"Organic Supply Chain I & II - Opportunities and Challenges" | Educational Sessions at OPS 2018 Announced

The complexities of supply chain management for fresh organic produce comes as no surprise to those involved in the day-to day production, sales and distribution within the multi-billion-dollar industry. The Organic Produce Summit 2018 will host two educational breakout sessions delving into the various opportunities and challenges throughout the organic supply chain, featuring industry leaders from major components of the supply chain.

The first session, “The Organic Supply Chain I – Opportunities and Challenges” will feature panelists: Rod Braga, President and CEO of Braga Fresh Family Farms; Will Feliz, CEO of Wawona Packing Company and Roger Pepperl, Marketing Director for Stemilt.  Jan DeLyser, Vice President of Marketing for the California Avocado Commission will serve as moderator for the session, which will explore the challenges and opportunities for those on the growing side of organic fresh produce. The topics to be discussed include: land use, labor and immigration, organic inputs, production and harvesting, as well as technology and automation.

The second session, “The Organic Supply Chain II – Opportunities and Challenges” will feature panelists: Ken Reagan, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for State Garden/Olivia’s Organics; Michael Castagnetto, Vice President of Global Sourcing for Robinson Fresh; and Rodney Bonds, Vice President of Supply Chain for Sprouts Markets. Jeff Jackson, Chief Marketing Officer for Tanimura & Antle will moderate the session, exploring post-harvest related issues of organic produce from transport to receiving. Discussion topics will include: food safety, audits, certification, processing and repacking, cold chain management and inventory, as well as rules and protocols.

“OPS attendees will have the opportunity to learn from six leaders within the organic produce industry,” said Susan Canales, President of the Organic Produce Summit. “Each speaker represents a company that has found success with their supply chain management and their insights will be benefit those actively involved in the supply chain, as well as those seeking a greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities of providing organic fresh produce 24/7/365.”

In addition to “The Organic Supply Chain I & II – Opportunities and Challenges,” OPS 2018 will also be presenting the following educational sessions:

  • “Deep Dive - Organic Sales Analysis and the Why Behind the Buy,” providing a data dive into sales, trends and analysis of organic fresh produce.
  • “Organics and the Media – New Landscape of Information” will focus on coverage for organic produce, what the media is seeking and ways the industry can effectively communicate the benefits of organics to consumers.
  • “E-Grocery and the Future of Organic Fresh Produce at Retail” will provide an overview of the burgeoning e-grocery business, featuring leaders from three of the most progressive direct-to-consumer companies – Peapod, Instacart, and Sun Basket.
  • “Organic Ingredients – Creating New Opportunities in the Produce Department” will explore innovation, merchandising and new global organic fresh produce ingredient supply chains.

In addition, three keynote presentations have been confirmed for OPS 2018. Ed Carolan, President of Campbell Fresh; Dan Buettner, noted journalist, and discoverer of Blue Zones; and Geoff White, President of OWN Brands will be featured keynote presenters at the third annual OPS. 

The educational sessions and keynote presentation are part of the two-day OPS 2018, bringing together organic fresh produce growers/shippers/processors as well as retailer and buying organizations from across North America.

OPS 2018 will also feature a selection of field tours for retailers and buyers; a gala opening night reception and a trade show featuring 130 producers and processors of organic fresh produce from across North America and the globe.

For further information about OPS 2018, please visit