- It’s very helpful to have the ‘brochure’ which is now mailed en masse as of November 1, 2014 – this gives you the full program; we will mail you one if you ask us to, or you can download this 9″ x 16″ double-sided document from this Web Site along with a physical copy of the actual mailed-in REGISTRATION FORM – which shows all the prices
- When at the Conference, take good notes, read your 80-page Proceedings booklet thoroughly, which is included in your guest workshop registration package
- Of course, collect business cards, contact names or pamphlets at the end of the talk (+ Expo booth #’s for the Saturday-Sunday show where you will meet many of the presenters) – and don’t forget to bring your own business cards because people will ask for it – never go to a show without your card and it’s a lot less messy than scribbling down things on scraps of paper or writing it on your arm
- Plan to gather as much info on this topic as you can for your own future research
2015 MEET & GREETS: we’re booking them. These are numerous related gatherings, research reports, consultations and public presentations; all of the spots were proposed and the rooms are assigned (free rooms given by the Conference on the University Centre 3rd & 4th floors):
- One interesting (new) Meet N Greet is the Organic Soybean Pricing Discussion meeting on the Sat., Jan. 31 noon time-slot [traders, take note]
- REAP-Canada AGM – for February 1st – this is a perennial meeting
- Several others will appear on the 2015 Meet & Greets menu above when booked – a Conference within a Conference
Organic Sector Profiles & Examples: The Guelph Conference, featuring free public Trade Expo entry and low workshop costs, makes it easy for anyone with a basic organic interest in organics to see:
- Farming exhibits
- 1-acre gardening advocates
- Foodservice suppliers
- Certification – how to get certified, how to train on a farm, how to develop organic inputs
- Processors & distributors selling bulk wholesale & truckload orders
- Retail sales of organic products, seeds, books, tools
- Public advocacy and quasi-political agricultural movements (some not so ‘quasi’)
- Innovative technology and education programs in support of organics
- Other important components of a quick-growing sector (solar, fair trade, home sprouting, organic textiles)
WHO PARTICIPATES: The Guelph Conference actually serves no fewer than 10 distinct user categories.
- Many shows are ‘TRADE-ONLY’ – they are geared only to processors, distributors, retailers, etc. and do not have a public component. The public can generally not enter these shows.
- BUT——— the Guelph Organic Conference & Expo is open to everyone (public, students, stores, farmers) and is highly diverse
- This means there are many categories of user/vendor/exhibitor/participant who you can meet
- Organic producers: certified and transitional
- Interested mainstream agri-business producers: good exposure
- Consumers: sample the organic brands
- Retailers: source new organic products
- Organic traders, processors & suppliers: buy & sell crops plus products – it’s a million $ event
- Researchers: organic crop research happens here
- Media, both mainstream publications and organic-focused, niche newsletters: gather story material- Katrina Simmons/Media can help you
- Academic professionals: talk directly with the farmers
- Students: find jobs, get internships, do work-stints, participate in study programs
- And many more.
The Guelph Conference welcomes all interested parties. Ironically, or perhaps prophetically, you sometimes see that organic is a business where you can be a consumer, producer, researcher, product developer, trucker and retailer all at the same time ! That’s organics!
“All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second, it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident.” — Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
See you in January, 2015 !