Nikki Rodoni Discusses Reimagining Organic Waste Event
- by Maggie Mead
SALINAS, CA - Sustainability is not just good for the environment, but also for the bottom line. Enter the Monterey County Sustainability Working Group (MCSWG) and its recently announced Reimagining Organic Waste event. Taking place on April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., this event is a must-go for organizations looking to improve their management of organic waste (culls), the byproduct generated from chopping, slicing, and dicing fresh vegetables, in the face of increasing disposal costs and regulations.
The event is targeted at Monterey County’s agricultural sector, which contributes $4.4 billion to the local economy, according to its info sheet. The industry has handled organic waste privately in the past, making its volume and characteristics unknown and limiting opportunities for better management and infrastructure. This event encourages the more recent trend of working together to find cost-effective opportunities and alternatives.
“This is a golden opportunity to move the industry in a more proactive direction by keeping the conversation ahead of the issues,” Nikki Rodoni, Founder and CEO of Measure to Improve, tells me. “With new upcoming regulations and rising disposal costs, it is more critical than ever for stakeholders to begin the discussion and work collaboratively on this issue. The MCSWG has initiated the event because it is an organization dedicated to sharing sustainability efforts among agricultural producers and processors. Individuals and companies that have a vested interest, which may include representatives from the agriculture industry, packers and processors, private haulers, composters, and potential solution providers are strongly encouraged to attend the event.”
Reimagining Organic Waste aims to offer insight about upcoming regulations, existing solutions, expanding infrastructure, and possible innovations that would serve as solutions for the long term. Attendees can expect to address current and upcoming regulations that might affect current disposal methods, hear from other vendors about the major challenges they face, collaborate with other stakeholders to find solutions, prepare yourself and your business for the future, and learn more about future opportunities for disposal.
“Being conscious of all the impacts that farming has throughout the production process, dealing with agricultural culls and by-products is imperative to our overall sustainability as an economic sector,” comments Norm Groot, Executive Director of the Farm Bureau of Monterey. “Working together, we hope to find solutions that make sense for growers, processors, and shippers. I expect that there are many great ideas that can be shared, and working together these solutions can add value and sustainability to the supply chain of fresh vegetables and berries produced here in the Salinas Valley.”
The event will feature industry experts, including Hank Brady Manager, Cal Recycle; Melissa Kendrick Executive Director, Food Bank Monterey County; Patrick Mathews General Manager/CAO, Salinas Valley Recycles; Tim Flanagan General Manager, Monterey Regional Waste Management District; Keith Day Owner, Gabilan Ag Services; Dr. Sara Pace, UC Davis, Department of Food Science and Technology; Brian Curtis CEO, Concentric Power; and Dan Morash, California Safe Soil.
Registration can be found here—password "Culls"—and it is strongly recommended that you RSVP as soon as you can, because the event meeting is limited to 100 people. The event will take place at the Salinas City Center, One Main Street, Salinas, CA.
About MCSWG: The Monterey County Sustainability Working Group (MCSWG.org) was formed to network and share current successful sustainability efforts among agricultural producers and processors in the Central Coast region. By working together, the MCSWG hopes to lead the industry in taking a proactive approach to meeting the present and future sustainability challenges.
The April 25 MCSWG meeting, “Reimagining Organic Waste," is sponsored by: Azevedo Cattle Company, Dole, Mann Packing, Gabilan Ag Services, Measure to Improve, Ippolito International, True Leaf Farms, CSS, Concentric Power, MRWMD, Salina Valley Recycles, and Waste Management.
For more important industry event updates, keep reading AndNowUKnow.