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UVA Hosts Conference on Sustainability in Food, Beverage Industr - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

UVA Hosts Conference on Sustainability in Food, Beverage Industries

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A handful of central Virginia business owners gathered Friday at the University of Virginia to talk sustainability in the food and beverage industries.

Darden’s Wine and Cuisine Club hosted its sixth annual conference to spotlight trends from farm to table. The event featured a variety of speakers that represent various wine, beer, and food hubs across central Virginia.

Organizers say the goal is to give students a chance to learn about career opportunities in a unique industry.

The 2014 Wine and Cuisine Club conference kicked off with keynote speaker Lee Susen from E&J Gallo Winery presenting on sustainability and innovation. The group then broke out for different panels featuring industry leaders such as Devil's Backbone COO Hayes Humphreys and DuCard Vineyards proprietor Scott Elliff.

All sessions focused on what organizers thought were challenges from a business perspective.

“I think sustainability is a very hot-button issue in a lot of industries, especially in food and beverage and innovation,” said Jennifer Hagan, the vice president of the conference. “Companies are always trying to find new ways to innovate their products and still maintain quality.”

Conferences from past years centered on marketing and consumer experience within the industry.

The conference, at the Darden School of Business, will wrap up with a cocktail reception with samples from all event sponsors at 8 p.m. Friday.

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