Hundreds to attend Eurasia, MEA events

by Arvin Donley
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Now in its third year of existence, the International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) Eurasia District will hold its annual conference and expo Oct. 19-21, 2008 at the Rin Grand Hotel in Bucharest, Romania.

Organizers say they are expecting approximately 250 delegates to attend the event, which offers flour millers, milling equipment suppliers, grain traders and other allied trade professionals the chance to learn new trends in technology innovation and better milling practices. The conference, which will feature an expo with approximately 35 exhibitors, also provides many networking opportunities.

"We are anticipating a great turnout for the district’s third meeting in Bucharest," said IAOM Executive Vice-President Melinda Farris. "I believe interest in IAOM and its programs continues to increase throughout the region as more and more people learn about the benefits of being part of this international network of milling professionals."

Described as "the biggest hotel in Europe," the Rin Grand is located close to the center of the capital city. To reserve a room, visit the IAOM web site (www. iaom.info/eurasia). Conference registration is also available on the website. The registration fee for IAOM members after Aug. 15 is €175 ($260); for nonmembers it is €225 ($335).

The educational program will include 15 technical sessions on a wide variety of topics and a "What’s New?" program in which representatives from five companies that supply equipment to the milling industry will showcase their new products.

Following the Eurasia District Conference, the Flour Fortification Initiative (FFI) Eurasia Leaders Group Meeting will be held Oct. 22-23.

The FFI meeting will begin with feature keynote addresses by leaders from UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), EURRECA (European Micronutrient Recommendations Aligned) and WHO (World Health Organization). Their presentations will include a global analysis of micronutrient deficiencies, micronutrient gaps in European populations and approaches to correcting micronutrient deficiencies.

Presentations also will be given by representatives from Cargill Inc., Buhler AG and other milling experts on topics such as fortification cost issues, commonly expressed objections to fortification and a miller’s perspective on fortification.

On the second day of the FFI meeting, discussion groups will be organized to exchange ideas on how to improve fortification efforts throughout the world.

Registration for the FFI meeting costs €125 ($185). Registration information and the complete schedule of events can be found at www.iaom.info/eurasia.

MIDEAST & AFRICA EVENT
Details are being finalized for the 19th Annual IAOM Mideast & Africa (MEA) District Conference and Expo, which will take place Nov. 14-17, 2008 at Naura Springs Hotel in Arusha, Tanzania.

This year’s event is expected to attract hundreds of flour millers from the region and 50 trade show exhibitors from around the world that offer products and services to the milling industry.

Arusha, which is also known as northern Tanzania’s "Safari Capital," is located near one of the world’s most famous natural wonders — Mount Kilimanjaro. It marks the first time since 2002, when the conference was held in Mauritius, that an African nation has hosted the event.

"After waiting five long years, we are happy to have been given the chance to host this auspicious conference and expo once again," said Abubakar Bakhresa, chairman of the 2008 conference.

The program begins Friday, Nov. 14 with pre-registration and a reception dinner sponsored by Uzwil, Switzerlandbased Buhler AG.

The official opening of the conference is at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 15 with welcoming speeches from Bakhresa and Merzad Jamshidi, director of the MEA District. That is followed with the opening of the expo at 9:45 a.m. and a series of educational and technical presentations that run from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The sessions will include presentations from U.S. Wheat Associates President Alan Tracy and the IAOM MEA Education Committee. Representatives from the Australian Wheat Board and Canadian Wheat Board will also give presentations.

Ali Habaj, secretary general/treasurer of the MEA District, said the educational program will consist of two tracks: one focusing on the global wheat market and the other on technical aspects of milling.

"Last year we had technical presentations and also commodities presentations, and it proved to be a huge success," said Habaj, referring to the 2007 MEA District Conference in Muscat, Oman.

The second day of the conference will feature a "What’s New?" program, which will include 10 presentations on new products and services offered to the milling industry. Following the "What’s New?" program, the expo and educational/technical sessions will resume.

The final day of the event will include a trading seminar, the expo and a gala dinner, sponsored by Said Salim Bakhresa.

The MEA District is the IAOM’s fastest-growing district, having increased its membership by 300% last year. Jamshidi said there is potential for further growth, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is one of the reasons this year’s conference is being held in Tanzania.

Besides growing its membership, the Mideast & Africa District has taken the important steps in recent months of establishing a permanent office in Muscat, Oman and developing its own website (www.iaom-mea.com), which was launched in late May.

More details about the conference in Tanzania, including registration information, can be found on the website. Registration is $300 per person for IAOM members ($450 for non-members) who register before Sept. 30.

The MEA District has already announced that the 20th Annual IAOM MEA District Conference will be held Oct. 23-26, 2009 in Antalya, Turkey.

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