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Costco sponsoring Organic Grower Summit event

The largest retailer of organic food sales in the United States announced its commitment to participating in the inaugural Organic Grower Summit Dec. 13-14 in Monterey, CA. Costco, with annual fresh produce sales of $4 billion, will sponsor a half-day event providing certified organic farmers and growers the opportunity to meet with Costco buyers.

This news comes on the heels of all exhibit booths for the event being sold out last week. The first ever OGS, a joint production between California Certified Organic Farmers and Organic Produce Network, will bring together organic growers, producers and processors for two days of education, information and networking opportunities with organic production supply chain and service providers. The event includes a series of educational sessions, keynote presentations, a variety of meal functions and a sold out exhibitor area, featuring more than 70 organic supplier and service providers.

The Meet the Organic Farmer session provides certified organic farmers and grower representatives the opportunity to meet face to face with Costco organic produce, dairy, meat and grain buyers to discuss their operations and products.

"Costco is committed to meeting directly with organic farmers, who are truly on the front lines of bringing top quality organic products to market. We appreciate the work OPN has done in putting together this unique opportunity to meet face to face with those responsible for actually growing organic products," said Heather Shavey, assistant vice president for Costco. "Our buying team is looking forward to learning more about organic production, hearing about new product innovations and building new supplier opportunities to meet the growing demand for organics for our shoppers."

"OGS is delighted Costco is coming to show their support of the certified organic farming community," said Tonya Antle, cofounder of the Organic Produce Network. "This is a great opportunity to have organic farmers get in front of Costco to tell their story as part of the inaugural OGS."

Certified organic growers, producers and processors interested in making an appointment to meet with Costco, can register as an attendee at www.organicgrowersummit.com/registration and click on the "Meet with Costco" tab for further information.

Among the inaugural Organic Grower Summit educational session topics that will be covered are Issues Facing Organic Farmers Today; Organic Disruption—Cannabis: The Next Frontier; Clean and Renewable Technology; Tools for Plant and Soil Health; Essentials of Sustainable Packaging through the Supply Chain; and Leveraging Precision Agriculture. Each of the six sessions will feature leaders from the organic industry, as well as experts in the field of discussion.

Featured keynote presentations will include Miles McEvoy, deputy administrator, AMS, and USDA, which oversees the National Organic Program. Two additional influential thought leaders will also provide unique viewpoint and analysis and will be announced shortly.

Exhibition Booths for allied service suppliers are sold-out. Companies interested in being added to the exhibitor wait list can contact info@organicgrowersummit.com.