By the time you read this article, the 2019 International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) will be in the books. The annual gathering of more than 30,000 attendees from 130 countries with 1,400-plus exhibitors spread over 14 acres, countless hours of educational programs and maybe a late night or two will be concluded.  

What happens when the show is over? We get to work.

IPPE is owned by you, the poultry, egg, meat and feed industries in North America. Three trade associations —the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association (USPOULTRY), the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) and the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) — collaborate to pull together the annual event. The net revenue then flows directly back to the respective industries. So, for example, USPOULTRY has invested more than $30 million in research funding over the years. Last year, these research dollars went to topics such as woody breast syndrome, blackhead control, the use and effect of peracetic acid as an antimicrobial and alternative humane depopulation methods in the event of disease outbreak. We’ve also invested in legal actions challenging regulations that hurt our industry with no environmental benefit. Examples include the proposed rule regarding ammonia reporting from poultry houses or the “Waters of the U.S.” rule. We’ve invested in and refined education programs ranging from our annual seminars (in which many of us gained a sense of the industry outside our own plant or company) to specialized training such as Carcass Sorting or Introduction to Management for the Poultry Industry. And with honest, fact-based communications, we’ve helped inform our customers and the public about our industry (numerous YouTube videos, for example, with close to 3 million viewings on our “Poultry Processing” video). We recruit and attract students to our industry. These examples are just tips of the iceberg as far as where IPPE funds go (did you know, for example, that USPOULTRY is the largest single supporter of the Animal Agriculture Alliance?). And we do this primarily with funds generated by IPPE. Our partners at AFIA and NAMI similarly invest funds from IPPE back into their industries and could provide these same types of examples.

It’s worth noting, in this time when new international trade shows for our industry are popping up at an alarming rate, two items: First, we have chosen the opposite path in proliferating international trade shows. Where each of us once had our own, separate trade shows — USPOULTRY, AFIA and NAMI — now we have only IPPE. We, like the industries we represent, have consolidated for efficiency for both our exhibitors and the staffs of our member companies. Second, we are owned by our members, unlike many large shows around the world, so revenue from IPPE is invested back into the industry to continue the successes of our respective industries.  

I hope you enjoyed the 2019 IPPE and look forward to hosting you in Atlanta from Jan. 28-30, 2020. Please thank our exhibitors and remember when you attend next year, you are investing in our joint future. NP