Transition and Growth in the Organic Sector
Growing the Organic Market
Thursday, February 2
It has never been more important that we find and implement effective solutions that lead to the transition of more acreage from conventional to organic. While consumer demand for organic foods continue to grow in the US and worldwide, transition remains an insurmountable challenge for most US growers and less than 5% of all agricultural acreage in the US is in organic production. For the sake of farmer livelihoods, consumer preference, and the health of agricultural lands, stakeholders across the supply chain must do more to support domestic growers and enable them to more easily and profitably convert to organic.
This full day solution-shop will bring together leaders from across the supply chain to (1) confirm where and what the biggest challenges to organic are, and (2) agree on concrete next steps that address the needs of farmers, buyers, and consumers. This will be a highly participatory working-day focused on what we can do, both individually and collectively, to support transitioning producers, and all participants will be highly encouraged to share their questions, experiences, and ideas with the rest of the group.
Hosts: Oregon Tilth and the Organic Trade Association
Facilitator: Joseph McIntyre, President, AgInnovations
Confirmed participants and speakers: Nathaniel Lewis, Senior Crops and Livestock Specialist, Organic Trade Association; Miles McEvoy, National Organic Program, USDA; Peter Golbitz, President and CEO, Agromeris; Kellee James, Founder and CEO, Mercaris; Wells Neal, Director, Equal Exchange West, Equal Exchange; Shrene White, Director, Specialty Grains, Ardent Mills; Dag Falck, Organic Program Manager, Nature’s Path; Albert Straus, Founder and CEO, Straus Dairy; Drew Katz, Transition Services Coordinator, Oregon Tilth; Erin Silva, Professor, University of Wisconsin (Madison); Robert King, PHD, University of Minnesota; TBD, Oregon State University; additional speakers TBA