Next month, the Organic Trade Association will host its first-ever buyers mission at the annual Organic Produce Summit on July 10-11 in Monterey, California. This event for the organic produce sector is the only show in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to bringing together organic fresh produce growers, shippers and processors with retailer and buying organizations from across the globe.
“We are thrilled to be leading a team for the first time at this important produce show,” said Alexis Carey, Manager of International Trade for the Organic Trade Association. “Facilitating direct connections between the decision makers of major international retailers and U.S. organic produce operations will undoubtedly grow the foreign market for U.S. organic fresh produce.”
The Organic Trade Association will host a half-dozen international buyers from Mexico and the Pacific Rim countries at the summit. This buyers mission is especially important because Mexico and the Pacific Rim countries are among the U.S.’s largest trading partners for fresh produce. In addition, it will give leading produce retailers in the U.S. the opportunity to meet with buyers from major foreign retailers. The pre-arranged coordinated one-on-one meetings July 10 will provide a space separate from the summit activities where buyers and suppliers have dedicated time to discuss potential export partnerships.
International buyers invited include:
- Mi Caja Fresca from Mexico
- Bio c’Bon of Japan
- EMART Inc. and SPC Co., both of Korea
- Frutodor Ltd. of Hong Kong
- Waltermart Supermarket Inc. of the Philippines
U.S. exports of organic fresh produce to the countries attending the summit totaled nearly $180 million in 2018.
Suppliers who wish to register for the buyers mission can still do so. Interested suppliers can reach out to Alexis Carey at the Organic Trade Association to access buyer profiles of the companies attending. The USDA Market Access Program-funded activities are open to the entire organic industry, not just association members.
As is true for all USDA Market Access Program funding activities, all of the products promoted must be USDA certified organic, produced in the United States, and made of 51% or more of U.S. based ingredients either by value (cost of the ingredients) or volume (against overall weight of the product). This is the federal USDA regulation for participation.
In addition to the buyers mission, the Organic Produce Summit includes retailer and buyer field tours, educational sessions featuring the nation’s leading organic food industry experts, and an exhibition featuring 148 growers, shippers, and processors from across North America showcasing their organic fresh produce items.
During the morning educational sessions on July 11, the Organic Trade Association’s CEO/Executive Director Laura Batcha will be a panelist along with Steve Lutz, regional vice president of the Produce Marketing Association, in a session entitled Organic Sales and Consumer Purchasing Analysis moderated by Kevin Coupe of MorningNewsBeat.com. Also, the Organic Trade Association will exhibit at the show, at Tabletop TT4.