IAOM event heads to South Africa

by Arvin Donley
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For the first time in its history, the International Association of Operative Millers Association (IAOM) Mideast & Africa (MEA) District will hold its annual conference and expo in South Africa.

The 21st annual event is set for Nov. 22-25 at the Cape Town International Convention Center in Cape Town, South Africa.

More than 600 participants from 39 countries attended last year’s meeting in Antalya, Turkey, and 66 companies from 16 countries exhibited at the expo. As of late August, nearly 80 companies were signed up to exhibit at this year’s expo. The exhibiting companies come from 20 different countries representing grain traders, equipment manufactures, food processing and packing companies and other experts from the industry.

Determined to make the conference’s educational program even more robust, organizers have added the topics of finance, cost management, human resources and safety to this year’s program.

"The IAOM MEA District Conference and Trade Show has evolved into one of the premier milling industry events," said IAOM International President Bart Hahlweg, who will give a welcome speech at Cape Town.

"Last year in Turkey, the Leadership Council decided to expand the breadth of the educational offerings on the conference program to include management topics. I am confident that this initiative will further enhance the experience of conference attendees. The conference will feature presentations on facility and employee management, two topics that have become critical to improving operations at milling facilities around the world."

A welcome reception is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 22 at 7:30 p.m. The conference officially begins the following day with technical sessions scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and the expo running from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The Traders’ Dinner will be held that evening from 7:30 to 10:30.

The always popular trading seminar highlights the second day of the conference with the seminar and expo both scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 1:10 p.m. The expo reopens that afternoon from 3 to 4 p.m. The dinner that evening will be sponsored by the U.S. Wheat Associates.

The final day of the conference will feature a "What’s New?" program from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in which suppliers to the milling industry will talk about their latest products and services. Hours for the expo on Nov. 25 will be from 9 a.m. to 1:20 p.m. South Africa’s National Chamber of Milling and DSM Unlimited will sponsor the Gala Dinner that evening from 7:30 to 10:30.

"This conference and expo will give you the opportunity to expose yourself not only to the latest in milling technology and support services, but also to strengthen your relationship with old friends and to make new ones" said Conference Chairman Jannie de Villiers, who is also executive director of South Africa’s Chamber of Milling, which represents 13 companies that process wheat and 22 white maize processors.

South Africa is known for its thriving maize and wheat milling industries. According to the South African Grain Information Service, 65 wheat mills and 245 maize mills are registered in South Africa. They include four major companies: Premier, Tiger, Sasko and Ruto Mills, which play a key role in the industry. The estimated wheat milling capacity of South Africa is 3.3 million tonnes, while the maize milling capacity is 4.7 million tonnes.

CENTRAL LOCATION

Organizers said conference delegates and their spouses will be given plenty of time for sightseeing and noted that the convention center and hotels are located near Table Mountain and the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, close to most of the city’s major landmarks and tourist attractions.

"Africa has captured our senses already in 2008 during the 19th Annual IAOM MEA Conference and Expo in Tanzania. The African essence, its rhythm and colors will await you once more, this time at the most southern tip of the continent. Apart from the stunning landscape, the 2010 Conference in Cape Town will offer you a diverse conference program, giving you a unique opportunity to listen to the industry’s most esteemed and influential professionals," said Merzad Jamshidi, District Director and managing director of KFF Mills in Iran.

South Africa is the travelling hub for Sub-Sahara Africa and is well serviced and accessible by all main airlines in the world. Major revamps of all infrastructures took place during the past two years to prepare for the FIFA Soccer World Cup that was held in June and July 2010.

For registration information or other inquiries about the event, visit the IAOM Mideast & Africa District website ( www.iaom-mea.com) or contact Eva Mulyana, conference manager, at info@iaom-mea.com.

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