"There is a clear gap in industry-focused resources that inform, educate and even inspire all constituents about the value and also the values of organic," said co-founder and executive vice president, Tonya Antle. "As pointed out in the 2015 Deloitte Food Value Survey, the reason organic produce is such a robustly growing category is because it sits squarely in the sweet spot for evolving consumer value drivers: health and wellness, safety, social impact, experience, and transparency. There's a continuum of consumers who buy organic produce and they're moving along that continuum at a faster rate than ever before and this impacts what they expect from the companies that provide their organic produce," Antle pointed out.
"The organic fresh produce community is energized about the opportunity to help change the way we eat and with that, change our health outlook," says co-founder and CEO, Matt Seeley. "We believe that OPN can become the modern high-tech, and high-touch, source of new information, ideas, and inspiration for continued organic produce growth, "Seeley added.
The lack of having a unified voice or resource dedicated exclusively to the multi-billion dollar organic produce industry was also a driving factor in making OPN a reality.
"Those of us who provide organic produce constitute the largest segment of the organic food business but this segment often lacks the voice it deserves in either organic-focused or produce-focused organizations. The OPN will be that strong voice, a trusted resource that connects us all through information, education and networking events," Antle said.