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Organic Grower Summit Announces Education Session: Safeguarding the Organic Brand


The first of six educational sessions finalized for the 2018 Organic Grower Summit will focus on the work needed to protect the organic brand and uphold consumer trust for all certified organic food products.Safeguarding the Organic Brand” will feature leaders from organic industry compliance, research and regulation agencies and offer a deep dive discussion into what the organic industry is doing to maintain organic integrity, as well as what the future holds for the organic label.

In order to keep consumer faith and confidence in the organic label, the organic fresh produce industry must be vigilant about keeping certification, testing and enforcement top of mind. Research and science are both key in reassuring the marketplace.

This 50-minute long educational session will include discussions on how California leads the rest of the country in protecting the organic brand and what the organic community can do to take the necessary next steps in maintaining its organic integrity. Topics discussed will include: imports, a view from the farm and approved materials.

Panelists for the session include: 

  • Jennifer Tucker, Ph.D., deputy administrator, USDA, AMS, National Organic Program
  • John McKeon, COPAC board member, senior manager of Organic Compliance, Tanimura & Antle
  • Peggy Miars, Director/CEO, Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), and President, IFOAM Organic International
  • Moderator: Brian Leahy, director, California Department of Pesticide Regulation

“Continued discussions of safeguards for organic brand integrity are critically important to demonstrate our values as the organic brand continues to grow,” shared John McKeon, COPAC board member, senior manager of Organic Compliance, Tanimura & Antle. “This session will give an inside look into how we are doing this as an industry, and what we can be doing better to protect our organic brand.”

OGS will be held December 12-13, at the Monterey Conference Center in Monterey, California. Attendee registration is $499, with discounts available for CCOF members and government and educational members.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to purchase a ticket to the 2018 CannaBus Tour from 8 am – 12 pm on Wednesday, December 12th and the CCOF Foundation Dinner on Wednesday evening at 7:30 pm. Registration to OGS includes admittance to the opening reception, educational sessions, keynote presentations, breakfast, lunch and trade show floor.

Over 40 sponsors have confirmed their support of OGS. The tradeshow floor is nearly sold-out, with only a few exhibitor spaces remaining.  Exhibitors include soil amendment, bio-pesticide, seed, packaging, food safety, ag technology, and equipment manufacturers who will be connecting with organic field production staff, supply chain managers, pest management advisors, and food safety experts.