ASTA Online 2021 Program Overview

Welcome to ASTA Online 2021.  Here is where you can find complete information on this web series as well as quickly access information on registration, session, speakers, sponsors, and more.  Registration for ASTA Online 2021 is now available.

 

Monday, May 10, 2021
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Thursday, May 13, 2021

Please note that all times listed in Eastern Time.

Monday, May 10, 2021 – Pre-Day

11:00 am – 11:45 am ET
First Timer’s Orientation Invitation Only
Hosted by ASTA Board of Directors, Committee Chairs and Staff

Noon – 3:00 pm ET
ASTA Board of Directors Meeting Closed Meeting
 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021 – Trends, Market Updates and Crop Reports

10:00 am – 10:15 am ET
Opening remarks and inspirational message
ASTA President, Larry Lichter and Shawn Ellis

10:15 am – 11:00 am ET

Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Purchasing Behavior and Future of Foodservice

The pandemic has had a dramatic impact on consumer demand for both the foodservice industry and CPG food products. Overall, demand for spices has surged, while the restaurant sector continues to suffer. More consumers are cooking from home and exploring new product types. This session will explore consumer market trends and insights impacting the spice sector. Learn about the latest trends that impact the spice industry and hear predictions about how the future of the market will be shaped by our shared experience.

About our Speaker:
Speaker information coming soon

11:00 am – 11:45 am ET

Health Benefits of Spices

In the midst of the global pandemic, health is on the mind of consumers now more than ever. Spices have incredible potential to enhance health and well-being both through their direct impact on specific health benefits and the role of spices to promote healthy eating. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recognize the value of using spices to help consumers flavor food with less sodium. Spices are also a great way to promote the consumption of a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains, especially now when consumers are cooking more from home. Furthermore, a growing body of scientific evidence is elucidating the direct impact that the consumption of spices can have on a number of health outcomes. Join this session to learn the latest on the science of spices and health.

About our speakers:
Moderator: Brian E. Farkus, Ph.D, Chief Science Officer, McCormick & Company
Panel: Hamed Faridi, Ph.D, Executive Director, McCormick Science Institute and Dr. Guy H. Johnson, Senior Advisor, McCormick Science Institute (MSI)

Brian Farkas is McCormick’s Chief Science Officer. In his role, he leads the company’s global R&D organization and directs its strategy and execution. Dr. Farkas is also responsible for enterprise-wide thought leadership in product and packaging development and the implementation of McCormick’s artificial intelligence platform, SAGETM.

Prior to joining McCormick in March 2020, Dr. Farkas served as head of the Department of Food Science at Purdue University, where he was responsible for setting the vision, direction, and managing operations for the program. There, he advanced the department in numerous areas including human gut microbiome, thermal processing, and fermentation sciences.

Dr. Farkas started his academic career at North Carolina State University in 1994 as an Assistant Professor of Food Engineering in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences. As an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor, he taught and conducted research on the transport phenomena associated with food and beverage processing.

Dr. Farkas holds a Bachelor of Science in Food Science from the University of Delaware, as well as a Master of Science in Food Engineering and a Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering from the University of California, Davis.

Hamed Faridi is renowned as an innovative food industry leader, business executive, strategist, and board director. He is a visionary leader who conceives and implements innovative approaches – often using technology – to create and sustain business growth in the highly competitive food manufacturing industry.

Hamed has served on boards of directors of several organizations including Maryland University of Integrative Health, St. Joseph Medical Center, and the International Association of Cereal Chemists. He has been a director and president of both the Flavor & Extract Manufacturers Association and the American Association of Cereal Chemists. He has served on the partnership committee of a McCormick joint venture and on the advisory boards of the food science departments of four different universities.

Hamed retired in 2020 as the Chief Science Officer at McCormick & Company – a $5.6B global manufacturer and marketer of flavors, spices, seasonings and condiments to the entire food industry.

