Getting to the Root of Organic Matters

Friday, September 29th

10:00 a.m. – 11:05 a.m.

Location: Elliot/Drayton/Heyward


Organics Workshop

The Organics Workshop presentation from Southern Innovations 2017 is available for download.

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. FMI’s The Power of Produce 2017 is in its third year and is comprised of a survey of 1,700 people overlaid with IRi and Nielsen data which will be reported by Anne-Marie Roerink (Principal at 210 Analytics, LLC) to give you the dirt on shopper insights. You will also hear from three industry segment professionals, Mark Carroll (Vice President of Produce and Floral with The Fresh Market), Christian Harris (Vice President of Produce with US Foods), and David Lessard (Vice President of Produce with Ahold USA), as they unearth how they have cultivated the organic segment within their own areas in the supply chain. This dynamic panel will be moderated by Matt Seeley (Co-founder and CEO of the Organic Produce Network).

Matt Seeley currently serves as the co-founder and CEO for the Organic Produce Network (OPN), launched in January, 2017. He began his career in the fresh produce industry working for The Packer, in 1983. In 1985, he served as editor of the Fresh Produce Council Digest, the official publication of the Fresh Produce and Floral Council. Seeley was hired as marketing manager for The Nunes Company in 1988, and rose to the position of vice president for marketing and brand management. In 2015, he founded the Organic Produce Summit, which recently held its second annual event.

Anne-Marie Roerink is a Principal at 210 Analytics, LLC — providing customized research and marketing strategies with a specialty in food retailing. Through countless studies and presentations for audiences large and small, Anne-Marie has developed an excellent perspective on the changing nature of the shopper and the food retailing business. Anne-Marie offers a diverse and in-depth view on retailing financials, operations and shopper behavior, and how/why these issues are important to various organizations, today and in the future.

Mark Carroll has been Vice President of Merchandising – Produce, Floral and Gift at The Fresh Market since January 2017. He brings more than 35 years of experience within the produce industry serving across various functions including operations, purchasing and merchandising. In his current role, his priorities are to elevate the standards of freshness and quality and to drive innovation within the produce category. Mark resides in Greensboro, NC with his wife of 38 years.

Christian Harris is Vice President Fresh Produce, US Foods in Rosemont, IL and responsible for all aspects of the company’s fresh produce business, overseeing 60 distribution centers across the United States serving more than 250,000 customers every day. Prior to joining US Foods in 2015, Chris served as a Director with Robinson Fresh and in a management position with Fresh & Easy (Tesco). He began his career with one of Europe’s largest lettuce growers in southern England before relocating to the United States in 2004.

Dave Lessard is a 30 year produce retail executive, currently serving as Vice President of Produce for Ahold USA which operates 775 stores under Stop & Shop, Giant of Landover, and Giant/Martins brands. Prior to Ahold, Dave held various positions for Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company in Montvale, New Jersey which included Senior Director of Produce/Floral, Director of Procurement, Category Manager and Merchandiser. Originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, Dave currently reside in Enola, Pennsylvania with his wife Alisa and children Tyler and Emily.