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Content Guy's Note:  Last week I had the privilege of facilitating the annual Retail Roundtable at the Organic Produce Summit (OPS) in Monterey, California.  Our participants this year were Abhi Ramesh, founder and CEO of Misfits Market;  Sonya Constable, vice president of produce at Sprouts Farmers Markets;  and Daniel Bell, director of produce at Grocery Outlet.  I thought it was a fascinating conversation, largely because Ramesh and Constable do not come from the food industry - he has a technology background, and she's spent her career in other kinds of retail (like PetSmart and Pottery Barn Kids).  Bell, while he is a 30+ year veteran of the produce business, also brings a unique perspective to the subject because of Grocery Outlet's differentiated business model.

We talked about a lot of different subjects, and the session was long enough that for MNB's purposes, I've edited it into two parts, with the second piece slated to run tomorrow.  As we began our conversation in part one, here's where we started:

"To what extent would you agree or disagree with the statement, 'The US food system is essentially broken.'  And if you would agree with it, tell me how it is broken, and what you believe needs to be done to fix it." 

And that was just the beginning.

If you'd like to listen to the OPS conversation as an audio podcast, please click below to download.