The 2020 Organic Produce Summit has been canceled in light of challenges presented by COVID-19. Originally scheduled for July 8 and 9 in Monterey, the fifth-annual summit organized by the Organic Produce Network (OPN) brings together buyers and producers from the organic fresh produce industry.
“We are going to cancel. We’ve been struggling and trying to see if this thing is going to work or what we can possibly do,” OPN Co-Founder, Matt Seeley told AgNet West. “We looked at an alternative date in August, we thought that may buy us a little bit more time, but…there’s no way we’re going to be able to continue.”
The event was going to feature a sold-out exhibition with 152 organic fresh produce growers, shippers, and processors from across North America showcasing their products to more than 250 buyers and retailers. While saddened by the event’s cancellation, organizers felt it was the most appropriate action given the circumstances. Attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors are all being given the option of requesting a refund for the event or rolling over their participation in the show to the following year. The next Organic Produce Summit is scheduled for July 14 and 15, 2021 in Monterey.
“We are, of course, disappointed OPS 2020 will not go on as scheduled. At the same time, we know it is the right decision,” Conference President Susan Canales said in a press release. “Our thoughts are with those individuals and families who are suffering during this pandemic. We are so proud of how our industry has reacted during this unprecedented time and look forward to coming together next year.”
As of now OPN’s other major event, the Organic Grower Summit, remains scheduled for December 9 and 10. Seeley also noted that they will continue to monitor the situation in California as it pertains to COVID-19 restrictions moving forward.