The American Association of Meat Processor's (AAMP) Board of Directors has announced that they are canceling the 2020 American Convention of Meat Processors and Suppliers’ Exhibition scheduled for July 30 – August 1 in Des Moines, Iowa. The convention has been canceled due to public health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, it’s become clear that in the face of an unprecedented situation, we had a tough decision to make,” said Rick Reams, AAMP president. “We understand how important the AAMP Convention is to the industry and we know that this will come as a disappointment to those who had planned for months to attend. While it is not the outcome we wanted, the safety of our attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, vendor partners, and our AAMP staff is the most important.”
This will mark the first time in 75 years that AAMP has not held an annual convention. The last cancellation took place in 1945 as World War II neared its end. Around 1,200 attendees were anticipated to join the annual convention in Des Moines.
“We recognize the magnitude of this decision for the association and our membership,” said Chris Young, AAMP executive director. “The annual convention brings together hundreds of passionate processors and exhibitors every year to celebrate the efforts of our industry. This year, we were especially looking forward to the convention taking place in AAMP’s birthplace hometown of Des Moines; however, the well-being of our members, staff, and Iowa hosts has to be the number one concern, and that drove our decision-making."
Young added, “Furthermore, there is fear among public health officials that there will be more waves of the virus in the coming months. Although agency guidance has varied, social distancing efforts will likely remain in effect, making gatherings such as our convention challenging.”
The association will be working with conference registrants and exhibitors directly over the coming weeks to discuss refunds and how to proceed going forward.
The 2021 AAMP Convention is scheduled to take place July 15-17, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.