Staying close to home

by Meyer Sosland
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For the first time, the International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) Latin America District will be holding its 33rd Annual Latin America District Technical Conference in Latin America. The event will take place on Nov. 8 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The IAOM meeting immediately precedes the 27th annual Latin American Industrial’s Milling Association (ALIM) meeting, which is being held Nov. 8-10, at the Sheraton Libertador Hotel. Participants will have the opportunity to combine their attendance with the IAOM and ALIM meetings over the course of a three-day period.

"I would like to stress the importance of this, our first event in Latin America, and the fact that it will take place together with the annual ALIM meeting, and that we are joining the technical and administrative management perspectives so that in one forum we can provide across-the-board educational growth to a milling company," Marco Fava, Latin American district director, said in January. "With this step, we have eliminated the impediment that many members had in attending a meeting in the U.S., and for this we request (district members’) unconditional support in this important step in the development of our association, to further the knowledge of wheat milling management and technology in Latin America and the world."

The IAOM district’s leadership said it is planning on approximately 150 attendees for the one-day session.

"Working with ALIM is of mutual benefit," Fava said "Even though it is not the same meeting, we are doing it at the same time but apart, so IAOM benefits from the ongoing organization of ALIM, and ALIM benefits from the technical program our meeting offers."

The conference’s morning session will include a "What’s New?" program featuring presentations by Buhler, OCRIM, GBS, Mario Duchi, CETEC, Bratney, Chopin and Polen Gida. In the afternoon, a series of technical sessions will feature addresses by Steve Curran, Andrea Saturno, Claudio Canepa and Jeff Gwirtz.

The decision to move the meeting to Latin America came after several years of low attendance by IAOM’s Latin American membership at the annual meeting in North America. Fava said that only about 1% of the IAOM membership in Latin America attended the 2008 IAOM Expo in Orlando, Florida, U.S.

He noted that the plan is for the IAOM Latin American District meeting to continue to be held in conjunction with the ALIM meeting until it grows enough to be held as its own stand-alone event.

"Moving this event to Latin America means adding to this important technical meeting the benefit of bringing it closer to the Latin American people, as some of them were unable to attend for different reasons when it was done in the U.S.," Fava said. "This will mean a greater participation of the Latin milling professionals, and as a result, a bigger fulfillment of the IAOM principles."

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Sheraton Libertador Hotel for the meeting. Alternatively, participants may opt for other hotels close to the meeting venue, such as the Elevage Buenos Aires, NH Lancaster, Gran Hotel Dorá and Hotel Principado, Meliá Buenos Aires. To reserve a room, visit the ALIM meeting site (www.alim2009.com.ar).

IAOM’s Latin American District represents 21 countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela.

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