Some 200 organic stakeholders gathered this spring in Washington, D.C., for the Organic Trade Association’s 2018 Policy Conference to talk about the future of organic, and their roles in that future. Meeting in the historic National Press Building where for almost 100 years journalists have heard from American presidents and lawmakers, foreign heads of state, business titans and international celebrities, the organic advocates had a lot on their minds.
Today’s organic farmers, like all farmers, are consummate problem solvers and masters of many skills. However, reliable assistance and educational tools to successfully deal with the daily challenges of their operations are often lacking.
I am asked with some regularity about whether e-commerce will obliterate the grocery store as we know it. I wouldn’t bet on it. It is true that food retailers have not (yet) seen the same kind of disruption owing to convenience seeking and showrooming behaviors that other types of merchants face. Meal kit services have made a big splash and gotten more folks cooking, but I wonder if people keep the training wheels on once they become comfortable in the kitchen.
Two individuals and a farming couple receiving Organic Leadership Awards from the Organic Trade Association in September have the drive to make a difference, a strong belief that organic practices are the way to go, and a commitment to mentoring others.