Hamed has been recognized numerous times for his lifetime of dedication to the field of food science. His awards include the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, The Ohio State University Harris Award, the “Upwardly Mobile” Outstanding Leadership Award, the FEMAs Distinguished Service Award and the Kansas State University Outstanding Alumni Award. He is a Fellow of IFT and AACC.

Prior to McCormick, Hamed held a progression of more responsible R&D roles at the Nabisco Company. Earlier he spent four years on the food science faculty at Washington State University. He has published six books and dozens of papers.

Hamed earned his MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University and his PhD and MS in food science from Kansas State University.

Since December 2020, he is the founder of Faridi Strategy Group LLC and serves as the Executive Director of the McCormick Science Institute.

Dr. Guy H. Johnson is Senior Advisor to the McCormick Science Institute (MSI), which is dedicated to advancing scientific knowledge on the health benefits of culinary spices and herbs. MSI has funded more than 30 clinical trials that have investigated the ability of spice and herbs to impart beneficial physiological effects or improve diet quality. He is also principle of Johnson Nutrition Solutions LLC, a nutrition-oriented consulting firm that provides industry and professional organizations with comprehensive support for nutrition-related communications, scientific and regulatory initiatives.

Prior to founding Johnson Nutrition Solutions LLC, Guy was vice president of nutrition for Kellogg USA. Dr. Johnson’s background also includes extensive experience in applied nutrition science. From 1989 to 1998 he was director of nutrition and labeling services for The Pillsbury Company and before that he was director of infant nutrition for Gerber Products Company. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Johnson, a fellow of the American Society of Nutrition and the Institute of Food Technologists, earned a B.S. in food science and a Ph.D. in nutritional sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

11:45 am – 1:00 pm ET On own
Networking One-on-One

1:00 pm – 3:15 pm ET 
Crop Reports 

3:15 pm – 4:00 pm ET On own
Networking One-on-One

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm ET
ASTA Online 2021 “Spice Up ASTA” Cooking Demonstration and Contest  

Wednesday, May 12, 2021 – Impact of Pandemic on Spice Industry Operations

10:00 am – 10:05 am ET
Opening remarks  
ASTA President, Larry Lichter  

10:05 am – 10:50 am ET

Navigating Transportation Logistics Throughout the Pandemic


The spice industry continues to face massive upheaval in moving products around the globe. From unprecedented port congestions to rail and trucking issues, logistics have never been more complicated. This session feature expert analysis on understanding and navigating these transportation logistics.

About our speakers:
Speaker information coming soon 

10:50 am – 11:50 am ET

Spice Supply Chain Disruption in the Midst of Unprecedented Demand

This panel will explore the state of the spice supply chain with respect to the global pandemic. While demand for spices has been off the charts, sourcing and logistics challenges continue to linger. Meanwhile, ongoing travel restrictions have presented unique challenges for all aspects of the business, including sales, procurement, and quality. The panelists will take questions from the audience and discuss the following key issues that are top of mind for the spice industry:

* Navigating surges in demand amidst delays, logistics challenges, and issues at the port
* Recommendations on inventory management
* Sourcing challenges during the pandemic
* Impact of travel restrictions and social distancing
* Lessons learned from COVID-19

About our speakers:
Moderator: Peter Sayia, Partner, A.A. Sayia & Co.
Panel: ASTA member representatives from Birlik, Olam and Silva International, Harris Spice, and Nestle (invited)

Peter Sayia has been a partner with A.A. Sayia & Co., Inc. since 2008. Prior to joining the family business, Peter spent 7 years as a fixed income trader with JP Morgan. As a Vice President he was based first in New York, then overseas in London and Hong Kong covering global debt markets. At A.A. Sayia Peter is responsible for sourcing all varieties of seeds and red peppers working with suppliers from Europe to Asia.

Peter has served on ASTA’s Annual Program Planning Committee, Arbitration Board, and Government Relations Committee. Peter is currently serving as a Director with ASTA’s Board of Directors.

