The International Production & Processing Expo, sponsored by the American Feed Industry Association, North American Meat Institute and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, exceeded all expectations with a record-breaking estimated 30,000 registrants, 1,288 exhibitors and 490,000 net square feet of exhibit space. IPPE—hosted in Atlanta, Ga., each year—is the world’s largest annual feed, meat and poultry industry event of its kind.
“This year’s trade show provided exemplary value and dedication to its attendees with an abundance of informative seminars and networking opportunities that keep attendees coming back each year,” said AFIA President and CEO Joel G. Newman. “The success of the trade show was a team effort and a direct reflection of our dedication to our members and the industry.”
In addition to the trade show, AFIA hosted a Pet Food Conference, Food Safety Modernization Act seminar, “Exporting Feed and Feed Ingredients to the U.S.” seminar and a Pork Tech Theater, featuring numerous speakers.
AFIA’s eighth annual Pet Food Conference, designed to inform pet food industry representatives about the latest industry initiatives, kicked off IPPE with speakers from government entities, private companies and universities to discuss compelling topics including social media in the industry, sustainability and the soon to be implemented Food Safety Modernization Act.
“More than 250 people registered for the conference, which shows the immense interest surrounding the ever-developing pet food industry,” said Leah Wilkinson, AFIA director of ingredients, pet food and state affairs.
Various speakers presented on a number of topics including LeAnn Chuboff’s (Safe Quality Food Institute) update on the Pet Food Facility Certification Program, Marianne Smith Edge’s (International Food Information Council) presentation on “Technology and the Consumer,” and Dr. David Meeker (National Renderers Association) and Dr. Charles Starkey’s (American Proteins) joint presentation on “Let’s Talk Innovation: Animal Proteins.”
Svetlana Uduslivaia of Euromonitor International focused on both domestic and global trends, informing the audience of a positive increase in cat and dog food sales globally at a constant three percent in 2014. She said to expect emerging markets on the horizon in Brazil and Russia as 46 percent of Brazilian households own a dog(s) and 20 percent own a cat(s). In Russia, the growth is not far behind, with 28 percent of households owning a dog(s) and 37 percent of households owning a cat(s). The anticipated pet population growth will inevitably result in an increase in pet food consumption.
General updates were provided to the group from representatives from the Association of American Feed Control Officials, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The event concluded with a panel focused on pet food safety and current issues and preparations for the pending final regulations for the Food Safety Modernization Act.
With the newly-proposed FSMA rules underway, Henry Turlington, AFIA director of quality and manufacturing regulatory affairs, hosted the Phase I “Food Safety Modernization Act – Building a Foundation for Compliance” seminar designed to educate and update feed and pet food manufacturers and ingredient suppliers on the various components of the new law. Nearly 120 IPPE attendees registered for the high-energy training.
“The implementation of the proposed FSMA rules has been a huge undertaking for the feed and pet food industry, and it is important for industry professionals to understand how to comply with the different requirements,” said Turlington.
Turlington opened the seminar with an overview of the newly proposed FSMA rules and what the regulatory changes mean to the feed industry. He further discussed AFIA’s recommendations for complying with the new law and how the organization will best assist its members during the implementation process.
Information was provided on how to build a solid foundation with current good manufacturing practices, key components of a supplier verification program, what is required for an animal food safety plan and why having a plan in tact would be beneficial to the facility. Highlighting two key components, recall plan and training program, Turlington stressed the importance of implementing both for preventative measures.
For the second year in a row AFIA offered an “Exporting Feed and Feed Ingredients to the U.S.” meeting to provide attendees the opportunity to hear from key industry professionals discussing the complex process of exporting feed and feed ingredients to the U.S.
“How animal food is regulated in the U.S. can be complicated to those who are not used to our federal and state based regulations,” said Leah Wilkinson, AFIA director of ingredients, pet food and state affairs. “Knowing the players, different methods of regulation and the ingredient approval processes is key to successfully exporting feed products to the U.S.”
AFIA President and CEO Joel G. Newman began the seminar with a synopsis of the U.S. feed industry and key issues that have recently affected the industry. Newman reiterated the influential role that AFIA plays in providing legislative and regulatory support to its members. Gina Tumbarello, AFIA director of international policy and trade, expanded on Newman’s presentation further discussing feed and feed ingredient imports and the importance of these imports to the U.S. feed industry.
Government agency representatives, Dr. Daniel McChesney of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, and Dr. Sarah Speth of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, presented on exporting animal and plant products and FDA regulated products. AFIA staff led other discussions including what the Food Safety Modernization Act means to exporters and an overview of the U.S. feed regulatory system.
Next year’s International Production & Processing Expo will be in Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 26-28. For more information, please contact Sarah Novak, AFIA vice president of membership and public relations, at (703) 558-3574 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Veronica Rovelli, AFIA meetings and events, at (703) 558-3563 or email@example.com.