Big turnout for 2010 IPE/IFE

by Arvin Donley
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Educational programming focusing on timely and important topics and a trade show featuring the latest products, technologies and services designed to benefit the feed and poultry industries helped attract more than 19,000 people to the 2010 International Poultry Expo/International Feed Expo (IPE/IFE) Jan. 27-29 in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.

The turnout pleased event organizers who in 2009 saw attendance dip to less than 18,000 at a time when the greatest impact of a severe global economic recession was being felt. But with the economy now showing signs of improvement, and critical topics such as product safety and regulatory and legislative updates being addressed, this year’s event proved to be too good to pass up for many in the poultry and feed industries.

"This year’s Expo offered attendees a range of substantive programming and events to make their time in Atlanta as compelling as possible, on top of the hundreds of exhibits on the show floor," said Joel G. Newman, American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) president and chief executive officer.

More than 800 exhibitors representing more than 20 countries displayed their newest equipment and services at the Georgia World Congress Center, which has been home to the joint conferences the past four years.

Prior to the IFE, a two-day Pet Food Conference organized by the AFIA — the largest in the event’s history — was held and included speakers such as Dr. Dan McChesney of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine and Dr. Frank Jones of the University of Arkansas. Both addressed topics related to controlling salmonella in the production of pet food.

The International Education forum provided information targeted to feed manufacturers and others involved in the feed manufacturing process. Carl Allis of CPM and Dr. David Meeker of the National Renderers Association were featured speakers in addition to AFIA’s Keith Epperson and Jarrod Kersey, who contributed regulatory and legislative updates. IFIF MEETING

In addition to organizing the educational programming for the IFE, AFIA played a key role in arranging the annual meeting of the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF), a group of international feed regulators.

"Because so many people in the feed industry are in Atlanta for the Expo, it just makes sense to hold the IFIF meeting in conjunction with the Expo during the same week," Newman said.

IFIF organized the meeting jointly with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Seventyfive delegates from 21 countries registered for the two-day event in Atlanta. Included in the discussions was the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the intergovernmental body that implements the FAO and World Health Organization’s Food Standards Programme.

The interactive session included sharing of information and exchanging of perspectives on principles of food and feed legislation, border inspection practices, managing undesirable substances and authorization systems for feedstuffs and ingredients.

"Presentations from both regulators and feed industry representatives provided background and examples of current practices and challenged participants to consider ways to improve regulatory and risk management systems," said Dr. Dave Cieslak, IFIF chairman.

Cieslak said the third annual meeting built significantly on the previous two, and noted that participants found the panels and open-forum discussions particularly useful and informative. He said the forum was a great opportunity to develop understanding and synergy between industry and regulators, as well as across geographies.

"IFIF is committed to continuing and expanding this dialogue between regulators and our industry," Cieslak said. "We will be meeting again at the Global Feed and Food Congress in Cancun, Mexico, April 20-23, where some of these issues will be discussed in more detail."

The 2011 IPE/IFE is scheduled for Jan. 26-28 at Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center.