The Food Marketing Institute, Arlington, Va., opens its second Food Industry Sustainability Summit Aug. 17 in San Francisco, Calif.


The two and one-half day long summit, developed in cooperation with the Sacramento-based California Grocers Association Educational Foundation, brings together fresh produce grower-shipper-marketers, retailers, industry and government experts and educators, said Jeanne von Zastrow, senior director of sustainability and industry relations. More than 90 speakers appear at 15 workshops during the summit, she said.


The “From Best Practices to Standards and Metrics” workshop is of particular importance to the fresh produce industry, von Zastrow said. A presentation on the stewardship index for specialty crops will be discussed at that workshop.


More than 350 attendees have registered for the summit, about the same number that attended in 2008.


“In this economy we were a little worried, but the turnout has been just great,” von Zastrow said.


Fresh produce companies scheduled to participate in workshop or attend the summit include Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc., Miami, Fla.; the Idaho Potato Commission, Eagle; World Variety Produce Inc., Los Angeles; Broetje Orchards, Prescott, Wash.; and Organically Grown Co., Eugene, Ore., von Zastrow said.


Another workshop of interest to the fresh produce industry, “Greening the Supply Chain,” will be presented by Bud Floyd, vice president of produce marketing for C.H. Robinson Co., Minneapolis.


“What is most interesting is the mix of the people who will be attending,” von Zastrow said.


In addition to the food industry, environmental groups such as the World Wildlife Fund, the Environmental Defense Fund and the National Resources Defense Council have registered, she said, as have professors from a large number of universities.