Closing the gap in plant breeding: bringing retailers, distributors, and processors into seed conversations.

The traits or qualities bred into our seeds determine the viability of our farms and quality of our food products. Plant breeding also holds the potential to reflect the core values of the organic community – food that delivers flavor, nutrition, diversity, robustness, resilience and integrity. A growing movement of plant breeders, farmers and chefs are building a community approach to breeding in and for organic systems, but the middle of the supply chain is still largely missing from the conversation. Organic produce retailers, processors, distributors and others in the trade are directly affected by plant breeding decisions and they are also the first line of communication with organic eaters. This workshop will share stories and engage participants in discussions about how to bridge the gap between plant breeders and eaters to include those who handle, move and sell organic products. The goal is not only to build a broader community to harness the power of organic plant breeding, but also to raise awareness among organic buyers and eaters of the importance of supporting organic seeds and breeds.