In Session
USDA organic seal

9 industry visionaries discuss the future of organic food

As market demand grows for organic products, innovation is driving the industry to reach more consumers. In this session at Natural Products Expo West 2017, join nine industry leaders as they discuss what their organizations are doing to think ahead, problem-solve and disrupt.

"This industry today is unrecognizable from what it was just a few years ago–certainly a few decades ago, and it's grown by people continually disrupting."

—Ken Cook, Environmental Working Group

Part 1: Forward-thinking

Highlights:

  • Olu Beck, Wholesome, talks innovations in fair trade and empowering communities of farmers.
  • Melody Meyer, UNFI, addresses the need for industry leaders to continually give feedback to UNFI and USDA.
  • Thea O'Carroll, Yield Organic, uses a comprehensive digital platform to connect organic farmers with buyers.

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Part 2: Problem-solving

Highlights:

  • Matthew Dillon, Clif Bar and Company, talks funding research of resilient seeds to improve organic crop production. 
  • Ian Justus from Driscoll's discusses successful innovations in plant breeding, field innovations and container production. 
  • Monique Maraz, Organic Trade Association, delves into the topic of inclusivity and connecting consumers to farms through augmented reality applications.

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Part 3: Positive disruption

Highlights: 

  • Tonya Antle, Organic Produce Network, is helping to provide allied resources to help farmers connect with distributors and scale their operations.
  • Steve Lykken, Applegate Farms, suggests that addressing animal welfare is essential in moving the organic industry forward.
  • Ken Cook, Environmental Working Group, challenges the state of California to be 25 percent organic in 15 years.

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Part 4: Consumer involvement 

Highlights:

  • How do we get the consumer to recognize the value in purchasing organic food?
  • How do we simplify all the information and make it simple for consumers? 
  • What's next for organic? 

 

This session—Organic Innovation Conversations—was recorded at Natural Products Expo West 2017.  

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