2019 Annual Meeting and Exhibits

Program Information

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.

Business casual attire is appropriate for all events, however, please note special recommendations for the Tuesday evening Beach Party.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Monday, April 8, 2019

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Sunday, April 7, 2019

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Pre-Conference Workshop: Changing Expectations for Traceability (A separate registration fee of $145 is required to attend this workshop.)
The Pre-Conference Workshop will examine the current state of traceability in the food industry and look into the future. Speakers will explore the role that consumers are playing in demanding greater transparency in the foods they buy and changes that FSMA and other regulations are driving. We’ll explore blockchain and how it’s being used to see if it’s something the spice industry should consider.

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 8, 2019

General Sessions

9:00 am – 9:15 am

Simone Cormier, ASTA President and Colin Keating, Annual Meeting Program Committee Chair

9:15 am – 10:15 am
Keynote: 5 Steps to Making the Impossible Possible

Ben Nemtin, The Buried Life Movement
Ben’s story of radical possibility combined with his “5 Steps to Make the Impossible Possible” leaves audiences not only inspired but also equipped to tackle the seemingly insurmountable. Ben’s system of achieving impossible goals demystifies daunting tasks by turning “dreams” into “projects” and creating a digestible pathway to success. Don’t look back and regret the things you never did. It’s never too late to start your list.

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

11:00 am  Noon
Paving the Path to Organic: Perspectives from Field to Consumer
This panel will provide multiple perspectives about the growing opportunities for organic spices. Learn about the latest consumer demands and trends, what retailers are looking for, and challenges with the agricultural sourcing and supply of organic spices. A moderated question and answer session will follow brief presentations by each panelist. Larry Lichter of McCormick and Co, Inc. will moderate the panel discussion.

  • Organics – More Than Just Paperwork, Kai Stark, Frontier Co-op
    Consumers trust organics and frequently associate the certification with ideas such as healthier, higher quality products and ethical, sustainable sourcing practices. But can the industry keep pace with growing demand without breaking that trust?  Solutions to future supply availability, product quality, organic fraud, pesticide residues, human rights issues, environmental sustainability and how to ensure supply chain traceability, all have their roots, quite literally, in the field.
  • Using Limited Availability of Organic Ingredients to Your Advantage, Hipolito Sanchez, TH Foods
    Hear how to use the scarcity of organic ingredients to your advantage in launching innovation. Partnering with our key seasoning supplier on organic products has been the key to successfully launching new products on the edge of what is possible. By reviewing the long-term and short-term needs we have been able to launch unique varieties in organic instead of evolving from conventional to organic, allowing us to be first to market AND organic.
  • Why Organics Are on the Minds of Consumers, Roxi Beck, The Center for Food Integrity
    An increase in organic options in food, clothing and other every day products comes as a result of consumers questioning the companies who provide products. In food, trends in clean eating, movement away from processed foods, too many ingredients – artificial or those hard to pronounce, or simply too many ingredients, have all contributed to the rise of organics. Do consumers know what organic means, does the food system understand implications of organic production, and do consumers really want organics when they consider all the tradeoffs? Roxi will set the stage for those thinking about organic spices based on what consumers are thinking.

Noon – 2:00 pm
Lunch on own 

2:00 pm – 2:45 pm
Making Sense of the Changing Trade Environment

Darci Vetter, Edelman
This session will put the latest trade actions in perspective and provide insights that will help ASTA and its member companies navigate rapidly changing trade alliances and policies.

2:45 pm – 3:20 pm
Sustainable Approaches to Climate Change
Adrienne Gifford, Olam Spices
This session will explore the current state of climate change and real-life impacts on agriculture, with a focus on impacts to various spice supply chains. The session will also examine approaches spice suppliers can take to mitigate and manage the impacts of climate change, and how this is furthered by sustainable approaches in fields and factories.

3:20 pm – 4:00 pm
The Tight Transportation Marketplace
Jon Eisen, International Foodservice Distributors Association (IDFH)
The demand for freight has created considerable strains on the food industry supply chain, increasing costs and reducing reliability. This session will examine the primary reasons for the choke points in the nation’s freight system and discuss potential ways companies can improve their supply chain efficiency.

Associate Group Meeting  will 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.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

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 ASTA’s plans for the future. The meeting also includes an address from incoming ASTA President David Solomon.

10:30 am – 11:15 am  
Break in Exhibit Hall

11:15 am – Noon
Herbs, Seeds and Spices Crop Report
Pete Sayia and Whitney Sayia-Reid, A.A. Sayia and Co, Inc.

Noon – 2:00 pm
Lunch on own

2:00 pm – 2:40 pm
Garlic and Onion Crop Reports

U.S Onion and Garlic – Susan Rojas, Sensient Natural Ingredients
Chinese Garlic – Mike Liu, BCFoods

2:40 pm – 3:20 pm
Red Pepper Crop Report
PaprikaDVR Rajiv Mohan, ITC Limited-ABD
Capsicums Gridihar Rao, Griffith Foods

3:20 pm – 4:00 pm
Black Pepper Crop Report
Mathew George, Harris Freeman Group

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
ASTA Beach Party
It’s time to put your toes in the sand.  Head to the beach for an ocean-inspired dinner with the waves of the Atlantic in the background.  Special ASTA cocktails are already in the barrels so they will be perfectly aged to welcome you to the beach.  Please note that the ASTA Beach Party will be in the sand on the beach (no hard surface). Plan to wear sandals, flip flops or other beach footwear. Casual attire is suggested for Tuesday evening on the beach, with a sweater or light jacket to ward off the ocean breeze.

For details on ASTA Committee meetings to be held in Amelia Island.