2018 Annual Meeting and Exhibits

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Program Information

ASTA heads back to Florida in 2018 to Naples, the destination for golf and relaxation. Enjoy the sunshine on Naples’ beautiful beaches, spend time on one of the dozens of area golf courses, and visit downtown for fine dining and shopping. Naples is located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, surrounded by wetlands including the Everglades National Park.

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.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Monday, April 16, 2018

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Sunday, April 15, 2018

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Preconference Workshop: Economically Motivated Adulteration (A separate registration fee of $145 is required to attend this workshop.)
This year’s workshop will take an in-depth look at the problem of economically motivated adulteration. Dr. John Spink, head of Michigan State University’s Food Fraud Initiative will provide the keynote address, looking at the problem of fraud throughout the food supply chain. ASTA members will provide a look at some of the most problematic spices and then the focus will turn to prevention and detection.

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 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 16, 2018

General Sessions

9:00 am – 9:15 am
David Lessans, ASTA President and Colin Keating, Annual Meeting Program Committee Chair

9:15 am – 10:15 am
Keynote:  The Future of Food is Connected   
Josh Sigel – COO Innit 
Join serial disruptor and food technology innovator Josh Sigel as he takes us on a journey through the future of food and technology innovation in the connected world.  In this special one-hour session, Josh will share how transformative companies and products are delivering new ways to connect the consumer and their kitchen to food and how everything from artificial intelligence to genetics will play a role in the future of how and what consumers eat. 

10:15 am – 11:00 am – New extended time for networking!
Break in Exhibit Hall 

11:00 am  Noon
Organic Fraud and Protecting Your Supply Chain 
Stephen Forbes, Ph.D., Quality Certification Services  
Toby Eck, High Quality Organics
As the demand for organic food increases, so has the problem of fraud in the organic industry.  Stephen Forbes will provide an update on current concerns about organic fraud and steps that are being taken to prevent it.  Toby Eck will then look at specific steps spice companies can take to ensure the integrity of their organic supply chains. 

Noon – 2:00 pm –
Lunch on own 

2:00 pm – 2:45 pm
Sustainability:  a Long Term Investment in the Worldwide Supply of Spices 
Alfons van Gulick, CEO, Nedspice Group 
Alex Morgan, Director of Markets Transformation for North America, Rain Forest Alliance
Today’s business environment demands safe and transparent supply chains. Sustainability, in its wider context, can provide direction and solutions.  The Sustainable Spice Initiative (SSI) provides a platform for our industry to work together, share knowledge and create impact with the objective to make our supply chains more inclusive and responsible. Recent cooperation between ASTA, ESA and SSI is a good example of how impact can be created in reducing use of agro-chemicals in Vietnam. 

2:45 pm – 3:30pm
The Future of Spices in the Culinary World
Lior Lev Sercarz, Le Boite
Spices have long been an integral part of our every day cooking around the world. As the culinary world changes globally so do the spices and their role. The search for better flavors, health and well being combined with ethnic cuisines has resulted in a new fascinating approach to using spices both in home and professional kitchens. 

Associate Group Meeting Immediately Following 

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 17, 2018

9:00 am – 10:30 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, Simone Cormier will be introduced as President of ASTA.

10:30 am – 11:15 am – New extended time for networking! 
Break in Exhibit Hall

11:15 am – Noon
Herbs, Seeds and Spices Crop Report
Mostafa Bedair, Giza Seeds and Herbs 

Noon – 2:00 pm
Lunch on own

2:00 pm – 2:40 pm
Garlic and Onion Crop Reports
U.S Onion and Garlic – Suvan Sharma, Jain (Americas) Limited, Cascade Specialties, Inc.
Chinese Garlic – Tim Lou, Olam SVI China

2:40 pm – 3:20 pm
Red Pepper Crop Report
Paprika – Vinay Sreekumar, Olam Spices and Vegetable Ingredients
Capsicums – Ninan George,  AVT McCormick Ingredients, Pvt., Ltd

3:20 pm – 4:00 pm
Black Pepper Crop Report
Nikhil Joseph, Nedspice U.S.

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm  – 
Havana Nights 
Let the music take you away to Cuba as the warm breeze blows through the palm trees on the Grand Lawn. Join ASTA for an evening filled with Cuban cuisine and a retro Havana band.  Be sure to stop by the rum station for special drinks to celebrate the influence of Florida’s neighbor to the south.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

8:00 am – 2:00 pm
2018 Golf Tournament
The golf tournament will be held at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples. Golfers will enjoy the Tiburon Black Course, designed by golf legend Greg Norman. Reflecting  Norman’s appreciation for pristine natural settings and his passion for great golf, the picturesque course features stacked sod wall bunkers, coquina shell waste bunkers and no  conventional rough. The $310 fee includes green and cart fees, lunch and a beverage ticket. Reception for golfers immediately following tournament.