Welcome to Southern Innovations Organics & Foodservice Expo, hosted at the prestigious Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. This year’s annual conference will offer a taste of true Southern hospitality along with numerous opportunities to experience the SEPC’s four pillars: Networking, Innovation, Community, and Education.

Our weekend will commence Thursday morning with a Retail Organic Tour of organic sections in local grocery stores, and although space is limited, this is an exciting new opportunity for our members. Then at noon, the ladies of Southern Roots will host an amazing networking opportunity, which brings together women from all facets of the produce industry. Thursday evening at 6pm, we invite everyone to our Farm to Table Welcome Reception where we can sit back, relax, and reconnect with friends, all while enjoying a menu highlighted with produce donated by our members.

We will begin Friday morning bright and early at 7:30am with a scrumptious Keynote Breakfast where we’ll receive a brief State of the Council update. We will then have the pleasure of hearing from New York Times best-selling author, public speaker, and television host, Daphne Oz.

Our Educational Workshops will follow at 10am. For Workshop I: Getting to the Root of Organic Matters, we invite you to join us, with the collaboration of the Organic Produce Network and The Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI) The Power of Produce, for a data-centric dig into the benchmarks and opportunity gaps in the organic industry today. You will also hear from three industry segment professionals as they unearth how they have cultivated the organic segment within their own areas in the supply chain. In Workshop II: What’s on the Menu for the Future? A Slice into Foodservice Trends and How We Should Prepare for Tomorrow’s Consumers’ Appetites, our members will hear from Ronnie De La Cruz, a seasoned consultant in the fresh produce industry, while he serves as moderator for an outstanding panel of foodservice professionals.

Friday afternoon, we are thrilled to introduce an inaugural expo for our retail and foodservice members that will showcase the most innovative products in organics and foodservice within the produce industry. The Organics & Foodservice Expo will begin at 1:00pm at the Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Conference Center. Lunch will be provided beginning at 12:30pm and refreshments will be available during the expo, with menu items highlighted by our Chef Demos, which we will spotlight throughout the afternoon. We will also host a Captain’s Hour during the final hour of the expo.

Our exhilarating day will conclude with the President’s Dinner Dance at 7pm, within the Grand Ballroom, where we’ll meet dressed in our finest to experience an evening of dinner and dancing with a touch of nautical flair.

Prepare yourselves for some true Southern entertainment at our Saturday morning activities – with your choice of golfing at the Founders Memorial Golf Tournament, gearing up for the In-Shore Fishing Trip, or enjoying the Historic Bluffton Tour. Lunch will be provided at all activities.

Culminating our eventful weekend, we invite you to grab your favorite team jersey and hustle to our annual Ultimate Tailgate Experience which will kick off Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm.

Throughout this weekend, we hope to captivate you with our Southern charm and provide abundant opportunities for you to make meaningful connections within our produce industry!

Brandon Parker, Chairman
2017 Southern Innovations Organics & Foodservice Expo