Sustainable Foods Summit (SFS San Francisco 18)

Venue: Ritz Carlton

Location: San Francisco, United States

Event Date/Time: Jan 18, 2011 End Date/Time: Jan 19, 2011
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Summit Explores New Horizons for Eco-Labels in Food Industry

London – New horizons for eco-labels and sustainability are the focus of the third edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit (, taking place in San Francisco on 18-19th January 2011. The first-ever North American edition of the executive summit explores the evolution of organic, fair trade and other eco-labels in a food industry that is increasingly looking at the triple bottom line.

The summit will cover some of the major sustainability issues in the food industry, including lowering environmental impacts, ethical sourcing, carbon & water footprints, biodiversity preservation and green marketing. Like previous events organized by Organic Monitor, the summit will give case studies of companies that are at the cutting edge of sustainability initiatives.

Pioneering Sustainability Initiatives is the theme of the opening session of the two-day summit. Key papers in this session look at techniques to lower the environmental impact of food products, sustainable agriculture, emerging eco-labels and the potential of a sustainability certification scheme. Theresa Marquez, Chief Marketing Officer of Organic Valley, will highlight the ecological & social initiatives undertaken by the largest organic food co-operative in North America. Its range of sustainability programs involves water stewardship, animal welfare, CSR and ethical partnerships.

Vaughan Lazar, Co-founder and President of Pizza Fusion, will share his experiences of implementing sustainability initiatives in the foodservice sector. Pizza Fusion has grown to become one of the leading sustainable fast-food chains in the US. Its restaurants are housed in green buildings and use fresh, local, organic ingredients to make pizzas.

With most food eco-labels based on agriculture and sourcing, the second session is devoted to Ethical Sourcing and Sustainable Ingredients. Key speakers will discuss the environmental and social impacts of Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and similar eco-labels. Meghan Quinlan from Fair Trade USA will show how the Fairtrade Mark in North America is becoming synonymous with fair prices for marginalized growers in developing countries. Fair trade is the fastest growing eco-label in the food industry, with certified fairtrade products growing by over 15 percent a year.

Dr. Nasser Abufarha, President of Canaan Fairtrade, will discuss the impact of fair trade on impoverished communities. Canaan Fairtrade was set up a social enterprise to assist marginalized farmers in Palestine. It has grown to become the largest co-operative of organic and fair trade growers in Palestine, helping many farmers out of poverty in the war torn region. Leading coffee and chocolate companies will state how sustainable sourcing of commodities can help disadvantaged growers in developing countries. Other papers in this session explore the role of food ingredients to reduce the environmental impact of food products, and sustainable sourcing of novel ingredients.

Marketing & distribution innovations are covered in the third session of the executive summit. The session kicks off with a discussion on sustainable supply chains by a leading food retailer. Ellen W. Feeney from WhiteWave Foods will state how brands can successfully communicate ethical and healthy attributes to consumers. Pushing the boundaries of retailer private labels for eco-labeled foods is the subject of Alex Petrov, General Manager of Consumer Brands at Safeway. Since its launch in 2005, the O Organics private label of Safeway has become the number one brand of organic foods in North America.

With much debate about consumer confusion about eco-labels, a leading research agency will give insights into consumer buyer behavior. Timothy J Kenyon from GfK Roper Consulting will unravel consumer attitudes, motives and expectations towards eco-labeled foods. Other papers in this session look at sustainability in distribution & logistics, and marketing strategies for ethical brands.

The final session - titled Organic Plus Strategies – looks at the evolution of the largest eco-label in the food industry. The session gives case studies of companies that are going beyond organic practices and pioneering sustainability initiatives. The session starts with an overview of the global market for organic food & drink by Mr. Amarjit Sahota, President of Organic Monitor. The latest market trends & developments are highlighted in each geographic region, followed by future growth projections.

Tom Hanlon-Wilde, co-owner of Equal Exchange, will discuss how food companies can successfully combine organic and fair trade practices. A Brazilian organic food company will give details on how it is offsetting carbon emissions, preserving biodiversity whilst undertaking organic practices. The potential of biodynamic products is explored by Demeter USA, whilst Bonterra Vineyards shares its experiences in marketing biodynamic wine. Earthbound Farm, the largest organic fresh produce company in the world, ends the session by stating how it is complementing its organic products with sustainable packaging.

About the Sustainable Foods Summit
Organized by Organic Monitor, the aim of the Sustainable Foods Summit is to discuss and debate the major issues the food industry faces concerning concerning sustainability and eco-labels, such as Organic, Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, etc. The previous two editions of the Sustainable Foods Summit were hosted in Amsterdam in 2010 and 2009 and brought together senior executives involved in sustainability from across the food industry.

About the Organizer
Organic Monitor is a specialist research, consulting & training company that focuses on the global organic & related product industries. We have been organizing seminars, workshops and summits on sustainable product industries for many years. In 2009 alone, over 600 executives from 5 continents have attended such events at various international locations that include Frankfurt, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris, Amsterdam and Nuremberg. Visit us at

Further Information
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For more details on the Sustainable Foods Summit, including detailed conference program, please contact:

Ms. Tina Gill
Marketing Manager, Organic Monitor
Tel: (44) 20 8567 0788
Fax: (44) 20 8567 7164


Additional Information

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