Transition and Growth in the Organic Sector

Growing the Organic Market

Thursday, February 2



Intensive Flyer PDF.

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 continues to grow in the US and worldwide, transition remains an insurmountable challenge for many 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 the environment, stakeholders across the supply chain must do more to support growers and enable them to more 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 new strategies, partnerships and action steps that taken together will strengthen the US organic supply chain. 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 encouraged to share their questions, experiences, and ideas with the rest of the group.

Co-Organizers: Oregon Tilth and the Organic Trade Association

Facilitator: Joseph McIntyre, President, Ag Innovations

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; Garry Stephenson, Director, Center for Small Farms & Community Food Systems Coordinator, Small Farms Program, Oregon State University Extension; Erin Silva, Professor, University of Wisconsin (Madison); Robert King, PHD, University of Minnesota; additional participants TBA