2020 Annual Meeting and Exhibits – Full Details

Click here to review the Program at a Glance table

Program Information

Here is where you can find the most up-to-date information on the program, speakers, registration, hotel, sponsorship, exhibits and other important information about ASTA’s premier event.

Coronavirus Statement: The health and safety of all attendees, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors at our upcoming 2020 Annual Meeting & Exhibits is our top priority. The ASTA Executive Committee has been regularly discussing the best course of action for our meeting considering the rapidly changing environment regarding COVID-19. In the coming days, the Executive Committee and Board of Directors will be evaluating the developments. We will provide an update on the Annual Meeting as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this complex and rapidly changing situation.

Sunday, April 19, 2020
Monday, April 20, 2020
Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Sunday, April 19, 2020

ASTA Beach Cleanup and Volunteer Event in the morning, see details and sign up here.

1:00 pm – 4:45 pm
Pre-Conference Workshop: Global Regulations and Trade in the Spice Industry (A separate registration fee of $165 is required to attend this workshop.To register select the option to add Pre-Conference Workshop with registration.)
The Pre-Conference Workshop will outline the current the global trade and tariff landscape, provide an overview of international regulations around the world impacting the spice industry, assess the impact of differing regional regulations on U.S. enforcement, and discuss strategies to navigate global regulatory issues and customs challenges. There will also be an in-depth panel discussion of international spice associations around the world about the regulatory challenges in the various regions.

6:00 pm – 6:30 pm
First Timer’s Reception
The ASTA Board of Directors 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 20, 2020

General Sessions

9:00 am – 9:25 am
Welcome and ASTA Update

David Solomon, ASTA President, Laura Shumow, ASTA Executive Director, and Karen DeFranchi, Annual Meeting Program Committee Chair
ASTA is embarking on a journey of transformative change to enhance member value and embrace new horizons of technical advocacy. The meeting will kick off with a brief update on ASTA’s key initiatives, accomplishments and strategic goals.

9:25 am – 10:05 am
Mastering the Moments to Rise & Thrive

Shawn Ellis, Entrepreneur, Speaker, Author, and Resilience Coach
It is increasingly challenging to perform at a high level and find joy and meaning in one’s work. So what can you do about it? Shawn Ellis, entrepreneur, author and resilience coach, will ask the one question that cuts through distraction and share a simple, three-step process to take charge of your thoughts. As a business owner and single parent who has navigated and overcome multiple crises himself, Shawn will teach us how to clarify our highest intentions for life and work.

10:05 am – 10:55 am
Break in Exhibit Hall 

10:55 am – 11:40 am
Can Agriculture Save the Planet Before It Destroys It?
Jack Bobo, CEO, Futurity
In a hyper-connected world, public perception of risk may determine if agriculture saves the planet by 2050 or destroys it. Science and technology may hold the key to addressing the world’s biggest problems related to hunger, sustainability and climate change, but only if consumers trust food companies to deliver innovations. Science tells us what we can do but the public tells us what we should do. This presentation will examine global trends in food and agriculture, the interplay between food safety, food trends and public perception of risk and how organizations build trust to navigate these trends.

11:40 am Noon
The Future of Our Food System is Already Here

Chiara Cecchini, Innovation/Global Outreach Lead, Future Food Institute
The Future Food Institute is exploring how to create a more sustainable future of food while understanding technology’s role in closing the gaps in our food system. Food industry professionals are often pioneers that are responsible for more than just the bottom line; their choices can have tremendous impacts on human health and world sustainability. The future of food is here. From new protein sources, to indoor farming systems, from waste upcycling, to new food services: the way we eat has been disrupted emotionally, socially and culturally, giving to all of us the opportunity to improve our food system. This session will explore new technologies impacting the agricultural sector and discuss how innovation in the food and agricultural sector will impact the spice industry.

Noon – 2:00 pm
Lunch on own 

2:00 pm – 2:45 pm
Red Pepper Crop Report
Capsicums – 
Sanjeev Bisht, AISEF
Paprika – 
Guillermo Molina, Sabater Spices North America, Inc.
ASTA is mixing up the crop reports this year. This crop report will be presented in a new collaborative format with the All India Spice Exporters Forum. AISEF will present the ISC video on capsicums. An additional report will provided by Sabater on paprika. A Q&A follows these presentations.

