On July 13 and 14, the 6th edition of the Organic Produce Summit will be held. This year's event is shaping up to be the largest edition yet. "We have a sold-out tradeshow floor with 154 exhibitors, and we expect about 1,500 attendees," says Matt Seeley, CEO, and co-founder of the Organic Produce Network. What the organization is most proud of is the number of retail attendees that have signed up.
"We are at 300+ brick & mortar retail representatives so far," Seeley commented. "They will be coming from all over the country with a very strong national presence." In addition to a strong coast-to-coast representation, there will be some buyers from Mexico, and the Organic Trade Association is bringing in international buyers from Taiwan, Japan, and Korea. "Slowly, the world gets back to traveling, and we are looking forward to welcoming back international visitors," Seeley said. Altogether, the organization expects one out of every five attendees to be from the retail world.
The trade show floor at OPS 2021.
Usually, the last 30 days leading up to the event show the strongest period in registration. "The show is on everyone's radar now, and registration is still available." Simply use this link.
Traditionally, the event is being held in Monterey. "It's the backyard of several major produce growers and shippers and a great location. Last year, the event was held at the Hyatt Regency, just outside the town of Monterey, but this year, it moves back to its original location in downtown Monterey. "The biggest reason to go back downtown is the capacity at the Monterey Conference Center." It is a larger facility, and there is just more room to keep everyone together in one place instead of different buildings. It creates a more intimate event. Another important reason is the fact that everyone loves spending time in downtown Monterey. "The intimacy of the event generates so much energy, and energy is our oxygen," commented Seeley. "We live for face-to-face, in-person interaction."
Educational session on Controlled Environment Agriculture at last year's OPS event.
The program involves much more than a trade show. It kicks off with Retailer and Buyer Field Tours as well as an opening reception on the first day, July 13. On the second day, the morning will be filled with educational sessions. "I feel the educational program is one of the strengths of OPS," said Seeley. "The most topical and relevant subjects for organic producers are addressed by leaders in the industry." The event closes with a trade show floor in the afternoon of the second day.