Peter graduated from George Washington University with a Bachelor of Business Administration.

11:50 am – 1:00 pm ET On own
Networking One-on-One

1:00 pm – 1:45 pm ET

Leadership Roundtable Breakout Discussion

Come prepared to participate in this moderated breakout session about leadership in these challenging times. This session will split participants into small group discussions to talk about motivation and productivity in the virtual world, supporting employee’s mental health, and framing our future after COVID-19. This session is a great opportunity to connect with others in the industry and discuss big-picture leadership challenges.

Unlike educational sessions, participants are unmuted during breakout discussions since these sessions are designed for attendees to contribute to the discussion.

About our Moderator:

Doug Erwin is a serial entrepreneur turned nonprofit executive and personal development coach and podcast host. He currently works at the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) as the SVP of Entrepreneurial Development where he is committed to growing Northern Nevada’s startup and technology ecosystem. As a coach, he supports entrepreneurs and executives as they embark upon their own personal journeys of creation. As the host of the podcast Growth Pioneers, he helps tell the stories of innovators making positive impacts on their companies, communities, and personal lives.

Prior to joining EDAWN, Doug co-founded six companies in different industries including eCommerce, software development, medical diagnostics, and consumer products manufacturing. He has experienced first-hand the highs and lows of building companies, managing investors and partners, and the challenges associated with balancing family, self, and career.

Doug was an Insignia Member of the Entrepreneurs Organization with 13 years in the organization splitting time between the San Francisco and Reno chapters. He helped launch TEDx Reno and was a curator for its first 3 years. He currently sits on the board of the Reno/ Tahoe EO Chapter, the City of Reno Arts and Culture Commission, and formerly on the Discovery Museum.

1:00 pm – 1:45 pm ET

Staying Ahead of Economically Motivated Adulteration During the Pandemic Roundtable Breakout Discussion

Join the ASTA Spice Integrity Council for a moderated breakout discussion on economically motivated adulteration. Participants are encouraged to get involved in this group discussion, which will solicit peer-to-peer input on observations of adulteration of spice products during the pandemic, issues related to analytical detection methods, and more.

Unlike educational sessions, participants are unmuted during breakout discussions since these sessions are designed for attendees to contribute to the discussion.

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm ET

Ask the Expert – Trade and Tariff, Forced Labor, GSP

This “Ask the Expert” session is an informal opportunity for members to raise questions and discuss topics of interest on trade and tariff-related issues. The expert – Shawn Jarosz of TradeMoves – will not provide a formal presentation, but rather be available to answer questions and engage in dialogue with attendees about hot topics in trade. Come prepared with specific questions on trade, tariffs, GSP, or forced labor.

About our Expert:

Shawn Marie Jarosz is the Founder of TradeMoves LLC and its Chief Trade Strategist. Shawn has over 25 years working with US companies and industry associations on their cross-border trade priorities. She advises clients on export strategies and import compliance matters and provides tools and resources in support of global supply chains. As an export expert, Shawn helps seasoned US exporters access new markets, remove barriers to their American-made products, and capitalize on the benefits of cross-border trade. As an import expert, Shawn is a licensed US Customs broker since 2007 and a Certified Customs Specialist. Shawn has been a cleared advisor to the US Trade Representative on trade issues affecting US small businesses (Industry Trade Advisory Committee for Small and Minority Businesses/ITAC 9) since 2008, and food and agriculture exporters (Agriculture Trade Advisory Committee for Processed Foods) from 2007 until 2015.

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm ET
Associate Group Town Hall Members only
ASTA Executive Director, Laura Shumow and Board Associate Group Representative, Sebnem Karasu
This is Town Hall offers ASTA Associate members the opportunity to meet and raise issues for discussion.