2:45 pm – 3:20 pm
Herbs, Seeds and Spices Crop Report
Mostafa Bedair, Giza Seeds
This crop report will be presented in the traditional format, but will include interactive elements.  A Q&A follows this presentation.

3:20 pm – 4:00 pm
Chemical Product Issues of Note
Lynn L. Bergeson, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®)
American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) members are keenly aware of evolving legal and regulatory standards pertinent to food safety and a range of related domestic and international chemical product issues. Several key developments are expected in 2020 to be uniquely relevant to ASTA member companies.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs continues to address pesticide residue and risk issues relating to registrations, particularly a host of supply chain control issues related broadly to pesticide uses for which tolerances may not exist. Similarly, regulatory standards in Europe are expected to change, possibly dramatically, in ways that could influence imported spice products.

This presentation will focus on key federal pesticide registration, residue, risk assessment, crop groupings, and supply chain issues, and specific European maximum residue level developments. It will briefly also address California Prop 65 and related domestic chemical product warning, labeling, and disclosure requirements of interest to ASTA member companies. The presentation also will speculate on the likely consequences of a new Administration and the implications of a potential shift in leadership in Congress.

Associate Group Meeting will be immediately follow the General Session. 

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.

ASTA Young & New Professionals Meetup in the evening, click here for more information.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

9:00 am – 10:15 am
Spotlight on Sustainability: How spice companies are managing climate change and labor practices throughout the supply chain
Alfons van Gulick, Sustainable Spice Initiative (SSI)
Gustavo Hernandez, Heifer International
Kristen Jaskulski, Pure Ground Ingredients
James McKinley, Neuva Kerala
Moderator:  Simone Cormier, Allegro Coffee
This panel discussion will delve into a dialogue about what ASTA members are doing to promote sustainable practices in the spice sector in response to environmental and socioeconomic challenges in spice growing regions.

10:15 am – 11:00 am  
Break in Exhibit Hall

11:00 am – 11:30 am
Flavor and Ingredient Trends to Consider for Future Innovation in the Spice Industry

Amanda Topper, Mintel
Mintel’s team of expert analysts have identified the key flavor and ingredient trends impacting foodservice and packaged food and drink categories of relevance to the spice industry. These trends encompass themes that range from international fare to relaxation and gut health, providing a look at the most unique ingredients in food and drink today and in the years to come. Join Associate Director of Foodservice, Amanda Topper, as she explores Mintel’s comprehensive consumer research, in-depth analysis and examples that support the current and future impact of these trends on the spice market.

11:30 am – Noon
Black Pepper Crop Report
Charlie Gill, McCormick Global Ingredients Limited
Peter Shah, Harris Spice

Nitin Bansal, Olam
Moderator: Tom Overby, Nedspice US
This crop report will be presented in a new format as a moderated panel discussion on black pepper. A Q&A with attendees will be incorporated as part of this panel discussion.

Noon – 2:00 pm
Lunch on own

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Garlic and Onion Crop Reports

U.S Onion and Garlic –  John Minardi, Jain America’s
Chinese Garlic – Mike Liu, BCFoods
These crop reports will be presented in the traditional format.  A Q&A follows this presentation.

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Kitchens for Good

Aviva Paley, Kitchens for Good
This session features Aviva Paley, the Co-founder and Senior Director of Kitchens for Good, a San Diego based non-profit that equips individuals labeled “unemployable” with the culinary skills they need to launch meaningful careers. Aviva will provide an overview of how this innovative organization got started. Participants will also hear from graduates of Kitchens for Good’s culinary apprenticeship program who will share how their lives have been transformed from homelessness, addiction, and incarceration to employment, stability, and a promising future.

3:00 pm – 3:15 pm
Break in Foyer

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm
Business Meeting (members only)
The annual business meeting provides members with an opportunity to learn about the accomplishments of the past year and ASTA’s plans for the future. The meeting also includes an address from incoming ASTA President Larry Lichter.

Board of Director’s Meeting will immediately follow the Business Meeting. 

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Tuesday Social Event: Embracing ASTA’s New Horizons
Celebrate ASTA’s bright future as we embark on a mission of transformative change. Journey down the palm tree-lined Promenade Plaza to embrace new horizons and take in the panoramic waterfront views of the San Diego Bay. As you mingle with industry friends and colleagues, enjoy a refreshing, globally inspired menu showcasing California’s fresh seafood and craft beverages.

ASTA’s committees meet by conference call throughout the year and typically hold in-person meetings twice annually.  For meetings in San Diego, click here.