Educational Sessions

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Friday, January 26th, 2018

7:00 — 8:00 am

Breakfast / Organic Interest Groups

Join us for breakfast and then find your seat at the table with a topic that interests you most. A moderator will kick off the conversation for everyone at the table to discuss, share and learn. This is a great way to connect with others who share a desire to learn more about a specific topic.

Topics include:

  • Organic Certification
  • Finding and Retaining Quality Labor
  • International Opportunities
  • Sustainability
  • Fair Trade
  • Technology

8:00 — 8:45 am

Keynote Speaker - Jamie Phillips, SPINSJamie Phillips

As Director of Scientific Affairs on SPINS’ Marketing Services team, Jamie Phillips, MS, RDN, is passionate about food, nutrition, and teaching people how to eat well on any budget. Jamie brings over 15 years of food industry experience in nutrition communications, consumer education, healthcare professional outreach, culinary, and regulatory affairs. She enjoys working with retailers to help bring nutrition science and consumer insights into action.

Growing Organically PowerPoint

8:45 — 9:45 am

Organic 101Greg Johnson

How does an item qualify as organic? Where does produce fit into the organic industry? What are the top organic fruits and vegetables? How does organic fit into the retail channel? Into Foodservice?

Moderator: Greg Johnson, Editor, The Packer


  • Dee Dee Digby, Procurement InterNatural Marketing
  • Erica Renaud, Regional Business Manager, Vitalis Organic Seed
  • Ramkrishnan, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer, Quality Certification Services
Organic 101 Powerpoint

9:45 - 10:00 am


10:00 — 10:45 am

Making Organic MainstreamAngela Jagiello

This session will provide an overview of the latest consumer and sales data relating to organic. A seasoned retail channel expert will discuss opportunities and pinch points for organic. We will discuss a variety of strategies for increased distribution, as well as the impact of online shopping and other novel channels.

Moderator: Angela Jagiello, Associate Director of Conference,                                               Organic Trade Association


  • Chris Bell, President, Internatural Marketing
  • Patrick Knight, Director of Consumer Insights, SPINS
  • Rudy Amador, Director of Environmental Affairs, Dole Fresh Fruit Co.
Making Organic Mainstream Powerpoint

10:45 — 11:30 am

Keeping Organic Cutting EdgePamela

Organic has always embodied “value-added.” This session will discuss the role of strong and evolving production, environmental and labor standards in maintaining the high degree of value and trust consumers ascribe the label. At the same time, organic has often meant category revolutionizing innovation – particularly in the produce set. As the value-added category grows, what are the challenges for organic to grow along with it?

Moderator: Pamela Riemenschneider, Editor, Produce Retailer


  • Nate Lewis, Farm Policy Director, Organic Trade Association
  • Michela Calabrese, VP Business Development, Interrupcion
  • Chris Webb, Director of Purchasing, Green Chef
Keeping Organic Cutting Edge PowerPoint


Lunch Session

12:00 — 1:00 pm

Fresh Trends Quiz Show Organic EditionPamela Riemenschneider

Editor Pamela Riemenschneider and Brian Dey, Senior Merchandiser with Four Seasons Produce, use data from The Packer’s Fresh Trends annual consumer survey to look at organic trends and how to implement them in marketing and in-store, in an interactive format with the audience.


  • Pamela Riemenschneider, Editor, Produce Retailer
  • Brian Dey, Four Seasons Produce Senior Merchandiser   


Brian Dey



1:15 — 2:00 pm

Sourcing Overseas Organic Monique Marez

As domestic demand outpaces supply in the U.S., how are produce companies and buyers working with foreign suppliers to send high quality organic product to the U.S.? What processes do foreign growers follow to be certified organic?

Moderator: Monique Marez, Director of International Trade,                                              Organic Trade Association


  • David Posner, President & CEO, Awe Sum Organics
  • Theojary Crisantes Sr., President of the Board, Wholesum
  • Sabina Neumann, US International Trade Commission
  • Gabriel Bernal, VP of Operations and Logistics, Seasons Farm Fresh, Inc.
Sourcing Overseas Organic PowerPoint

2:00 — 3:00 pm

Global Organic UpdateGreg Johnson

Get the latest on the global opportunity for organic. The panel will articulate existing and potential international organic equivalency arrangements and their implications. They will discuss the latest organic trade data including top traded commodities, and provide information about international organic marketing opportunities.

Moderator: Greg Johnson, Editor, The Packer


  • Monique Marez, Director of International Trade, Organic Trade Association
  • Kelly Strzelecki, Sr. Trade Advisor, USDA Foreign Agriculture Service
  • Terry Long, Division Director, USDA Market News
Global Organic Update PowerPoint

3:00 — 3:45 pm

Keynote Speaker - Dick VermeilDick Vermeil

In addition to his successful football coaching career, Dick Vermeil turned his wine-making hobby into a professional venture, producing 5,000 cases a year of Calistoga Napa Valley wine.



Saturday, January 27th, 2018


9:00 — 9:45 am

Keynote Speaker - Michelle BernsteinMichelle Bernstein

Chef Michelle Bernstein will educate and entertain attendees of The Packer’s Global Organic Produce Expo.

Michelle regularly appears on a variety of national TV shows, from “Top Chef” to “Good Morning America,” and owns and operates MBC Michelle Bernstein Catering Company, a full-service catering company, and her popular café concept, Crumb on Parchment.

Michelle is a Miami native whose food style is influenced by her Latin and Jewish background.


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