Labor is one of the biggest challenges facing the food and agriculture industries. From minimum wage increases, to dwindling farms, processing and culinary talent, to a rise in automation, companies across the supply chain are being forced to rethink the way they do business.
Join us for a deep dive into some of the challenges and opportunities facing the industry. We will have presenters from across the food chain sharing their business models, challenges and lessons learned.
Do you have an innovative food product you would like to showcase? We have a few openings for dessert and beverage companies to sample products. Email nina[at]foodtechconnect[dot]com with more information about your company if you’re interested.
6:30 – 7:15: Networking + Snacks
7:15 – 8:45: Presentations + Q&A
8:45 – 9:30: More Networking
Mona Safabakhsh, VP of Strategy at Dig Inn – Dig Inn serves American food, mostly vegetables, from farmers and partners as close to home as possible.
Smriti Keshari, Producer of Food Chains – Food Chains reveals the human cost in our food supply and the complicity of large buyers of produce like fast food and supermarkets. Smriti is an award-winning filmmaker, artist, and director. Her work explores issues outside the mainstream and seeks to inspire social change.
Kerry Sesil, Marketing Coodinator at Greyston Bakery – A mission-driven food company and pioneering social enterprise, Greyston practices Open Hiring™ in its world-class commercial bakery, advances the Open Hiring™ Model at the Center for Open Hiring™ at Greyston and supports its employees and neighbors with innovative community programs. The cornerstone of Greyston’s success is its team of bakers preparing more than 35,000 pounds of brownies every day in the world-class Greyston Bakery, for customers like Ben & Jerry’s and Whole Foods Market.
Teofilo Reyes, National Research Director at The Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United – A national organization of workers, employers, and consumers seeking better wages and working conditions in the restaurant industry. Among other tech applications, ROC has worked with celebrity chefs and restaurateurs to develop a Diners Guide app that tracks how conscientious consumers are spending on restaurants that provide livable wages and working conditions, and a video game called Top Server that trains and provides certification for low-wage workers of color and immigrants in fine dining service and bartending, so that they can move up the ladder into livable wage jobs in the industry.
Seth Syberg, Founder & President at Cocoburg – Pioneers of “real food” innovation released the world’s first vegan coconut jerky in 2014. Cocoburg’s vision is to set the direction and lead the vegan snack industry to new heights of market reach, conscience production, and flavor without compromise. Cocoburg represents a unique opportunity to manifest meaningful change in the lives of farm and factory workers in SE Asia while at the same time creating a sustainable and fair farm-to-package production chain.
Chelsey Simpson, Communications Director at The National Young Farmers Coalition – building a sustainable future for American agriculture by ensuring all young farmers have the chance to succeed.