WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The Pet Food Institute (PFI) and National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) announced on Aug. 19 the official program for their first-ever Joint Feed/Pet Food Industries Conference scheduled for Sept. 22-24 in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

The conference will focus on the most important business trends, food and feed safety developments, and operations issues confronting the animal feed and pet food industries. Fifteen distinct program topics will be addressed by industry and government speakers throughout the conference, which will begin with a welcome reception on Sept. 22 and conclude at noon on Sept. 24. The conference also will consist of a nearly trade show with 30 exhibitors whose companies provide goods and services to the commercial feed and pet food sectors.

The conference program will feature a keynote address by Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Rockville, Maryland, U.S., who is expected to focus on significant changes underway within the agency to implement a more prevention- and risk-based approach to food, animal feed and pet food safety that will affect all feed, feed ingredient and pet food manufacturers and suppliers.

FDA and state feed regulatory officials will discuss the new food/feed safety legislation expected to be approved by Congress later this year, and what it will require of feed, feed ingredient and pet food manufacturers and their suppliers.

Industry experts will discuss how feed, feed ingredient and pet food companies can incorporate hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) principles and controls to prevent product safety hazards into their operations.

In addition, given the increased frequency of FDA and state inspections likely to be mandated under the new food/feed safety legislation, another major program session will focus on how companies can prepare for such inspections, including effectively exercising their rights and obligations.

"This conference will be the best opportunity executives, managers and operations personnel with companies involved in the animal feed and pet food sectors – and suppliers to our industry – will have to obtain the tangible information and tools they need to address head-on the most critical business, regulatory and operational challenges they will face in the years ahead," said PFI President Duane Ekedahl.

"I strongly encourage companies to take advantage of this conference!" said NGFA President Kendell Keith. "The program line-up of industry experts and top government officials is really outstanding, and unlikely to be matched anywhere."

Complete program information, as well as conference registration and hotel reservation information, is available at the PFI-NGFA joint conference website: http://www.jointindustriesconference.org/. The conference fee is $365 per person for PFI and NGFA members registering on or before Sept. 6.

For nonmembers, this early bird registration fee is $465 per person. The fee for registrations received from Sept. 7-21 will be $425 per person for members and $525 per person for nonmembers. The on-site registration fee will be $475 for members and $575 for nonmembers. The registration fee includes two receptions, two breakfasts, and a luncheon, as well as admittance to all program sessions and the trade show.

On Sept. 22, in conjunction with the conference, PFI will be conducting its annual board of directors meeting. Also meeting will be PFI’s Regulatory Affairs Committee; all PFI members and affiliates are invited to the committee meeting. Meanwhile, the NGFA will be conducting a joint meeting of its Feed Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Committee and Feed Manufacturing and Technology Committee, to which NGFA-member company representatives are invited to attend.