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm ET On own
Networking One-on-One

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm ET
Hosted Speed Networking 

Thursday, May 13, 2021 – Food Safety, Climate Change and Sustainability

10:00 am – 10:05 am ET
Opening remarks  
ASTA President, Larry Lichter  

10:05 am – 10:35 am ET

Leveraging Weather Analytics to Predict the Impact of Climate Change on Spices

Weather variability impacts agriculture across multiple fronts.  Risk increases. Quality and quantity are impacted. Traditional farming practices are challenged. Adapting to this new environment requires focused and timely information. Join this session to learn about how weather analytics can be leveraged to predict where and how to grow spices to reduce risk and promote quality.

About our speaker:

John Corbett, Ph.D., agricultural climatologist and aWhere, Inc. Co-Founder and CEO. John focuses his work on applied high resolution and in-time ‘digital-agriculture’ information through a scalable, enterprise, agricultural intelligence platform. aWhere’s platform includes output from a daily observed and forecast agronomic weather conditions engine providing in-season and in-time localized agronomic detail to farmers while in aggregate, tracking production across whole regions. These big data information are available for integration into client workflows via a variety of common standards. With 25+ years working in agriculture, John leads a team of software experts and agricultural and data scientists leveraging technology for timely, location specific information delivering actionable insight across the agricultural value chain. aWhere monitors the impact of the increasingly variable weather across the agricultural earth and provides insight on risk and environmental trends. Prior to aWhere, John worked with Syngenta-Switzerland, Texas A&M- USA; with ICRAF – Kenya; and with CIMMYT – Mexico

10:35 am – 11:15 am ET

Are Pesticides a Hazard Requiring a Preventive Control? How to Handle Potential Illegal Residues in FSMA Food Safety Plans

This session will explore the considerations companies must take into account when determining whether pesticides should be a hazard requiring a preventive control under FSMA. Depending on their specific circumstances, spice companies may decide either to include pesticides as a hazard requiring a preventive control in their food safety plans or not. The presentation will explain what preventive controls a spice company could have in place if it determines pesticides are a hazard. Conversely, if a spice company determines pesticides are not a hazard requiring a preventive control, a company should have scientific justification to support that decision and be prepared for the potential that FDA may not agree with the determination.

About our speaker:

Maile Hermida is a Partner at Hogan Lovells and also serves as ASTA’s General Counsel. She has considerable experience with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), having worked with numerous companies and trade associations on all aspects of the law since the day it was signed. She translates her in-depth knowledge of FSMA into practical solutions for companies working on implementation strategies. She also frequently presents trainings related to FSMA compliance and preparedness. Reflecting her deep involvement with all things FSMA, Maile is a Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) Lead Instructor for the Preventive Controls for Human Food training and an FSPCA Trainer of Trainers and Lead Instructor for the Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) training.

Maile is known for helping companies become and remain compliant with regulations overseen by federal agencies such as the FDA and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). She helps companies navigate tough situations involving product recalls, government inspections, and other enforcement actions such as Warning Letters and import detentions.

Maile also provides clients with advice on public policy issues and strategies for affecting regulatory change. She has vast experience advocating to FDA, including preparing comments on agency rulemakings. Additionally, Maile helps clients with food labeling requirements and development of label and advertising claims.

Maile is a frequent speaker and contributor to industry publications. Prior to joining us, she served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Charles F. Lettow of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Maile graduated with high honors from The George Washington University Law School, where she served as executive editor of The George Washington Law Review.

11:15 am – Noon ET

Panel Discussion on Science-Based Groupings for Spice Validation


The Food Safety Modernization Act requires spice companies to have validated preventive controls for Salmonella. Validations for spices are complicated by the number of spice products that companies produce. In order to reduce the number of validation studies a company needs to have for a given treatment method, spices can be grouped by like characteristics into science-based groupings. In this case, the validations are conducted for representative products that represent the potential “worst-case scenario” for each group. This panel discussion will address how spices can be grouped and what factors need to be considered for the selection of the representative products.

