Organic Confluences: Reducing Plastics Along the Entire Organic Supply Chain

The Organic Trade Association is partnering with The Organic Center to present the 2023 Organic Confluences: Reducing Plastics Along the Entire Organic Supply Chain. We’re bringing together scientists, farmers and industry experts for insightful panel discussions to help your business reduce plastics and create a more sustainable future for organic. Organic Confluences sessions will occur throughout the day on Tuesday and the morning of Conference Day on Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 9 │ Current Use of Plastics in Organic and Future Directions

What is the role of plastic in our food system?
A Presentation and Q&A on the role of plastic in our food system and environment. Researchers and Farmers will present their top-level findings on how plastic enters the environment and human bodies and how the use of plastic impacts farmer livelihoods.

Use of Plastics in Organic
A discussion examining the use of plastics in organic throughout the supply chain, highlighting challenges that organic stakeholders face that are currently addressed with plastic-based tools. Farmers, retailers, and distributors will discuss their plastic use and difficulties in finding bio-based alternatives. The panel will also touch on consumer demand for reduced plastic and how farmers are trying to meet production goals given these pressures.

Break for Lunch

Organic Regulations and Plastics:
Policies, Pathways, and Challenges A panel including updates from NOP regulators on the current status of plastic regulation in general and specifically for organic, and discussions about the complexities of regulating plastic use in organic in the domestic and international policy landscapes.

Breakout Sessions
Conference participants will break into small groups to participate in interactive discussions across stakeholder groups identifying the biggest challenges in reducing plastic in their supply chain sectors as well as potential solutions to those challenges. Breakout groups will report back their biggest challenges in reducing plastic and the highest priority action items to address them.


Wednesday, May 10 │ Exploring Plastic Alternatives and Building a Roadmap for the Future

The Future of Non-Input Synthetics, Recycling and Plastic-Alternatives in Organic A session exploring the need for a framework to develop discussions around the non-input use of synthetic plastic alternatives in organic. The panel will discuss the complexities of expanding the

perspective of organic to include non-input synthetics and who needs to be included in collaborative efforts from artists to policy makers to make large shifts in plastic use, including consumer engagement.

Innovations in Plastic Alternatives: Lightning Session
Organic stakeholders have been getting creative to reduce plastic from packaging to distribution and retail, and transporting food to home (from the store, food delivery). These rapid, 5-minute presentations will highlight case studies where industry is using novel alternatives to plastic and strategies to reduce plastic use.

Conference Day will continue with the Organic Policy Conference after the morning Confluences sessions.

View the Organic Policy Conference agenda here.