A Food Show on a Global Scale

More than 30,000 food industry professionals from around the world will be on hand for the Worldwide Food Expo.
The country’s leading showcase for the meat, poultry, and seafood industries is almost here. The Worldwide Food Expo, comprising the International Meat, Poultry & Seafood Convention and Exhibition and the Food, Dairy & Beverage Exhibition, will take place from October 26 to 29 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.
Worldwide Food Expo ‘05 is touted as the year’s largest food and beverage processing and packaging event in the world, covering more than one-million square feet of exhibits and featuring 1,200 of the world’s leading suppliers. More than 30,000 attendees from 100 countries are expected to visit the show to learn about new technologies, trends, and ideas.
The Worldwide Food Expo is sponsored by the American Meat Institute (AMI), the International Association of Food Industry Suppliers (IAFIS), and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA).
The Worldwide Food Expo covers a variety of food categories, including meat, poultry, prepared meals, poultry, seafood, frozen food, and snacks. Exhibits will spotlight innovations in processing, packaging, ingredients, supplies, and services.
Food industry professionals choose the Worldwide Food Expo to find the latest solutions in the manufacturing process, from receiving and blending, to processing and packaging, to material handling and distribution. Executives, plant managers, operations managers, and many more come to the Worldwide Food Expo to find equipment, ingredients, and services to help their companies run more efficiently, offer new products, and improve profitability.
The show floor will feature special exhibits on sanitation, food safety, and packaging. Product development and refrigeration and freezing have separate pavilions devoted to them. A new material handling and distribution pavilion will feature robotics, trucks, containers, and conveyor systems.
Networking and history
Several social events at the AMI International Meat, Poultry & Seafood Convention and Expo are planned to celebrate history and offer networking opportunities.
The AMI’s Chairman’s Gala Reception and Dinner will be held October 28 at the Chicago Hilton and Towers. A special video tribute to AMI’s 100th anniversary will feature previous AMI chairmen reflecting on the Institute and industry history.
During the Gala, which will feature a “Roaring ‘20s” theme, complete with a speakeasy and jazz music, the chairman’s gavel will be passed.
The association will also present its four annual awards during the Gala:
• The Edward C. Jones Community Service Award, for a company that has shown a strong commitment to the communities in which it operates;
• The Supplier of the Year Award, for a supplier that has shown a spirit of partnership and made an outstanding contribution to the success of the meat and poultry industry;
• The Industry Achievement Award, for an individual, group, or company whose work has contributed to the success of the meat and poultry industry;
• The Scientific Achievement Award, for an individual within the industry, academia, or government whose professional achievements have had a significant contribution to the scientific knowledge of the meat and poultry industry.
The AMI is also hosting the Washington Insider Breakfast on October 28. The Insider Breakfast brings industry professionals together to learn about what is going on in Washington and how it will affect their businesses. Along with recognizing industry political action committee (PAC) contributors, the breakfast will feature a to-be-announced political figure as a guest speaker. Guests will be able to interact with elected officials, while the officials will hear about the issues impacting the industry.
International guests will receive the VIP treatment during a special welcome reception on October 27. International visitors from around the globe are invited to relax and network with colleagues and suppliers. In addition, a series of Spanish-language educational sessions aimed at education international senior-level managers about marketing to American suppliers will he held on October 28 and 29. “Strategic Program Requisites for Marketing to USA Customers” will address such topics as HACCP plan reviews, bio-terrorism compliance, and product recall plan validation and crisis management verification.
Focus on science
The Meat Industry Research Conference (MIRC) held in conjunction with the AMI Meat, Poultry, & Seafood Expo, takes place October 25 and 26, and will focus on allergens, food defense, and culinary arts. MIRC is co-sponsored by the AMI and the American Meat Science Association. A welcome reception is scheduled for October 25, sponsored by the Solae Company, a leader in the research and application of soy protein.
The conference, free to registered AMI Expo attendees, is targeted at those responsible for food safety, product development, regulatory compliance, and research and development. Food industry executives and experts will lead the education sessions on allergens, natural and organic opportunities, the affects of animal diet on meat consumption, and processing characteristics of pork, culinary arts, food defense, and other hot topics. MIRC is now fully integrated into the AMI education program. After the conference concludes at noon on October 26, attendees can head for the exhibit floor.
A number of sessions with contemporary topics will focus on:
Allergens: Food allergen ingredient labeling continues to take center stage at many company, industry and government meetings as the regulatory agencies increase inspection. Learn what is required and the latest on proposed regulations. The session will cover consumer issues, new regulatory developments and validation testing for allergens. Expert speakers include Anne Munoz-Furlong, chief executive officer and founder of The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, who will offer a consumer perspective; Jennifer Johnson, principal member at Bodendorfer- Johnson, LLC, who will address regulatory developments; and Tracie Sheehan, Ph.D., vice president, food safety for Sara Lee Corp. who will discuss process control.
Natural and Organic Opportunities: Natural and organic products are a growing segment in the retail and foodservice segments. Learn about the current standards for the natural organic segment, audits and possible changes to come. In addition, learn more about the production and processing of natural organic products. Hear from retailers about the benefits of integrating these products into conventional product mixes. Speakers include Dave Carter, chair of USDA’s National Organic Standards Board, who will discuss current standards and possible changes; Joe Smillie, vice president of Quality Assurance International, who will discuss third party verification, audits and documentation; and Dr. Allen Williams, consultant and vice president of The Jacob Alliance, LLC and Livestock Management Consultants, LLC, who will discuss branded beef programs.