About our speakers:
Moderator: Dr. Jim Dickson, Dickson Consulting and Professor, Iowa State University
Panel: Dr. Nate Anderson, Research Agricultural Engineer, FDA, Karim Khinoche, Founder & CEO, Novolyze
, and Laure Pujol, Food Safety and Quality Expert, PhD, Novolyze

Dr. Dickson is currently a Professor in the Department of Animal Science and the Inter-Departmental Program in Microbiology at Iowa State University. Dr. Dickson’s research focuses on the control of bacteria of public health significance in foods of animal origin. Dr. Dickson has developed a predictive model to estimate the growth of salmonellae during the cooling of beef carcasses. This model was used during an evaluation of proposed USDA regulations, to determine the relative probability of salmonellae growth under a variety of cooling conditions. Dr. Dickson’s studies of bacterial attachment, carcass washing and sanitizing have been applied to animal processing environments, resulting in the development of an inexpensive, technology neutral process which is very effective in controlling enteric pathogens on animal carcasses. Dr. Dickson has been involved in a variety of training courses, including hosting four International Atomic Energy Agency training fellowships in his laboratory, and teaching the principles of meat microbiology and HACCP to food industry audiences in Japan. He also traveled to the People’s Republic of China and Singapore, evaluating meat processing systems. Dr. Dickson served on the National Academy of Science’s panel on review of the use of scientific criteria and performance standards for safe food, where he served as chair of the Meat and Poultry sub-committee.

Prior to his appointment at Iowa State University in 1993, he was employed by USDA-ARS as a Research Food Technologist and lead scientist of the Meat Safety Assurance Program, located at the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, NE. Dr. Dickson was employed in the food industry for three years before joining USDA-ARS.

He is a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology, and is a Past President of the International Association for Food Protection. He is also active in the American Society for Microbiology and the Institute of Food Technologists.

Dr. Nate Anderson is a Research Agricultural Engineer at U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN)\Office of Food Safety. He received his Ph.D. (2006), M.S. (1998) and B.S. (1996) degrees in Agricultural and Biological Engineering all from The Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Anderson’s current research focuses on validation of thermal and non-thermal methods of pasteurization and sterilization of foods, aseptic processing, and risk assessment. Dr. Anderson’s research group has investigated the efficacy of extrusion, baking, roasting and drying processes and atmospheric pressure plasma for microbial decontamination of low moisture foods. Dr. Anderson is an FDA Subject Matter Expert and routinely called upon to review pasteurization and sterilization processes and aseptic packaging technologies.

He has authored numerous publications and made many invited presentations at professional meetings, conferences and workshops. Dr. Anderson is a current IFT NPD Member at Large, an Institute for Thermal Processing Specialists (IFTPS) Board member, and serves in other administrative and scientific leadership positions for various professional organizations and food safety research programs.

Karim holds a Master of Science in Food Technology from Agrosup (Dijon, France) and a Master’s degree in business from Emlyon Business School. Karim started his career working for ETIA and quickly became the head of the Safesteril business unit, working in France, China and serving food processors around the world. He joined the ASTA in 2006 where he had since then the privilege to collaborate with spice and herb business operators, a sector he is particularly fond of. As the need for process validation and smarter process controls became more apparent, in 2012 Karim started a company, Novolyze, with a mission to help improve the Safety and Quality of Food Production Systems by leveraging new technologies, such as ready-to-use surrogates, IoT and cloud computing. Karim recently moved to Washington DC with his young family to begin building Novolyze US operations.

 

 

Laure Pujol is a Food Safety and Quality Expert at Novolyze. She has a PhD in Predictive Microbiology and Risk Assessment from ONIRIS & INRA in Nantes, France and a Food Engineering Diploma. As a Preventive Control Qualified Individual (PCQI), Laure is very experienced working with low water activity foods and has conducted a wide number of LawF food safety projects around the globe. She is an approved Process Authority of the Almond Board of California and an active member of the Low Water Activity Food Product Development Group at IAFP. Laure has been a member of ASTA since 2019, where she has joined the ASTA Validation Task Force. Her experience with spices includes the design and execution of kill step validation programs on mainstream technologies like steam pasteurization as well as the assessment of novel food processing systems for pathogen control.

