As an exhibitor in the non-profit organization exhibit area, one organization has come to especially appreciate one of the aspects of the annual Organic Produce Summit: the educational sessions.
In fact, Jan DeLyser of the Irvine, Ca.-based California Avocado Commission served as a moderator on an educational panel last year. “And on Thursday, July 11th, I will moderate the educational breakout session: ‘Tackling Food Waste-Good for the Planet and the Bottom Line’” says DeLyser. “The education portion of the program is very informative; the summit provides a stage to learn and get ideas.”
And to participate in a panel with the kind of audience that the OPS attracts is invaluable for the Commission, says DeLyser. “The vibe of the show is energetic and energizing,” says DeLyser. “The attendees are very engaged and it’s a great opportunity to meet with industry leaders.”
At the CAC booth, the team within will discuss aspects of organic California avocado production, including a crop update, as well as CAC’s marketing plans with visitors. “We will share examples of California avocado marketing support tools, research data and other useful information,” says DeLyser.
Growth in organics
In California avocados, the organic segment represents less than 10 percent of sales overall. “But that percentage is growing rapidly,” says DeLyser. “Consumer interest in organics is burgeoning. It makes sense to be involved in the OPS with its focus on such a fast-growing area of opportunity for the produce industry.”
This year in California, the crop forecast is sitting at 170 million pounds—a number that’s significantly lower than last year. “This is due to weather-related events in 2018,” says DeLyser. “Rains early in the season did contribute to a delay in harvesting, but they were welcome because they helped with overall tree health.”
DeLyser adds that California growers are focusing supply to California and the West so that customers who merchandise the fruit can stay with it for the season. Supplies are anticipated to continue into August then be limited. The situation is challenging for consumer demand, which continues to be very strong and is creating F.O.B. prices approaching some of the highest on record.
“In the next month volume is expected from California and other sources. With very strong demand, pricing is expected to continue to be elevated,” DeLyser says, adding that she anticipates the category growing again in 2019.