Program

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, April 15

ASTA Document Review Task Force (Invitation Only)

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
This is a closed meeting for the ASTA Document Task Force and invited guests. Individuals interested in learning more about participation should contact [email protected]

ASTA Analytical Methods Subcommittee (Invitation Only)

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
This is a closed meeting for ASTA Analytical Methods Subcommittee Members and invited guests. Individuals interested in learning more about participation should contact [email protected]

ASTA Microbiology Task Force (Invitation Only)

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
This is a closed meeting for ASTA Microbiology Task Force members and invited guests. Individuals interested in learning more about participation should contact [email protected]

ASTA Organic Task Force (Invitation Only)

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
This is a closed meeting for ASTA Organic Task Force members and invited guests. Individuals interested in learning more about participation should contact [email protected]

ASTA Associate Member Reception (Associate members only)

5:00 pm – 5:45 pm
All Associate members are invited to join your Associate Group Director, Sebnem Karasu, for a reception.

ASTA Committee Appreciation Dinner (Invitation Only)

6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
This is an appreciation dinner for ASTA Board and committee members only.  

Tuesday, April 16

ASTA Science and Regulatory Committee Meeting (Invitation Only)

8:00 am – 10:00 am  
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]

ASTA Symposium on Navigating Lack of Harmonization of Pesticide MRLS for Spices (Optional, Additional Fee and Registration Required)   

10:30 am – 4:15 pm
The lack of global harmonization of pesticide regulations is one of the most formidable challenges facing the spice sector today. This interactive symposium will delve into the regulatory framework for pesticides and spices in the U.S. conventional and organic sectors, review global enforcement trends, and discuss strategies to promote compliance with U.S. regulations. Representatives throughout the spice supply chain and CPG customers will discuss the real-life commercial implications of these regulations, and representatives from origin will outline the everyday challenges that spice farmers face in protecting their crops. Finally, the session will conclude with forward-looking remarks by regenerative agriculture thought leader Felipe Villela. Don’t miss this critical discussion! The Symposium requires registration and an additional fee of $235.

This event is sponsored by ofi.

Global Networking Lawn Game Tournament (Sign-up Required)

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm  
Join your international colleagues for this outdoor icebreaking lawn game tournament. Try your hand at corn hole and giant Jenga while making new connections and enjoying a beverage from the bar. There is no cost for participation, but advanced sign-up is required due to limited availability.

Welcome Reception & Speed Networking in Exhibit Hall

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Reconnect with colleagues, chat with new friends, and meet the 2024 exhibitors as you enjoy an evening of mingling, drinks, and light fare in the Exhibit Hall!

This event is sponsored exclusively by Paprimur, S.L.

Wednesday, April 17

ASTA Sustainability Committee Meeting (Invitation Only)

8:00 am – 9:00 am
This is a closed meeting for ASTA Sustainability Committee members and invited guests. Individuals interested in learning more about participation should contact [email protected]

Continental Breakfast in Exhibit Hall 

8:00 am – 9:00 am
Enjoy a light breakfast in the Exhibit Hall and reconnect with colleagues.   

Welcome From ASTA President

9:00 am
Hear from ASTA President Suvan Sharma of Jain Farm Fresh as he looks ahead to the week’s exciting educational and networking events and reflects on the success of ASTA’s events and programming.

Day 1 Keynote Address: Smarter Spice Safety
People-led, Science-based, & Technology-enabled

9:15 am – 10:00 am
Frank Yiannas, CEO, Smarter FY Solutions
These are challenging times in our nation and in the world as the global food system continues to face unprecedented headwinds ranging from inflation, labor challenges, and continued supply chain snarls. On top of that, food safety awareness is at an all-time high, and we find ourselves in a new era of heightened concern over chemicals in foods. Achieving success in these modern times will require more modern approaches. Join former FDA Deputy Commissioner Frank Yiannas for a balcony-level view of the challenges facing the spice industry and the opportunities they present to create a safer, smarter, and more trusted food system. 

Break in the Exhibit Hall

10:00 am – 10:45 am
Stretch, hydrate, and connect with colleagues and exhibitors in the Exhibit Hall. 

ASTA Advocacy Update

10:45 am – Noon
Laura Shumow, ASTA Executive Director
Maile Gradison, ASTA General Counsel, Partner with Hogan Lovells
Shannen Kelly, ASTA Senior Manager of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs
Aaron Saunders, CEO, Drumfire Public Affairs

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 in heavy metals, ethylene oxide, pesticides, food safety regulations, and more.  

Lunch

Noon – 2:00 pm
Please enjoy lunch on your own.  

ASTA Membership Committee Meeting (Invitation Only)

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
This is a closed meeting for ASTA Membership Committee members and invited guests. Individuals interested in learning more about participation should contact [email protected]

Take the Challenge: Can You Improve Your Business by Maturing Food Safety Culture?

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Lone Jespersen, Ph.D., Principal and Founder, Cultivate SA
In this interactive session, participants will gauge their own food safety culture and engage in small group discussions with spice industry colleagues about how to improve business by advancing their food safety journey. Join this critical dialogue to:

  • Learn how leading companies improve business by maturing their food safety culture.
  • Discover how to improve food safety and reduce operational complexity.
  • Take the challenge to discover where to focus your food safety culture efforts.

Break in the Exhibit Hall

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Stretch, hydrate, and connect with colleagues and exhibitors in the Exhibit Hall. 

ASTA Business Meeting (Members Only)

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
ASTA members, be sure to join this interactive and informative session to elect the 2024-2025 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.

