California Central Coast Sustainability Exchange to Host Supply Chain Sustainability Panel
- by Jordan Okumura
VENTURA, CA - The countdown to PMA Fresh Summit has begun, signifying another hot ticket event just around the corner. Whether you are a buyer, retailer, or foodservice operator in our industry, if you want to succeed in your sustainability ventures the best place to glean the most valuable insights is at this year’s exclusive 2019 California Central Coast Sustainability Exchange (CCCSE) on October 15 and 16. One of the elements of this coveted schedule is the Supply Chain Sustainability Panel during the CCCSE event and invite-only opportunity. Founder of Measure to Improve and the mind behind the CCCSE has just a few seats left for this special occasion.
“Our goal for the Supply Chain Sustainability Panel is to drive home the fact that the only way to accomplish our sustainability goals in a timely manner is by working collaboratively,” Nikki tells me. “There are many parallels across the entire industry. We all want to save money. We’re all looking to take responsibility for our environmental impact—after all, that’s what customers, consumers, and government regulators are demanding. As an industry, we are facing continuous pressure to implement more effective and broad sustainability practices. The need to fast track our efforts and take a proactive approach in the area of sustainability is profound. Implementing sustainability practices can no longer be ignored or disregarded as a secondary issue.”
- Tom Stenzel, President and CEO, United Fresh Produce Association
- Ed Treacy, Vice President of Supply Chain and Sustainability, PMA
- Chris White, Managing Director, Fruitnet Media International
- Alex Teague, Senior VP and COO, Limoneira
- Mimmo Franzone, Director of Produce and Floral, Longo’s
Lori Taylor, CEO and Founder of The Produce Moms, will moderate the panel.
“Sustainability has become a driving force for the produce industry and affects our members in so many ways,” Tom Stenzel shares. “From packaging and materials management to enhancing energy efficiency and preventing food waste and more, we’re working with members to find solutions that benefit the planet, our associates and customers, and our overall profitability. This event is a great opportunity to continue the discussion.”
Through the CCCSE, the intention of this panel is to begin the conversation around sustainability and find ways to work collaboratively supply-chain-wide. By sharing and understanding different strategies, attendees may reduce duplicate work, find efficiencies, and potentially create more substantial partnerships or programs shared between companies along the supply chain, Nikki adds.
Immediately following the panel, the group will hear from "pop-up speakers," who represent some of the sustainability solution providers in our industry. These speakers will remain in the audience and speak for three to five minutes on their potential solution. Pop-up speakers include:
- Dana Gunders, Principal, Next Course - Theme: Food Waste and Food Loss
- Jim Knutzon, Vice President, SCS Global Services - Theme: Sustainable Sourcing and Certification
- Bob Daviduk, Co-CEO, rPlanetEarth - Theme: Sustainable Packaging
- Chuck Bates, Market Segment Leader, Netafim - Theme: Circular Economy
“There is an enormous amount of potential to impact the collective carbon footprint of today’s industries through the fresh produce sector. I am excited to join the dialogue at the CCCSE with our own vision and business model,” Co-Founder of rPlanet Earth Bob Daviduk tells me. “We manufacture and sell our branded EnviroPET Sheet and Thermoformed containers made from 100 percent post-consumer PET plastic for various packaging applications which are now being sold into a number of U.S. retail grocery chains. The transition to a more sustainable packaging program is where we can create synergies with the fresh produce industry and our competitive pricing lowers that barrier to entry even more for companies interested in truly having an impact on their stewardship of the land and Earth.”
Dana Gunders, Principal of Next Course, a national expert and strategic advisor for food waste reduction, also shared her thoughts about the event.
"Agriculture has the potential to be a huge solution to climate change and other sustainability challenges, but everyone throughout the supply chain needs to get onboard. It's great to see growers and buyers taking time out together to manifest this vision,” Dana says. “Our team focuses on the solutions that prevent surplus food from occurring, as those are the solutions with the highest financial and environmental return. At the end of the day, we know that the good of the business needs to balance with the good to the Earth and we are here to help that conversation occur."
This panel will help the industry take a step in the right direction towards increased sustainability action across the produce supply chain.
“The panel will bring together representatives and solution providers from varying aspects of the produce value chain,” Nikki adds. “It will be a great opportunity to showcase multiple perspectives on sustainability issues and provide a starting point to create more meaningful partnerships that bring cost savings, and improved environmental and social impacts along the way.”
Along with the opportunity to listen and share sustainability experiences at this intimate event at Limoneira Ranch in Ventura, California, there will be an opportunity to tour the latest sustainability innovations at Limoneira and Calavo, along with a farm-to-table dinner, specialty cocktails, and more—courtesy of the sponsors: Limoneira, Calavo, San Miguel Produce, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Measure to Improve, and AndNowUKnow.
For more information about how you can get a seat at the table, contact Nikki Rodoni at [email protected]
I hope your minds and bellies are ready for a few courses of insight and delight and we will see you all there!