Check out ASTA’s robust program for education and networking opportunities that promise to provide a richly rewarding and engaging experience for spice industry professionals.

Monday - May 8, 2023

Explore San Diego

1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
For early arrivals, take advantage of this designated time to enjoy what San Diego has to offer with industry colleagues. Be sure to check out the Mobile App before your arrival to see who else is coming to California. Discover suggested activities and prepare for an exciting start to your time with ASTA.

ASTA Science and Regulatory Committee Meeting

2:30 pm – 5:30 pm (Invitation Only)
This is a closed meeting for Science and Regulatory Committee members and invited guests. Individuals interested in learning more about participation should contact [email protected]

Tuesday - May 9, 2023

Beach Clean-up

8:00 am – 10:00 am  (Additional Registration Required)
Join ASTA friends and fellow meeting attendees in cleaning up debris along the beautiful San Diego beachfront. This service event supports the San Diego Coastkeeper’s mission of protecting and restoring fishable, swimmable, and drinkable waters. Registration is required, including a $25 donation to the cause. Transportation and equipment will be provided. Space is limited, so book early!  

The State of Science on Traditional and Emerging Food Safety Treatment Methods Symposium

10:30 am – 4:00 pm (Additional Registration Required)
Spice companies must have validated controls to address the risk of Salmonella. Traditionally, the spice industry has relied on fumigation, irradiation, and steam treatment. New U.S. regulatory and legal developments threaten the viability of critical methods such as ethylene oxide, while capacity remains a challenge for irradiation. What is the current state of play, and how should spice companies react? Are emerging treatment methods available? Join the Symposium to hear updates on the latest science, regulations, and commercial considerations from FDA, academic, industry, and legal experts.

First-Timers Speed Networking

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm 
Get acquainted with first-time meeting attendees and new ASTA members at this speed networking event, designed to empower new connections and strengthen relationships across the industry.  

Welcome Reception

Exclusive Sponsor

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Reconnect with colleagues, chat with new friends, and meet the 2023 exhibitors as you enjoy an evening of mingling, drinks, and light fare in the Exhibit Hall!

Wednesday - May 10, 2023


8:00 am – 9:00 am
Enjoy a light breakfast in the Exhibit Hall.

Keynote Address

9:00 am – 10:00 am 
Jack Bobo, The Nature Conservancy 
The spice industry is growing faster than ever, emerging relatively unscathed from the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry has benefited from innovative applications in diverse fields like seasonings and flavors, increasing interest in the immune-boosting properties of spices, and shifting consumer preferences. Despite these opportunities, considerable risks remain in the form of natural disasters (pests, heat, floods, drought, etc.) and structural challenges related to the nature of many spice producers needing access to finance, storage, and market power. In this session, Jack Bobo and ASTA colleagues will explore how these risks affect the livelihood of all those in the supply chain.

Show Me the Money (Supply)

10:00 am – 10:30 am 
Anirban Basu, The Sage Group 
Soft landing? Something harder? Whither inflation? This session will analyze the major factors shaping economic outcomes, including central bank policymaking, worker attitudes, business confidence, and geopolitics. You’ll walk away from the presentation armed with an economic forecast for the coming year, highlighting the major risks stakeholders will likely encounter. 


Networking Break

10:30am – 11:00am
Stretch, hydrate, and connect with colleagues and exhibitors in the Exhibit Hall.  

ASTA Issues and Advocacy Update

11:00 am – Noon
Pontus Mattsson, ASTA President
Laura Shumow, ASTA
Maile Gradison, Hogan Lovells
Hear how ASTA is working to advocate for the spice industry, promote food safety, and foster an engaged membership. This session features a robust update from ASTA’s General Counsel on the latest regulatory and policy issues impacting the spice industry and a discussion amongst ASTA leadership and consultants on how the association is responding to protect, promote, and advance industry interests. Learn about the latest developments on heavy metals, ethylene oxide, food safety regulations, and the importance of spices being included in the FDA’s definition of “healthy.” 

Lunch on Own

Noon – 2:00 pm 
Explore San Diego’s many delicious dining options, and take the opportunity to connect with colleagues and return refreshed for the afternoon sessions.  