Happy Hour in the Exhibit Hall with a Tequila Tasting

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Join colleagues in the Exhibit Hall and connect with industry colleagues, friends, and exhibitors, and collect tasting notes while sampling a collection of tequila.

This event is sponsored exclusively by Eurofins.

Thursday, April 18

ASTA Spice Integrity Council Meeting (Invitation Only)

8:00 am – 9:00 am
This is a closed meeting for ASTA Spice Integrity Council members and invited guests. Individuals interested in learning more about participation should contact [email protected].   

Continental Breakfast in Exhibit Hall 

8:00 am – 9:00 am
Enjoy a light breakfast in the Exhibit Hall and connect with colleagues.

Day 2 Keynote Address: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

9:00 am – 9:45 am
Anirban Basu, MPP, MA, JD, Ph.D. Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Sage Policy Group, Inc.  
Has the Federal Reserve successfully engineered a soft landing? Or is the confluence of geopolitical conflict, a presidential election, rising consumer debt levels, and high interest rates conspiring to produce an economic downturn in 2024?  It is difficult to know whether 2024 will be a good year – but one thing is clear – it will be very interesting. This presentation will analyze major factors shaping economic outcomes, including interest rates, global conflict, wage dynamics, business confidence, and demographics.  It will then turn toward a forecast for the coming year, highlighting the major risks that economic stakeholders will likely encounter.

Break in the Exhibit Hall

9:45 am – 10:30 am
Stretch, hydrate, and connect with colleagues and exhibitors in the Exhibit Hall. 

What Does Sustainability Mean for the U.S. Spice Sector? 

10:30 am – 11:30 am
Tamás Sarkadi, Group Head of Sustainability / CEE Business Development, Sabater
Join this session to engage in an interactive dialogue amongst spice industry peers to discuss what sustainability means for the U.S. spice industry. The discussion will touch on key topics in sustainability, including regenerative agriculture, climate action, ethical labor practices, and the role of the spice industry and ASTA in responding to these issues.

Lunch and Learn: Spicy Weather (Optional, Additional Fee and Registration Required)   

11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Eric Snodgrass
, Sr. Science Fellow and Principal Atmospheric Scientist, Nutrien Ag Solutions 
Weather risk is ubiquitous for the spice trade, given diverse global geographies for crop growth, as high-impact weather events can quickly change supply and disrupt shipping routes in addition to production. Though there is an abundance of weather information available to assess and predict weather events, accessing it and knowing which forecast source is the most accurate and skillful can be difficult. This session will provide access to forecasting resources, discuss the limits of predictability for weather, explore artificial intelligence technology aiding weather forecasting, assess long-term trends in the climate system, review weather events from the 2023 season, and preview the transition from El Niño to La Niña this year. The Lunch and Learn requires registration and an additional fee of $65.

This event is sponsored by Riega Foods and Ofi.

Lunch

11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Enjoy lunch on your own.  

Onion And Garlic Crop Report

1:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Panel: Vini Narain, ofi, Nate Offenberg, Pacific Farms, and Suvan Sharma, Jain Farm Fresh
This panel will explore factors influencing the global onion and garlic supply, followed by attendee questions. 

Herbs, Seeds, and Spices Crop Report

2:00 pm – 2:45 pm
Co-presented: Seif Shazly, Giza Seeds and H. Burçay Aslan, Jayanti
This report will cover market data insights and trends impacting production and supply in growing countries, followed by questions from the audience.

Red Pepper Crop Report

2:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Speaker: Sanjeev Bisht, AISEF
The All India Spice Exporters Forum with share a video developed for the 2024 International Spice Conference meeting on red pepper, along with a market update exploring recent developments, followed by audience questions.

Break

3:15 pm – 3:45 pm
Stretch, hydrate, and connect with colleagues.  

Black Pepper Crop Report

3:45 pm – 4:30 pm
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 ask questions. 

Jeopardy and Incoming President Closing Remarks

4:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Test your knowledge of the day’s Crop Reports and recap the insights you gathered with ASTA’s presenters and panelists (prizes will be awarded)! ASTA’s Incoming President will share reflections on the meeting and what ASTA members and attendees can expect in the next year of education and industry connection.

Savor The Southwest

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Join the premier social event of the week, marking the close of the industry’s experience together at the event in Tucson. Explore this unique outdoor setting, enjoy live music, strike your best poses at the “must-do” photo booth, and ride a mechanical bull! Savor the flavors of the Southwest at the buffet and enjoy a full open bar while socializing with colleagues and new friends. Proudly wear your Western-inspired attire.

This event is sponsored exclusively by Kalustyan.

Friday, April 19

Scenic Hike (Optional, RSVP Required)

7:45 am8:45 am
Get some fresh air and enjoy the natural beauty of Tucson on this gorgeous guided hike. The hike will depart from and return to the resort. There is no cost for participation, but advanced sign-up is required due to limited availability.

This event is sponsored by Glendale Warehouse Corp.

ASTA Annual Program Committee Meeting (Invitation Only)

9:00 am – 10:30 am                                                          
This is a closed meeting for ASTA Annual Program Committee members and invited guests. Individuals interested in learning more about participation should contact [email protected]

ASTA Golf Tournament (Optional, Additional Fee and Registration Required)                       

11:00 am – 5:00 pm                                               
Join ASTA friends for a round of golf on a Tom Fazio-designed championship 18-hole golf course. The fee of $325 includes green costs, carts, and use of the practice facility. Register by March 19.

This event is sponsored by Accurate Ingredients.


Thank You, ASTA 2024 Annual Meeting & Exhibits Sponsors!

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors