2017 Annual Meeting and Exhibits

Program Information

ASTA’s 2017 Annual Meetings and Exhibits at the Hilton Austin on April 23-26. Here is where you can find the most updated information on the program, speakers,  registration, hotel, sponsorship, exhibits and other important information about ASTA’s premier event.

Join ASTA in Austin, the capital of Texas, but also known as The Music Capital of the World. Austin features more than 250 live music venues. The city has a vibrant restaurant scene with fine dining, a wide range of eclectic restaurants and some of the best barbecue in the state. You’ll also find more than 1,000 food trucks and trailers serving everything from lobster rolls to tacos.

Join the crowds headed to the river every evening in bat season between March and November to see more than 1 million bats swarm in a cloud to feed on insects. And you’re sure to find the perfect pair of cowboy boots in Austin. The city’s informal slogan is “Keep Austin Weird” a tribute to its festivals, college culture, food, music, quirkiness and independence!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sunday, April 23, 2017

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Preconference Workshop: Allergens and the Spice Supply Chain
The Preconference Workshop will bring together stakeholders with different perspectives on the issue of allergens. A supplying company will detail steps they take to address concerns about cross contamination and a U.S. company will outline its chain of custody program. FARRP will give an update on their latest research and FARE will present the allergic community perspective including research they have done on thresholds and precautionary labeling. A panel discussion with all participants will allow attendees to have their questions and concerns addressed.

6:00 pm – 6:30 pm
First Timer’s Reception
The ASTA Board of Director’s and Membership Committee host a reception for first time attendees of the meeting to learn more about ASTA.  This event is by invitation only.

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Welcome Reception
The ASTA Exhibit Hall is an opportunity for exhibitors and suppliers to present their products and services to key industry decision-makers.  Join us for the first networking event of the meeting.

Monday, April 24, 2017

General Sessions

This year’s educational program will cover a wide range of topics from doing business in different cultures around the world to how foods become trendy. We’ll look at some of the large recalls that have taken place recently and the legal liability all companies face in today’s new world of food safety regulations. Research will be presented on the identification of surrogates for pathogen reduction validation, including details on how ASTA members can obtain the surrogates at no cost.

9:00 am – 9:15 am
Welcome
Vinayak Narain, ASTA President and Gaspare Colletti, Annual Meeting Program Committee Chair

9:15 am – 10:00 am
Keynote Address – The Culture Map
Karen Cvitkovich
Whether from Shanghai or Cairo, Jakarta or Basel, New York or New Delhi, we are all part of a global network – not just in the office or face-to-face meetings – but virtually – through e-mail, video conferences, Skype and phone – where success requires navigating through the different cultural realities of how people think and get things done in global business. Unless we know how to decode other cultures and avoid easy-to-fall-into cultural traps, we are vulnerable to inefficiency, teams unable to work together and deals that fall apart.

This session on cross-cultural management starts by introducing a model of cultural dimensions by which to measure and understand national trends and individual behavior. Participants learn to decode how people think, lead, and get things done when working in an international environment, and develop strategies to manage these differences effectively.
Today effective leadership requires not just learning to work effectively with people from a wide range of cultural backgrounds, but also having the skill set to help multi-cultural groups collaborate effectively with one another. In this session we will explore topics related to motivating employees, providing constructive feedback, and building trust. We will discuss why one method that is successful in one cultural environment may be disastrous in another.

The session encourages interaction and discussion, using exercises, multimedia and anecdotes to bring conceptual frameworks to life. Culture is to groups what personality is to individuals. Whilst the session is founded on a belief that national stereotyping is dangerous, it stresses that ignoring cultural differences can be commercially fatal.

10:30 am – 11:15 am
ILSA North America/ASTA Sponsored Research on Mitigation of Salmonella in Spices
Delia Murphy, ILSI North America
Nancy Rogers Bontempo, Ph.D., Mondelēz International
This presentation will provide an overview of the results of two ILSI North America sponsored research projects: “Correlation of surrogate bacteria and Salmonella for validation of spice/herb pathogen reduction processes” and “Protocol and surrogate validation for the inactivation of Salmonella on whole black peppercorns and cumin seeds.” The projects used four spices, oregano, onion powder, whole black peppercorns, and whole cumin seeds, and focused on identifying surrogate bacteria/s that can be used by the spice industry to mimic the behavior of the pathogen bacteria Salmonella. Key components of the studies were the development of validated protocols for the inactivation of Salmonella using ethylene oxide fumigation, dry steam (vacuum-assisted), or irradiation treatment and evaluating the usefulness of surrogate bacteria for validation of these decontamination processes. The American Spice Trade Association provided an unrestricted grant to help fund these research projects.

11:15 am – Noon
Hot Topic

2:00 pm – 2:45 pm
Avoiding FDA and DoJ Criminal Liability for Routine Food Safety Failures
Shawn Stevens, Food Industry Counsel LLC
FDA is now using evidence gained from routine food facility inspections to prosecute food companies for safety violations. This session will help you understand the new FDA and federal Department of Justice policies designed to bring criminal sanctions against food companies, executives and QA managers for food safety failures. Learn how to enhance and bullet-proof your programs to protect yourself and your company from heightened corporate and personal criminal liability.

2:45 pm – 3:30 pm
Crazy for Cupcakes: How Food Trends Impact the Way We Eat and the World
David Sax, Author
In today’s interconnected world, food trends are popping up quicker, growing bigger, and having a greater impact on more of what we eat than ever before. In this talk, David Sax explores where these trends come from, how they grow, and what impact they have on marketing, business, and the consumer. In doing so, he helps us not only understand why some foods become popular while others don’t, but he reveals how the power of consumer behavior takes it way beyond just what we eat.

From the cronut craze to the impact of social media on food to world-changing trends (third-wave coffee, anyone?), Sax opens our eyes to the economic and cultural impact of what’s on our plate and in our pantry.

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Association Updates

 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Exhibitor Reception
ASTA’s exhibitors will host a reception in the Exhibit Hall.  Each attendee will receive one drink ticket at registration.  A cash bar will also be available.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

9:00 am – 10:15 am
Business Meeting (members only)
The annual business meeting provides members with an opportunity to learn about the accomplishments of the past year and plans for the future. In addition, David Lessens will be introduced as President of ASTA.

11:00 am – Noon
Our Customer’s Point of View with moderator Larry Lichter

2:00 pm – 2:25 pm
Herbs, Seeds and Spices Crop Report
Sayil Gundem, Kutas

2:25 pm – 3:10 pm
Garlic and Onion Crop Reports
U.S Onion and Garlic – Karen DeFranchi, Olam Spices and Vegetable Ingredients
Chinese Garlic – Geraldine Zhu, China Spice Services

3:10 pm – 3:35 pm
Red Pepper Crop Report
Paprika – Guillermo Molina, Sabater Spices North America, Inc.
Capsicums – Felipe Aguilar, Sensient Natural Ingredients

3:35 pm – 4:00 pm
Black Pepper Crop Report
Jasvinder Singh Sethi, NAMAGRO

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
KEeP AStA WeIR
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Austin is a truly unique and eclectic city. Join us in Brush Square Park under the city lights for a night of networking, music, fun, and food trucks! The historic square is conveniently located just across the street from the hotel. Boots are not only allowed, but highly recommended. This is an outdoor event. Don’t forget those selfie sticks as this will be a night you will want to remember!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

9:00 am – 2:00 pm
2017 Golf Tournament
The golf tournament will be held at the Omni Barton Creek. Golfers will be challenged on the Coore Crenshaw Cliffside course among the natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country.