ORGANIC & NON-GMO FORUM: Developing the Supply Chain

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Organic & Non-GMO Forum is a unique one-day event that brings together stakeholders from across the organic and non-GMO value chain to address the growing opportunities and the significant supply chain challenges that still remain. 



7:00-8:00 - Continental Breakfast
8:00-8:10 - Welcome
Overview of the Organic and Non-GMO Grain and Oilseed Marketplace

Kellee James, Founder & CEO, Mercaris


This session will address: 

  • Grains, oilseeds and feed supply and disposition

  • Major production areas and suppliers in North America and globally

  • Import and export trend and opportunities

  • Seed and land availability

Defining and Comparing Costs, Yields and Benefits for Conventional, Non-GMO and Organic Farm Practices

Kate Leavitt, Director, Soybean Sales, SunOpta 


This session will address:

  • Definitions and practices used for conventional, non-GMO and organic oilseed and grain production

  • Input and production costs, average yields and returns per acre associated with each farm practice

  • Sustainability and related issues associated with the farm practices

Organic & Non-GMO, Dairy & Livestock: Challenges in Feed Supply and Production Practices
Peter Golbitz, Founder and Thought Leader, Agromeris

This session will address:

  • The drivers of demand for organic and non-GMO meat and dairy

  • Production practices and challenges

  • The impact of organic and non-GMO dairy and livestock on feed demand

9:25-9:55 - Coffee Break
GMO Testing Protocols: What's the Current Science?

Jamie Welch, Scientist, Envirologix


A leading industry expert will walk through the science behind GMO testing, including:

  • Current events that are being tested

  • PCR vs. ELISA

  • What does a non-GMO vs. organic claim signify?

What Does Organic Labeling Mean?

Nathaniel Lewis, Senior Crops and Livestock Specialist, Organic Trade Association (OTA)


This session will address:

  • An overview of USDA National Organic Programs

  • Requirements for organic and oversight

  • International regulations and reciprocity



Mandatory Biotech Labeling vs. Voluntary Non-GMO Labeling

Mark Rokala, Founder, Rokala Public Affairs


Labeling is one of the most prolific topics facing the non-GMO sector, with strong opinions on all sides of the debate. This session will address:

  • A review of current labeling protocols, globally and in North America

  • Initiatives for mandatory GMO labeling, including Just Label It and state initiatives

  • Voluntary non-GMO label programs, including USDA Non-GMO labels - Pompeo bill, Non-GMO Project and others 

  • What these labeling initiatives could mean for industry and what they mean to consumers

PANEL: Managing Co-Existence of Conventional, Non-GMO and Organic Agriculture and Chain of Custody

Chris Schreiner, Executive Director, Oregon Tilth

Lisa Spicka, Maracuja Solutions


This session will feature diverse perspectives, including growers, USDA, industry and consumers, addressing the following questions:

  • What factors impact co-existence - including tolerance levels, insurance, compensation for contamination

  • Supply chain management - best practices in the organic and non-GMO marketplace

11:55-12:40 - Lunch
PANEL: Can Industry Work Together to Support Farmers' Right to Choose?


Peter Golbitz, Founder and Thought Leader, Agromeris


Kate Leavitt, Director, Soybean Sales, SunOpta 

Nathaniel Lewis, Senior Crops and Livestock Specialist, Organic Trade Association (OTA)

Mark Rokala, Founder, Rokala Public Affairs

Chris Schreiner, Executive Director, Oregon Tilth


The Organic & Non-GMO Forum will conclude with a comprehensive panel discussion that will bring all of the most crucial topics facing the sector together in one dynamic conversation, including:

  • Discussion of the key challenges facing co-existence

  • The farmer's toolbox - today's choices and thier impact on profitability

  • How to develop and support a mutually beneficial marketplace that serves the needs of both the domestic and international stakeholders


1:25-1:30 - Program Close
1:30-2:00- Closing Coffee
2:00 - Oilseed & Grain Trade Summit Commences