Membership Outreach Committee Meeting

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm (Invitation Only) 
This is a closed meeting for Membership Outreach Committee members and invited guests. Individuals interested in learning more about participation should contact [email protected].  

Organic Task Force Meeting

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm (Invitation Only) 
This is a closed meeting for Organic Task Force members and invited guests. Individuals interested in learning more about participation should contact [email protected]

Global Spice Trade Roundtable

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm 
Panel: Andrey Inshyn, Ukrainian Spice Association; Mike Liu, China Spice Association; Martin Einig, European Spice Association; Lien Hoang Thi, Vietnam Pepper Association; Sanjeev Bisht, All India Spice Exporters Forum (AISEF) 
Moderator: Laura Shumow, American Spice Trade Association 
The success of the global spice trade depends on strong coordination between origin and importing countries. This roundtable includes unique perspectives from worldwide spice trade associations on the top geopolitical, climate, and governmental challenges in top spice-producing regions. First, hear an informative briefing on how Ukrainian spice producers have been impacted by the conflict with Russia, and learn how global partners can support the development of the Ukrainian Spice Association. Next, ASTA’s Executive Director will moderate a panel on how allied spice trade associations in China, India, and Vietnam are working to meet the evolving compliance and market requirements in the U.S. and the EU.  

Networking Break

3:00 pm – 3:45 pm 
Take a short break to stretch, hydrate, and connect with colleagues and exhibitors in the Exhibit Hall.  

IFIC’s 2023 Food and Health Survey: Highlights for the Spice Industry

3:45 pm – 4:00 pm
Anthony “Tony” Flood, International Food Information Council (IFIC)
The International Food Information Council (IFIC) conducts an annual survey of consumer perceptions and beliefs about food safety and nutrition and publicly publishes the findings on Join this session to hear a brief update on the latest findings from the 18th year of this long-running survey, focusing on relevant insights into the spice industry.

Leveraging Relevant Food Trends & Understanding Consumer Purchase Behavior

4:00 pm – 4:45 pm 
Liz Moskow, Bread & Circus Ltd.  
Food and beverage fads come and go, exciting and engaging consumers as “eatertainment,” but often failing to create meaningful product opportunities for companies. There is a distinct difference between fads and trends, and what truly impacts the product landscape are lasting trends that emerge from consumer emotions that drive purchase behavior. How can you pinpoint purchasing behaviors and trends to act upon? What are emerging trends relevant to the spice market? Attendees will walk away from this session with a strong understanding of how to harness the power of trend translation to benefit your business. 

How Beverage Trends Are “On Fire” with Spice

4:45 pm – 5:15 pm 
Mike Yen, San Diego Mixology 
Mixologists are leveraging spices to create a new cache of classic cocktails featuring bitter, sweet, spicy, umami, and salty flavors. At this exciting session, learn how mixologists enhance flavors with sous vide cooking techniques and discover tips on how to pair spices and herbs to concoct on-trend, “swicy,” bittersweet, and salty and sweet cocktails and mocktails. Then, head to Happy Hour to taste the trends and savor the concoctions of Mike Yen, a San Diego-based beverage savant, as he shakes, stirs, mixes, blends, and showcases the special spice secrets to today’s hottest cocktails. 

Exclusive Sponsor

Happy Hour

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm 
Join us in the Exhibit Hall and connect with industry colleagues, friends, and exhibitors, featuring the specialty crafted spice-infused cocktail created by Mike Yen, ASTA’s guest mixologist.  


Gaslamp Quarter Crawl

9:00 pm – 11:30 pm  (Additional + Advance Registration Required) 
San Diego bars are waiting to welcome you on this guided bar crawl through the famous Gaslamp quarter. Enjoy VIP entry to three bars, hors d’oeuvres, drink tickets (limited), discount drinks, music, fun, and much more. Registration is $65 per person and must be completed in advance. Space is limited, so book early to guarantee your spot. There will be no onsite registration available.

