American Dairy Products Association Holds Annual Convention in Savannah

04/17/2015 3:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The American Dairy Products Association (ADPA) held its 2015 Annual Convention on March 19 - 21 in Savannah, GA at the Savannah Riverfront Marriott. The 2015 convention was designed to broaden the attendee’s scope of knowledge about the dairy products industry by discussing current industry issues and providing tips for achieving the best results for their companies. Feedback from the attendees reveals that the 2015 convention was ADPA’s best convention to date.

The educational sessions began with notable NC State Professor Dr. MaryAnne Drake with her session titled Understanding Consumer Desires for Fluid Milk.  She has conducted research on the flavor and flavor chemistry of dairy products for more than fifteen years, and her research is focused on understanding how dairy processing steps influence flavor and consumer perception of foods. In her presentation, Dr. Drake noted successful products from fluid milk and dairy beverages to dried ingredients have to hit consumer targets for safety, consistency, and flavor. She argued understanding consumer desires for fluid milk and chocolate milk is crucial to deliver competitive products. Because of Dr. Drake’s wealth of knowledge, attendees walked away with a greater knowledge about creating successful products.

The first day concluded with Colonel John Hoffman, a Senior Research Fellow with the National Center for Food Protection and Defense at the University of Minnesota. His research and development projects include the Food and Agriculture Sector Criticality Assessment Tool (FASCAT) for which he proposed and developed the basic concepts in prototype, the development of national and state level bio-surveillance systems, defending against economically motivated adulteration of food and feed products, defense of the nation’s food supply infrastructure, and high consequence food event modeling. In this particular presentation, however, Hoffman discussed CRISTAL, a user-friendly software that enables private food companies and the government to compare disparate food systems for the allocation of scarce security and risk mitigation resources, and its impact on the dairy industry.

Saturday morning began with Jerry Johnson, Vice-President of Technical Services for Alamance Foods, Inc., and his session titled Customer Expectations – Making the Purchasing Decision. Not only did Johnson spend over 25 years at Kraft Foods, but in 2004 he moved to McDonald’s as the Group Commercialization Manager where he had the responsibility of on-boarding and qualifying new suppliers to the McDonald’s system. Due to his years of experience in this particular field, Johnson was able to inform the thinking process behind the Purchasing Managers’ decisions. He asked the question “Is your diary ready to address the additional factors beyond product cost that drive the purchasing decision?” Johnson then went into detail about the factors that can win over prospective customers.

The day continued with NC Department of Agriculture Assistant Commissioner for Consumer Protection Joe Reardon. Reardon oversees the divisions responsible for food safety, agricultural emergency response, animal health and regulation of the structural pest control industry, pesticide use and various weighing and measuring devices. In his presentation titled FSMA Implementation and Rulemaking, Reardon gave an overview of the status of FSMA implementation with a focus on the preventative controls that rule and impact industry and regulatory programs.

Education sessions closed with a session titled Dairy in Today’s World. Long-time Washington insider Connie Tipton, president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association, provided a virtual tour of the political landscape that is shaping the legislative and regulatory environment for the US dairy industry. From discussions about the role of sustainability in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to the need to reform how milk is priced, Tipton tied all the pieces together.

Other sessions included a General Membership Meeting in which members discussed ADPA’s efforts to increase the value of membership in 2015.

In addition to the educational sessions, ADPA also organized daily networking opportunities and fun events to help members connect and relax during the conference. Attendees participated in Opening and Closing Events as well as the annual 25ers dinner, annual Golf Tournament, a trolley tour to view the beautiful historic sites of Savannah, a tasting tour to experience the food that makes the Southern city so great, and a charter fishing tour to give attendees a chance to enjoy the scenic waters of Georgia.

On the back of this year’s outstanding success, the ADPA Board of Directors and Convention Planning Committee have already begun planning the 2016 ADPA Annual Conference to be held in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia on March 31 – April 2, 2016 at The Greenbrier. ADPA hopes to see many first time attendees join them at The Greenbrier, an iconic and luxurious hotel, in 2016.

About ADPA

The goal of the American Dairy Products Association is to enhance the business climate for both its members and the consuming public by creating an environment in which its members benefit from educational opportunities which focus on relevant and timely issues facing the dairy industry, networking together in harmony and a spirit of co-operation to benefit from shared knowledge on a wide range of topics and issues, and a unified voice in which to address legislative issues which may, from time to time, gain the forefront of collective importance.

To achieve these goals, we dedicate ourselves to greater co-operation with one another and with the local land-grant universities with whom we share common interests and mutual dependence. A by-product of working together to achieve this goal is the growth and enhanced support of this association by its individual members.

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