Organic values & ethics vs. goals of a competitive market-place
Guelph, January 11, 2010
Are there actually any ‘inherent organic values’ or is it just an early-stage business structure, ripe for the picking? When companies go public, are they vulnerable in terms of keeping their prime values vs. just satisfying the shareholders’ need for a profitable quarter? Has ‘organic’ gone off the rails as it got bigger and more corporate?
At 7pm on January 29th, a riveting panel of discerning experts will take the stage and argue these issues at the Guelph Organic Conference Public Forum – Organic values & ethics vs. goals of a competitive market-place. For years, the Forum has helped develop actions that people in every part of the organic sector can use, to build pragmatic goals into the future.
The Public Forum is a free-wheeling, lively discussion, taking place on the Friday evening of the 2010 Conference at the University of Guelph. The theme this year is ‘Our Canadian Organic Identity’ aims to raise awareness of the newly adapted Canadian Organic Standard.
Hear from the activists, then question these important issues at our open mic. Questions the panel will be addressing include “Does the organic business have unique ethical issues as its foundation?”, ”The profit motive keeps most business afloat. Is ‘organic’ immune?”, and “Twenty-five years ago ‘organic’ was called a fad. What is it called today?”.
The forum always proves to be a hot and exciting exposé of ideas and opinions and this year will be no exception. The colourful posse of panelists include outspoken award winning Author Margaret Webb. Recently honoured with a silver at the 2009 Cuisine Canada Culinary Book Awards, for Apples To Oysters – A food lover’s tour of Canadian farms. Webb also wrote the Toronto Star series “Crisis on the Farm. Also on the hot seat will be someone who’s no stranger to the organic processing industry, BC’s Dag Falck, program manager with Richmond-based Nature’s Path Foods. From New Hampshire, the panel will be joined by another well known figure representing the corporate sector, international speaker Gary Hirshberg, CEO for organic dairy giant, Stonyfield Farm. Rounding out the panel is local Farmer Maureen Giffen. Giffen owns and operates Edencrest, a certified organic Farm and CSA near Minesing, Ontario. Giffen is also scheduled to deliver a workshop at the conference on the Saturday, entitled ‘The next best thing in CSA marketing – profitability’.
When asked “As a certified grower, what ethics and goals do you have, and what does this public forum mean to you?” Giffen responded “As a certified grower, we have an ethical and moral obligation to our farm customers to provide them with the same great quality of food that we expect for ourselves. It’s the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Same goes for food. Anytime there is an opportunity to have a two way conversation, an exchange of ideas or a debate on a subject – all parties benefit from the experience. From that experience, there will be lessons learned and common ground formed from understanding each other.”.
Keeping the forum electrified and moving along will be the job of the moderator for the evening, U of Toronto Professor Stephen Sharper, who is well known for his writing on ethical issues.
The Public Forum takes place on Friday, January 29. Doors open at 6:45 pm. Forum starts at 7 pm sharp. Mic opens to the audience at 8:15 pm and runs until 9:30 pm (or later), at Thornbrough Auditorium, next to University Centre, University of Guelph. It proves to be one of, if not “the” best public forum ever in the conference’s 29 years. The Guelph Organic Public Forum… don’t miss it!
With 30+ informative introductory and advanced workshops, 150+ trade show exhibitors and tasting fair on Saturday & Sunday, locally-sourced organic food, an inspirational keynote speaker and an interactive public forum, the GOC is considered one of the foremost educational and networking events in the organic community.
From its humble beginnings with a handful of attendees as an afternoon seminar in 1982, the most recent 2009 event attracted an estimated 1750+ farmers, distributors, retailers, advocates and students.
Organic Food Conferences Canada – 2010 Guelph Organic Conference
Our Canadian Organic Identity
29th Annual Conference, Expo & Tasting Fair January 28-31, 2010
For media passes and accreditation, contact Mike Driscoll at : 519-763-8825 or email@example.com or leave a message on the Conference General Response Line at 519-824-4120, extension 56205.
For trade & sponsorship inquiries : 705-444-0923 or organix (at) georgian.net