 

Noon – 1:00 pm ET On own
Networking One-on-One

1:00 pm – 1:45 pm ET

Virtual Audits Roundtable Breakout Discussion

Companies are relying on virtual audits more and more due to travel limitations from the pandemic. Virtual audits are also being used by FDA in voluntary applications. Join ASTA’s Food Safety Committee in this group discussion which will explore the benefits and challenges involved in conducting virtual audits. This session will kick off with an update on the use of virtual audit within GSFI audit schemes. Next, the group will move into a dialogue about virtual audit technology, confidentiality concerns and the expectations for how this new approach will be used in the future.

Unlike educational sessions, participants are unmuted during breakout discussions since these sessions are designed for attendees to contribute to the discussion.

1:00 pm – 1:45 pm ET

Sustainability Roundtable Breakout Discussion


Join ASTA members in this breakout session which will foster dialogue between spice industry colleagues about what sustainability means to their companies. Hear from peers in the spice industry about their companies’ sustainability initiatives and share your own.

Unlike educational sessions, participants are unmuted during breakout discussions since these sessions are designed for attendees to contribute to the discussion.

ASTA members invited to lead this discussion include:
Alfons van Gulick, Nedspice
James T. McKinley, Doug Jeffords/Nueva Kerala S.A
Suzanne Munson, Heifer International
Seth Petchers, Frontier Co-Op
Representatives from Griffith Foods and Nando’s Peri-Peri invited

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm ET

Ask the Expert – FDA Inspections, FSMA Regulatory


This “Ask the Expert” session is an informal opportunity for members to raise questions and discussion topics of interest related to FDA inspections and FSMA implementation. ASTA’s General Counsel, Maile Hermida of Hogan Lovells, will not provide a formal presentation during this session, but rather be available to answer questions and engage in dialogue with attendees about hot topics related to food safety regulation. Come prepared with specific questions on FSMA and FDA inspection issues.

About our Expert:

Maile Hermida is a Partner at Hogan Lovells and also serves as ASTA’s General Counsel. She has considerable experience with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), having worked with numerous companies and trade associations on all aspects of the law since the day it was signed. She translates her in-depth knowledge of FSMA into practical solutions for companies working on implementation strategies. She also frequently presents trainings related to FSMA compliance and preparedness. Reflecting her deep involvement with all things FSMA, Maile is a Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) Lead Instructor for the Preventive Controls for Human Food training and an FSPCA Trainer of Trainers and Lead Instructor for the Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) training.

Maile is known for helping companies become and remain compliant with regulations overseen by federal agencies such as the FDA and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). She helps companies navigate tough situations involving product recalls, government inspections, and other enforcement actions such as Warning Letters and import detentions.

Maile also provides clients with advice on public policy issues and strategies for affecting regulatory change. She has vast experience advocating to FDA, including preparing comments on agency rulemakings. Additionally, Maile helps clients with food labeling requirements and development of label and advertising claims.

Maile is a frequent speaker and contributor to industry publications. Prior to joining us, she served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Charles F. Lettow of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Maile graduated with high honors from The George Washington University Law School, where she served as executive editor of The George Washington Law Review.

2:45 pm – 3:15 pm ET

Ask the Expert – Organic Regulations, EMA


This “Ask the Expert” session is an informal opportunity for members to raise questions and discussion topics of interest on organic regulations. Come prepared with specific questions on organics.

About our Expert:
Speaker information coming soon 

3:15 pm – 4:00 pm ET On own
Networking One-on-One

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm ET
ASTA Business Meeting Members only