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Giving organic beverages a shot at the Organic Grower Summit

While sales of beer and wine have remained flat the past two years, consumer interest and changing buying behavior are paving the way for a boom in organic beer and wine production. Exploring the opportunities for adult organic beverages will be the focus of an educational session, “Giving Organic Beverages a Shot" at the second annual Organic Summit next month in Monterey, CA.ogs

The Organic Grower Summit, Dec. 12-13 will feature a series of intensive and educational sessions focused on organic growing. “Giving Organic Beverages a Shot” will feature panelists from a pair of California organic wine producers and a major organic beer company discussing the growth, opportunities and challenges in the burgeoning organic beverage market, as well as a look at what the future may hold as consumer interest in organic beer and wine continues to grow.

U.S. organic beer sales have increased more than tenfold since 2003, from $9 million to $92 million in 2014, the latest year figures were available from the Organic Trade Association. Organic wine sales were $282 million in 2016, double from 2007.

Panelists for the session include Katrina Frey, executive director of Frey Vineyards Ltd., Phil LaRocca, vintner of LaRocca Vineyards, and Ted Vivatson, founder of Eel River Brewing Co. The session will be moderated by Bill Vyenielo, senior wine business consultant of Moss Adams LLP.

"Many people don’t realize that drinking organic beverages is not only better for your health, but better for the environment because our organic farm suppliers reduce agricultural stressors by eliminating commercial insecticides and fertilizers,” said Vivatson.

LaRocca echoed the opportunity that lies ahead for the organic adult beverage marketplace: “As the famed Roman agricultural writer Columella wrote in 65 AD, ‘Wine which is most excellent has given pleasure by its own natural quality.'"

The Organic Grower Summit, a joint production between California Certified Organic Farmers and Organic Produce Network, brings together organic growers, producers and processorsfortwo days of education, information and networking opportunities with organic production supply chain and service providers.

Attendee registration for OGS is $499, with discounts available for CCOF members and government and educational members.  Registration to OGS is all-inclusive, and includes admittance to the opening reception, educational sessions, keynote presentations, breakfast, and lunch and trade show floor.

Participating grower attendees have an opportunity to meet with a team of Costco buyers as part of a special Meet the Grower opportunity.  This unique session provides certified organic farmers and grower representatives the opportunity to meet face to face with Costco organic produce, dairy, meat and wine buyers to discuss their operations and products.

Attendees also have the opportunity to purchase tickets to a pair of additional activities: the 2018 CannaBus Tour from 8 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Dec. 12 and the CCOF Foundation Dinner on Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m.

Over 60 sponsors have confirmed their support of OGS and the trade show floor is sold out. 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.