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What Sustainable Consumers Care About & Why It Matters

What Sustainable Consumers Care About & Why It Matters will be explored at the Sustainable Ag Expo in Monterey, California Nov 15-16, Early Registration Discounts Now Apply

Sustainable Ag Expo Logo 2010
Sustainable Ag Expo Logo 2010
Sept. 29, 2010 - PRLog -- What Sustainable Consumers Care About & Why It Matters
Answers At The Sustainable Ag Expo November 15-16
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Conference Moves Beyond Regulatory, Policy & Production Issues To Explore Ag’s Role In Society

Paso Robles, Calif.  — The concept of sustainability matters more to consumers than simply being “green”, according to a research presentation that will be highlighted at the Sixth Annual Sustainable Ag Expo, set for November 15~16 in Monterey at the Embassy Suites.  
   Registration is now open, with early registration discounts continuing at http://www.vineyardteam.org/events/attendee-options-and-pricing.php
   While much of the conference focuses on agricultural production, policy and regulatory issues, looking beyond immediate farming issues to broader societal issues has proven popular at the conference, says Kris O’Connor, Executive Director of the Central Coast Vineyard Team.
   “The very notion of sustainability, what it is and why it matters, particularly to consumers who buy our products, can help guide agriculture as we strive to be not just good farmers and growers, but good neighbors, community members and employers,” she said.  Linda Gilbert from EcoFocus Worldwide (www.ecofocusworldwide.com), which studies consumers and sustainability trends, will highlight trends that show mothers, in particular, concerned about the long term impact of sustainability on their families, adjusting their purchasing decisions accordingly.
   Joining her in bringing examples of sustainability efforts from outside agriculture will be Emily Wines, who will profile the Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group’s sustainability efforts.
   Understanding how business relates to consumers regarding sustainability can provide valuable insights for the agricultural community, notes O’Connor.  “There are lessons to be learned, sometimes surprising ones, that help our Ag community better understand the issues that policy makers are grappling with,” she added.
Water Issues Also Get Major Focus At Conference
   California’s complex water issues and the growing pressure on agriculture water use will also be a major focus of the conference.  Among planned sessions are updates on using the USDA 9-Step Process to Develop a Conservation Plan, presented by Margy Lindquist, from the US Department of Agriculture, and Changing Surface Water Pesticide Regulations with Patricia Matteson, California Department of Pesticide Regulation.  
   “While water issues are high on everyone’s list of concerns right now, the conference will address a broad list of concerns” said O’Connor.  “Beyond water, changing pesticide regulations, innovative metrics for measuring sustainability and soil health and nutrition are just a few of the topics addressed this year.”  The use of social media to communicate with consumers will be featured in a session led by Philip Woodrow of Hahn Family Wines titled “Social Media:  It’s Not Just For Winemakers Any More.”
   Other speakers include representatives from disparate groups such as Protected Harvest, Progressive Viticulture, the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center and various governmental agencies including the US Environmental Protection Agency, California Department of Food & Agriculture, the California Department of Conservation along with the California Farm Bureau Federation and many others.
   The updated schedule outlining planned sessions is available at www.vineyardteam.org/events/schedule.php, where additional information on the speakers and trade show can also be found.  Speakers and sessions are still being added, based on emerging issues.
   Organized by the Central Coast Vineyard Team, the Expo combines a popular tradeshow with seminars featuring dynamic speakers on crop-specific and general topics facing vineyards and row-crops.  Continuing education credits, up to 10-12 hours, are available for PCA, PA, CCA and Water Quality.
   The trade show will be featured in a single location this year, and share the ballroom with the Expo’s general sessions.  Decision makers representing more than 125,000 acres of vineyards and row-crops attend the event.
   The conference originally evolved several years ago from a growing awareness, said O’Connor, that farmers of varied crops faced similar challenges as they explored sustainable practices.  “As farmers have come together to explore these issues, a lot of common ground and common answers have been found,” she said.
   Sponsors and trade show exhibitors include Oro Agri, Deerpoint Group, Inc., Vintage Nurseries, Monterey Ag Resources and.  Additional sponsors include EcoLogistics, California Fresh Fruit, Dow Agro Sciences, Practical Winery & Vineyard Magazine and Vineyard & Winery Management magazine. A complete list of sponsors and trade show attendees can be found at http://www.vineyardteam.org/events/expo.php.
   Special room rates are offered with early registration for the Embassy Suites in Seaside.  Book early by calling 831-393-1115.  The Sustainable Ag Expo room block will remain reserved until mid-October, with rates beginning at $124 per night.
   More than 300 attendees are expected in Monterey for the Sustainable Ag Expo.

The Central Coast Vineyard Team has been advocating the cause of sustainability since 1994.  Learn more at www.vineyardteam.org including the facts about the SIP™ (Sustainability In Practice) certification program featured at www.sipthegoodlife.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kris O’Connor, Executive Director
805.369.CCVT (2288)
Jim Caudill
[707] 799-0144

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About the Central Coast Vineyard Team: The Central Coast Vineyard Team has been advocating the cause of sustainability since 1994. Learn more at www.vineyardteam.org including the facts about the SIP™ (Sustainability In Practice) certification program featured at www.sipthegoodlife.org.

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Source:Central Coast Vineyard Team
Phone:(805) 369-2288
Location:Paso Robles - California - United States
Industry:Agriculture, Environment, Food
Tags:Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Wine, Sustainable Certification, California Wine
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