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Photos: North Coast Specialty Food and Beverage Industry Conference, Santa Rosa, Feb. 25, 2020

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The future of food, and the industry surrounding it drew a crowd of about 200 on Feb. 25 at the North Coast Speciality Food and Beverage Conference.

Speakers took on climate change and even announced a new milk carton liner at the Business Journal/Bank of America Merrill Lynch event. Here are stories from the conference:

Investors like green companies, ESG securities analyst says

North Bay specialty food companies such as Amy's Kitchen, Clover Sonoma, Straus Family Creamery, La Tortilla Factory and Redwood Hill Farms have been environmental, social and governance leaders before it became popular on Wall Street.

Year-round fresh produce: Vertical farming goes high tech

A major U.S. player in controlled environment agriculture explains to North Bay specialty food producers how it grows 800 varieties of lettuce, arugula and other edible greens without pest control, 95% less water and no sunlight.

Don't fear stocking your store with natural products, analyst says

Here are four reasons most U.S. consumers are increasingly purchasing natural and organic products for their homes, according to market research.

Climate change battle needs companies willing to adapt, says collaboration builder

Over 600 companies have pledged to make climate-friendly changes, says Lara Dickinson, co-founder of Climate Collaborative and One Step Closer to an Organic Sustainable Community.

Clover plans big change to its milk cartons

Despite the cost, Sonoma County-based dairy processor Clover Sonoma says it is moving away from lining them with a petroleum-based product.

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