Kevin Folta, a professor in and chairman of the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida, spoke about the importance of trust at 2017 PISC.
Photo courtesy of AFIA.

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. — The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) saw a record number of attendees at its annual Purchasing & Ingredients Suppliers Conference (PISC) in Orlando, Florida, U.S., March 7-9. There were 641 registered attendees for the 2017 PISC.

PISC is a three-day educational and networking event designed for buyers and sellers of feed and feed ingredients. With updates on the state of the animal feed industry, outlooks and perspectives, discussions on critical issues and more, PISC is "Where Business Gets Done!"

This year's program offered attendees information on challenges in feeding a growing population in a presentation by Kevin Folta, a professor in and chairman of the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida.

Folta said, when talking to consumers about feeding people across the globe, "Facts don't matter until you've established trust," reminding attendees to "keep factual information simple" once trust is established.

Other presentations included the annual grain outlook, import and export outlooks, an update on the Veterinary Feed Directive's implementation, a panel discussion of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and customer service advice from Teri Yanovitch, a former Disney Institute speaker.

“It costs three to five times more to get a new customer than having a repeat customer," said Yanovitch. "Take five minutes today that will exceed the expectation of your customer, then share it with team members."

This year's PISC also featured a "suppliers’ showcase" – a networking event that allowed feed industry suppliers to showcase their products to interested buyers – and the annual Welcome and Grand receptions. Additionally, the PISC golf tournament returned to the 2017 agenda (the golf tournament was on a hiatus in 2016), and attendees also enjoyed the annual sporting clays outing.

Next year's PISC will be March 13-15, 2018, in Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.