”

Antle said organic produce occupies a “sweet spot” for the consumer values of health and wellness, safety, social impact, experience, and transparency.

Compared with year-ago performance, organic fresh produce sales rose 18% in April and beat conventional produce in both dollars and volume gains.

April’s organic fresh produce sales topped $542.4 million, rising 18.4% in dollars and 20.5% in volume, according to an Organic Produce Performance Report from the Organic Produce Network and Category Partners.

Organic performance in April edged out conventional produce gains of 16.3% in sales and 15.4% in volume in April.

In March, the Organic Produce Network reported organic produce sales were up 22% for the month compared with year-ago levels.

In addition, organic produce volume surged 25.8% in March compared with year-ago levels.

March 2020 organic fresh produce sales topped $546.8 million, according to the report, while in the first quarter organic fresh produce sales topped $1.58 billion. 

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