Organic Grower Summit Announces Education Session: Safeguarding the Organic Brand

(Monterey, CA—August 27, 2018) — The first of six educational sessions finalized for the 2018 Organic Grower Summit (OGS) will focus on the work needed to protect the organic brand and uphold consumer trust for all certified organic food products. Safeguarding the Organic Brand will feature leaders from organic industry compliance, research and regulation agencies and offer a deep-dive discussion into what the organic industry is doing to maintain organic integrity, as well as what the future holds for the organic label.
In order to keep consumer faith and confidence in the organic label, the organic fresh produce industry must be vigilant about keeping certification, testing and enforcement top of mind. Research and science are both key in reassuring the marketplace. 
This 50-minute long educational session will include discussions on how California leads the rest of the country in protecting the organic brand and what the organic community can do to take the necessary next steps in maintaining its organic integrity. Topics discussed will include: imports, a view from the farm, and approved materials. 
Panelists for the session include:
  • Jennifer Tucker, Ph.D., deputy administrator, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), National Organic Program 
  • John McKeon, COPAC board member, senior manager of organic compliance, Tanimura & Antle
  • Peggy Miars, executive director/CEO, Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), and president, IFOAM Organics International
  • Moderator: Brian Leahy, director, California Department of Pesticide Regulation
“Continued discussions of safeguards for organic brand integrity are critically important to demonstrate our values as the organic brand continues to grow,” shared John McKeon, COPAC board member and senior manager of organic compliance, commission & consolidation atTanimura & Antle Fresh Foods. “This session will give an inside look into how we are doing this as an industry, and what we can be doing better to protect our organic brand.” 
OGS will be held December 12-13, at the Monterey Conference Center in Monterey, California. Attendee registration is $499, with discounts available for CCOF members and government and educational members. Attendees will also have the opportunity to purchase a ticket to the 2018 CannaBus Tour from 8a.m.–12p.m. on Wednesday, December 12 and the CCOF Foundation Dinner on Wednesday evening at 7:30p.m. Registration to OGS includes admittance to the opening reception, educational sessions, keynote presentations, breakfast, lunch and trade show floor.
Over 40 sponsors have confirmed their support of OGS. The tradeshow floor is nearly sold-out, with only a few exhibitor spaces remaining. Exhibitors include soil amendment, bio-pesticide, seed, packaging, food safety, ag technology, and equipment manufacturers who will be connecting with organic field production staff, supply chain managers, pest management advisors, and food safety experts. 
For more information on the Organic Grower Summit, visit
About OPN
OPN is a marketing organization serving as the go-to resource for the organic fresh produce industry.  The company's mission is to inform and educate through a strong digital presence with an emphasis on original content and complimented by engaging live events which bring together various components of the organic food community. The OPN audience includes organic producers, handlers, distributors, processors, wholesalers, foodservice operators and retailers.
About CCOF
CCOF advances organic agriculture for a healthy world. We advocate on behalf of our members for organic policies, support the growth of organic through education and grants, and provide organic certification that is personal and accessible.
CCOF is a nonprofit organization governed by the people who grow and make our food. Founded in California more than 40 years ago, today our roots span the breadth of North America and our presence is internationally recognized. We are supported by an organic family of farmers, ranchers, processors, retailers, consumers, and policymakers. Together, we work to realize a future where organic is the norm. For more information about CCOF, visit
Matt Seeley, Organic Produce Network
Author contact information: 

Organic Produce Network
(831) 884-5058