Thursday - May 11, 2023


8:00 am – 9:00 am 
Enjoy breakfast and coffee in the Exhibit Hall.  

Port Panel: Smooth Sailing or Choppy Waters on the Spice Supply Chain Horizon?

9:00 am – 9:45 am 
Panel: Dan Gardner, Trade Facilitators; Marcel VanDijk, Port of Los Angeles; Tanya Payne, Port of Long Beach 
Moderator: Pete Sayia, A A Sayia & Co. 
After years of disruption, is the supply chain stabilizing? What can the spice industry expect in the next year? Check out this insightful dialogue between supply chain experts and port authorities on the state of play at prominent West Coast ports, and learn about the latest shipping and freight trends.  

Exclusive Sponsor

Regional Herbs, Seeds, and Spices Crop Report

9:45 am – 10:30 am 
Panel: Burcay Aslan, Naturnorm (Turkey); Suvan Sharma, Jain Farm Fresh (India); Seif Shazly, Giza Seeds (Egypt) 
Moderator: Peter Shah, Harris Spice Company

This moderated panel discussion will cover market data insights and trends impacting production and supply in growing countries, followed by questions from the audience. 

Networking Break


10:30 am – 11:00 am 
Stretch, hydrate, refresh your tea or coffee, and connect with colleagues in the Exhibit Hall.  

ASTA Business Meeting

11:00 am – Noon (Members Only) 
ASTA members, be sure to join this interactive and informative session to elect the 2023-2024 Board of Directors, hear an update on the association’s financial position, and discuss ASTA’s exciting future. Be a part of the dialogue that drives critical industry decisions and make your voice heard. The Marty Mitchell Outstanding Service Award and Susan L. Abbott Scholarship recipients will be announced at this time. 

Lunch on Own

Noon – 2:00 pm 
Explore many vibrant lunch options with colleagues, and return refreshed for the afternoon sessions.  

Exclusive Sponsor

Global Onion and Garlic Crop Report

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm 
Raf Nonneman, European Spice Services NV (ESS)  
This informative presentation will explore factors influencing the global onion and garlic supply, followed by questions.  

Exclusive Sponsor

Indonesia Cassia, Nutmeg, and Mace Crop Report

2:30 pm – 2:45 pm 
Steven Winarto, PT. Indoharvest Spice 
Discover insights on the Indonesian cassia, nutmeg, and mace markets and how regional factors are impacting growth and supply.  

What is Food Safety Culture, and How Do You Know How Your Site is Doing?

2:45 pm – 3:30 pm 
Judi Lazaro, AIB International  
It’s critical for all professionals in the spice industry to be informed on the elements of a strong food safety culture, a hallmark of FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety, the regulatory blueprint to advance the Food Safety Modernization Act. This session will dive into the visible and invisible elements of food safety culture, showing attendees warning signs to address “going through the motions” and how to prioritize a strong facility food safety culture, which is critically important for all industry professionals.   

Networking Break

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm 
Stretch, hydrate, and reflect on what you’ve gained so far with colleagues and industry friends.  

Exclusive Sponsor

Black Pepper Crop Report

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm 
Panel: Lien Hoang Thi, Vietnam Pepper Association; Tom Overby, Nedspice 
Moderator: Charlie Gill, McCormick Global Ingredients
This session begins with a black pepper report, followed by a moderated discussion amongst industry experts on key factors influencing the black pepper market. The audience will have the opportunity to pose questions. Additional panelists are yet to be announced. 

Associate Group Meeting

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm 
The Associate Group will meet immediately following the last session.  All Associate members are welcome to attend. 

Exclusive Sponsor

CaliforniASTA dreamin’

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm 
Thursday’s dinner is the premier social event of the week, marking the close of the industry’s experience together at the event in San Diego. Enjoy the majesty of the bay as we pay homage to California’s singular energy, enjoying live music with a surf beach vibe under palm trees. Explore delicious treats representing San Diego neighborhoods and California cuisines and enjoy a full open bar while socializing with colleagues and new friends. Proudly wear your California-inspired attire.   

Thank You, ASTA 2023 Annual Meeting & Exhibits Sponsors!

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