Monday, November 14, 2011
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I didn't get to spend very much time at all sightseeing, but the little bit of Peru that I did see was really nice. I was able to get out of the hotel for a few hours before the conference started on Wednesday and after it finished on Friday, otherwise all my time was spent networking and listening to presentations on various aspects of the international produce trade. My own presentation was the final one of the day on Thursday, and it went really well. I was a bit nervous - sweaty palms, a few mispronounced words, one flustery moment when I lost my train of thought - but everyone I spoke to afterwards kindly said that it didn't show. The best compliment I received was from an older gentleman from one of the large conventional growers, who approached me after my presentation and told me that he understood organics for the first time, but it had never made any sense to him (as a market or a production method) before. My goal at the conference was to present organics as a legitimate, logical, and profitable global market segment - to counteract the perception that it's run by wild-eyed hippies who want to turn the clock back to stone age agricultural technology - and I think I succeeded. :)
Update: If you're interested in the current state of the US organic market (or just a fan of power point) my presentation is now available online.