The explosive growth of CEA (controlled environment agriculture) production has reshaped the landscape of fresh food production, and a panel of fresh produce industry experts will examine what the future of this $100 billion industry may look like in the coming years in the second educational session announced as part of the educational program for the upcoming Organic Grower Summit (OGS) 2022 Presented by Western Growers and OPN. OGS is slated for November 30 -December 1 in Monterey, California.
"The Growth, Opportunities, and Future of CEA Production" will feature leaders from three companies actively involved in CEA sharing their insights on the state of indoor and vertical growing, its impact on the organic fresh produce industry, and what the future of this industry may look like.
Left to right: Tom Stenzel, Arama Kukutai
Moderated by former United Fresh Produce Association president and CEO and current executive director of the Controlled Environment Agriculture Food Safety Coalition, Tom Stenzel. The session's panelists include Arama Kukutai, CEO of Plenty; Molly Tabron, director of supply for Robinson Fresh; and Matt Ryan, CEO of Soli Organic.
Among the areas of discussion in the session will be the impact of indoor-grown products on the supply chain, the effect of CEA on outdoor organic production, the cost and investment needed to run CEA operations, and consumer acceptance of these new items.
"The CEA sector's goal is to grow incremental sales of fresh produce by delivering fresh, great tasting, and highly nutritious fruits and vegetables to consumers, with the least environmental impact, reduced use of scarce natural resources, and the most rigorous practices to ensure food safety," Stenzel said.
Left to right: Molly Tabron, Matt Ryan
The fifth annual OGS is designed to provide information vital to organic growers and producers as well as an overview of the opportunities and challenges in the production of organic fresh food.
OGS exhibition and general registration are currently open. OGS features exhibitors, including soil amendment, ag technology, food safety, packaging, and equipment manufacturers, who will have the opportunity to connect with organic field production staff, supply chain managers, pest management advisors, and food safety experts.
OGS 2022 will be held from November 30 - December 1 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa in Monterey, California. Further details on the educational program, including session topics and speakers, will be released in the coming weeks.
"In partnership with Western Growers, this year's OGS will provide up-to-date resources and information to support the continued success of organic producers, with an emphasis on the changing organic production landscape as well as the role of ag technology," said Matt Seeley, co-founder, and CEO of Organic Produce Network. "Our goal is to present the most relevant and timely information on the most important subjects and issues facing organic production."