Update session: Effect of Animal Diet on Meat Composition & Processing Characteristics of Pork: The session will be led by Dr. Lori Gatlin, an agricultural research technician at North Carolina State University, who will address how what an animal eats affects meat quality.
Culinary Arts: Explore how new culinary trends impact meat product development, from marinades to spices. Listen as a top chef discusses how consumer attitudes and appetites are changing demand for products that have ethnic accents, full flavors, offer sophisticated touches, and have great presentation. Learn what drives consumer crave and how to keep them satisfied. Dave Zino, director of the Beef and Veal Culinary Center for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, will discuss the role of the chef in meat product development. The session will also offer instruction in food presentation skill for meat scientists.
Food Defense: Learn how to ensure optimal food defense using a variety of strategies. Protect against threats like food contamination and hear ideas to ensure the security of plant personnel and products. Meat industry executives will explain how Homeland Security regulatory requirements will impact meat operations. Expert speakers include Dave Wincowski, regulatory affairs manager for Kraft, speaking about the impact of food defense strategies on meat operations, and Ann Marie MacNamara, Ph.D. vice president of food safety and scientific affairs for Silliker, who will address interpretation and auditing and a representative of the Department of Homeland Security.
Hot Topics and Updates: This session will provide updates on the latest hot topics concerning meat and meat products. Invited speakers include Gregg Doud, chief economist of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, who will speak about BSE and trade, and Dr. Eric Hentges, executive director, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion of USDA speaking about the new dietary guidelines.
For more information about MIRC, contact Marie DeLucia, AMI’s director of education and professional development, at mdelucia@meatami.com
AMI Show education
The MIRC is just one of a variety of educational classes and seminars available to the AMI Show attendees. More than 45 educational workshops, offering more than 75 hours of specially-designed programs, will also be available. Engineers, plant managers, chief executive officers, quality assurance/control managers, and more will all have the chance to hone their abilities and learn about the newest information in the industry. Topics to be covered during the convention include “Meeting the New Nutrition Labeling Mandate for Meat,” “Reducing Humidity and Condensation in the Meat Plant,” and “Designing Flexible Production Lines.”
Meat Tech, another part of the AMI Expo, will feature 12 presentations given by show exhibitors highlighting a range of new technologies.  Meat Tech is designed to provide exhibiting companies and their customers with a unique opportunity to showcase new technological developments.
The sessions will be offered from October 26 through 28, from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Presentations will be grouped by key categories: validation, recent analytical methods of pathogens, and application of sanitary design principles for meat and poultry processing equipment and facilities. This year’s presentations cover a variety of topics, including listeria control, cleaning exhaust emissions, and expansion and renovation of meat plants.
The 12 presenting companies are: Herdon & Redmond Engineer/Architects, Hixson Architecture & Engineering, Kemin Food Ingredients, Mepaco, Munters Corp., Praxair Inc., Purac America, Quickdraft, Smiths Heimann, Synergetics Installations Worldwide, Unitherm Food Systems, and Vineberg Communications.
“Manufacturing Solutions” is a special track of sessions focusing on what matters most on the production side of the food industry. The sessions are designed to help food and beverage plants implement leaner, more efficient, and more profitable processing and manufacturing operations. Additionally, credit for Continuing Education Units, Professional Development Hours, and Learning Units is available from the IAFIS for these sessions. Manufacturing Solutions courses include “Improved Plant Efficiencies Through Smart Engineering,” “Innovation in Product Development,” “Implementing Lean Manufacturing at Plant Level,” and “Plant Maintenance Short Course.”
Super sessions
Another new addition are the “Super Sessions,” led by top management, food research, and business trend experts. They will be addressing critical topics, such as:
• Leadership in Turbulent Times: Unlocking Potential: Robert Cooper, author of Good to Great are the Enemies of Possible and The Other 90%, explores how exceptional leaders and teams can liberate untapped potential and excel under pressure.
• Connecting Brands to Evolving Customers: Kevin Lane Keller, professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and author of Best Practice Cases in Branding, explores keeping a brand relationship alive and fresh while still leveraging brand equity.
• The Antidote for Anti-Corporate Activism: Consultant James Lukaszewski shares insight gained from coaching organizations on tough and touchy corporate communication issues to help attendees gain a better understanding of anti-cororate activism trends.
• Business Ethics in a Changing World: Marianne Jennings, professor of legal and ethical studies at Arizona State University, looks at business ethics and provides clear tips on how corporations can establish values up front and create an ethical climate within an organization.
• Forecasting the Impact of Macro Trends and Demographics: Author, forecaster, and design strategist Andrew Zolli helps multinational corporations see, understand, and respond to emerging change by connecting trends in demographics, technology, geopolitics, and business.
• Micro Trends Matter: Understanding Retail Food and Consumer Trends: Tom Rubel, president and chief executive officer of Retail Forward Inc., will identify the next major trends in the way consumers live, shop, and eat, as well as the opportunities and challenges that retailers and food manufacturers will face. NP
For information about the International Meat, Poultry & Seafood Convention and Exhibition and the Worldwide Food Expo 2005, contact the Convention Management Group at (703) 934-4700, fax (703) 934-4899, or visit www.worldwidefood.com