2019 Organic Confluences Conference: Moving the Dial on Climate Change
This year’s Confluences Conference will take place in tandem with the Natural Foods Expo East on September 11th 2019, in Baltimore.
The Organic Confluences Summit brings together farmers, scientists, extension agents, industry members and key policy influencers to address large-scale challenges that the organic sector is facing. This day and a half conference, organized by The Organic Center, will be held in conjunction with Natural Food Expo East in Baltimore.
This year’s Organic Confluences conference will directly address the current impacts of climate change and best practices within the organic sector for mitigation and adaptation, while examining methods for encouraging the adoption of strategies for fighting climate change.
The Summit will challenge the current thinking on climate mitigation with the understanding that multiple sectors and food system pathways must come together to make headway on this global issue. We will hear from stakeholders with diverse food system experience, from scientists to farmers to industry members, to provoke a better understanding of how large-scale, inter-disciplinary collaborations are needed address climate change and its impact on our food security. We will include cutting-edge innovations from the organic industry, which has been focusing its resources on climate mitigation and adaptation, to understand how these experiences and lessons can be used as a learning tool to advance climate-friendly techniques across sectors.
2019 Organic Confluences Agenda
9:00-9:15am Welcome, Opening Remarks and Introductions
9:15-10:30am Climate Change and Food Systems: The Role of Organic
This panel will set the stage for the conference by addressing the current and future impacts of climate change on the food system, and how organic techniques can both mitigate and help adapt to climate change. We will review current measurements of the climate effects of organic techniques, how organic fits in with resilience of agricultural systems as extreme weather events become more frequent, and scientific advances that are most needed to advance the organic sector’s ability to adopt and implement climate-friendly practices.
Robin Schoen, National Academy of Sciences
Amber Sciligo, The Organic Center
Kate Tully, University of Maryland
Sam Dobson, Dobson Farms
10:45-12:00pm Adopting Climate-Friendly Strategies throughout the Supply Chain
Climate-friendly strategies must be adopted throughout the supply chain to move the needle on mitigation. Panelists will discuss how this can be incentivized, strategies that have been successful in the past, and tools that are available and/or needed to help the organic sector understand their current impacts on climate change and adopt best practices.
Angela Jagiello, The Organic Trade Association
Shauna Sadowski, General Mills
Ed Barker, Green America
Aidee Guzman, University of California, Berkeley
12:00 – 1:15pm Advancing Climate Change Mitigation through Policy
This panel will examine current climate policies, and discuss incentive programs that are currently in place and/or needed to help farmers adopt climate-friendly practices. We will look at successful models of policy for advancing mitigation, and discuss ways to ensure climate change is a top focus area for governmental agriculture research and policy initiatives.
Megan DeBates, The Organic Trade Association
Ryan Martel, Ceres
Raffaele Zanoli, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy
2:00-2:15pm Organic Center Award of Excellence
The Organic Center will be presenting Catherine Greene, a Senior Agricultural Economist with the USDA Economic Research Service, Resource and Rural Economics Division, with their Award of Excellence.
2:15 – 3:30pm Innovations in Climate Action: Lightning Session
These 5-minute presentations will cover climate-friendly strategies and initiatives that are currently being used by organic industry members, farmers, and other organizations. We will discuss successes and challenges in scaling-up adoption of best practices, and innovations that are having the biggest impacts on the industry as a whole.
Erin Callahan, The Climate Collaborative
Rebecca Hamilton, Badger Balm
Bronwyn Johnson, Loving Earth
Katie Landry, Guayaki
Brise Tencer, Organic Farming Research Foundation
Ryan Zinn, Dr. Bronner's
Alexandra DySard, MOMs Organic Market
Michel Cavigelli, USDA ARS Climate Hubs
Tim Schultz, Lundberg Family Farms
3:30 – 3:45pm Break
3:45-4:45pm Break-out Discussions
Group A Key Ballroom 2 Moderator: Erin Callahan, The Climate Collaborative
Group B Key Ballroom 3 Moderator: Catherine Greene, UDA ERS
Group C Key Ballroom 4 Moderator: Johanna Mirenda, The Organic Trade Association
4:45-5:30pm Synthesis Discussion and Development of Recommendations
5:30pm Conference Adjourns for the day
Thank you to our 2019 Sponsors!