All businesses need to think about succession—the next generation of leadership or ownership.  ISGA selected “The Next Generation” as its theme for the 2017 ISGA Convention because it is especially applicable to the sprout industry at this time.

What most sprout businesses have in common is that they are family businesses. These businesses started small but have grown into solid businesses which employ people and provide products in demand—healthy food.

We are now in the 2010’s and some sprout business owners who started sprout businesses in the 1970’s and 1980’s have retired and turned over the reins of their business to their children. Others are nearing retirement and need to think of matters dealing with succession.  Convention attendees heard from the founders of these businesses who were on a panel dealing with succession issues.  Manny Wong, Joe Mahoney, Maggie Mumm spoke eloquently on the subject. Also on the panel were children who have taken over the business from their parents—Lisa Mumm and Ari Meyerowitz.

In addition to the important issue of succession, attendees were informed of the latest sprout safety techniques, ways of dealing with government regulation, marketing strategies, products and services available to commercial sprout growers, and the latest research into the effects of sprout consumption on health.

Below are speaker biographies, presentations, a group picture, individual pictures of attendees with brief career biographies.

Speaker Biographies:

Click HERE for biographies.


Below are general descriptions of presentations, each with a link to the full presentation.  For quick reference, a general category in parentheses is included at the bottom of each presentation description.

Small Scale Food Canada
by Candace Applebee

Provides education to help food processors and growers in Canada navigate regulations, including a database and a Regulation Roadmap that tells a business which regulations apply.  Another service is “Recipe for Success” which includes Business Planning, Food Processing & Regulations, The Market, Product Development, Labeling & Packaging, Distribution & Promotion, Pricing.  Below are general descriptions of presentations, each with a link to the full presentation.  For quick reference, a general category in parentheses is included at the bottom of each presentation description.  Click HERE for the presentation.
(Compliance with regulations in Canada, Education for Canadian Food Businesses)

The Plant Microbiome in Plant Health and Disease
by Cara Haney
The research described is particularly applicable to protecting sprouts from human and plant pathogens because of the use of simplified soil-free bacterial communities to untangle how different plant cultivars interact with distinct microbial strains without the variables of soil and environment.  Click HERE for the presentation.
(Food Science–The effect of the plant microbiome on sprouts)

Hippocrates Was Right
by Bernhard H. J. Juurlink, Professor emeritus,
Dept. of Anatomy & Cell Biology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
Hippocrates said “Let food be your medicine and medicine your food.”  This presentation explains the science behind aging and how compounds found in broccoli sprouts can help to lessen oxidative stress, tissue inflammation and high blood pressure. Click HERE for the presentation.
(Food and Health – The effect of Glucoraphanin/Sulforaphane on diseases with underlying oxistress or inflammation components)

Sprout Marketing 101: a short introduction
by Ari and Noah Meyerowitz, Sprout Brothers
This presentation stresses the importance of creating a positive narrative about sprouts.  The aim of this narrative is to create crusaders who, in turn, will spread the positive narrative. The importance of social media was also discussed. Click HERE for the presentation.
(Marketing – turning consumers into crusaders)

Ensuring Alfalfa Sprout Safety
by Siyun Wang, PhD, Assistant Professor of Food Safety Engineering;
Cindy (Yue) Dai, MSc Student; Karen Fong, PhD candidate
A comprehensive presentation about the effects of conventional and organic sanitation treatments on alfalfa, mung and radish seeds.  After discussing the advantages of Phages, the “edible viruses,” as antimicrobials, the presentation concludes with “treatment with Phage SI1 could potentially be used for salmonella decontamination of alfalfa seeds.”  More work is needed determine if a combination of current sanitation treatments and SI1 can control the growth of Salmonella on alfalfa sprouts, the source of many foodborne illnesses.  Click HERE for the presentation.
(Sprout Safety)

GM Alfalfa: Update and Impact
by Lisa Mumm
Lisa Mumm traces the adoption of GM alfalfa in Canada and the US and describes how it spreads into areas of non-GM alfalfa despite efforts to keep it contained. GM alfalfa is seen as the largest threat to organic growing by Canadian Organic Growers.  Contamination threatens sales to nations which reject GM products. Click HERE for the presentation.
(Genetically Modified Food)

BioMedix – Community Food Analysis Laboratory,
“A local answer to a national question”
by Claver Bundac, Managing Director, BioMedix
BioMedix provides food safety validation and verification testing, food safety training,
food safety risk assessment.  Click HERE for the presentation.
(Food Safety Verification)

Marketing Case Study – Eatmore Sprouts
by Greg McLaren
Business Advisory Team Inc. and Left Field Marketing work together to help farm, food and drink businesses grow through marketing and sales.  One of their clients, Eatmore Sprouts, is a growing business that produces more than 9,000 pounds of locally grown organic sprouts and greens weekly, year-round. It values people, the planet, sustainability and creativity.  It has become a recognized brand with minimal advertising, has good distribution and retail outlets, and is in line with the trend toward eating local nutritional food.  The presentation deals with market position, market share, sales growth, the use of social media and cross promotion. It displays Eatmore promotional items which reinforce the characteristics of its brand–healthy, easy-to-prepare, and available year-round. Click HERE for the presentation.


Click HERE to read about those who attended.  Pictures are included.

Group Picture: