The Southeast Produce Council is kickin’ up some dust as preparations are underway for its second annual Southern Innovations Organics & Foodservice Expo set for Sept. 6–8 in Nashville, TN.

With the addition of an expo and exhibitors and the focus on organics and foodservice, what used to be known simply as the SEPC Fall Conference has quickly come on as a must-attend event for Southeastern produce professionals.

Handy Candy’s Mike Prather gets an SPW pre-interview grooming at Southern Innovations 2017/(Above) The skyline of Nashville, home to this year’s show

Within thee three days of Southern Innovations, SEPC members will be captivated by the abundant opportunities to experience the SEPC’s four pillars: Networking, Innovation, Community, and Education, all while immersing themselves in the Southern charm of Music City.

Although SEPC is still settling some details regarding the conference, the following is a taste of what’s in store for members to sink their teeth into. Southern Innovations will commence on Thursday evening, Sept. 6 with a “Bash in the Nash” Opening Reception from 6-10 p.m.

Then, saddle up for a full day of networking and educational programs on Friday; This includes two workshops highlighting organics and foodservice-related topics respectively between 8:30-11:15 a.m., the General Session & Keynote Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. which includes the presentation of the Next Generation Award, the Organics & Foodservice Exposition from 1-5 p.m. and the Chairman’s “Roots and Boots” Dinner Dance at 7 p.m.

Tailgatin’, SEPC-style

After you’ve had a night to cool your heels, rise and shine on Saturday to a day chock-full of networking fun: Sporting Clays, the Founders Memorial Golf Tournament, or a local tour – all with lunch included. Finally, round up the weekend with the Ultimate “Saturday in the South” Tailgate Experience from 3:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. Come wearing your team’s gear and get ready for one heck of a tailgate!

After last year’s successful conference with over 500 attendees, including more than 100 from retail and foodservice, the SEPC is anticipating an even greater response from members, especially with valuable booth space available for 100 exhibitors. All events will take place at the lavish Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, apart from the Saturday activities.

David Sherrod

“We are so excited to be back in Nashville for Southern Innovations. This year’s conference will provide the perfect setting for our foodservice, wholesale and retail attendees looking for many new products the foodservice and organic sectors have to offer,” stated SEPC President and CEO David Sherrod.

“We are already surpassing last year’s record-breaking attendance with more exhibitors and buyers signing up every day. And of course, we will continue to provide plenty of southern hospitality, country music, SEC football and outstanding educational opportunities throughout the weekend!”

To register for the Southern Innovations Organics & Foodservice Expo, or to gain more information about the conference, please visit the SEPC’s Southern Innovations website at

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