November 3, 2016

Northwest show highlights food, beverage processors

The 2017 Northwest Food & Beverage World, presented by the Northwest Food Processors Association (NWFPA), promises to be a new experience with an integrated floor plan. The conference and expo, Jan. 9-11, will feature educational sessions being held right on the show floor. More than 3,500 attendees and 400 exhibitions are expected at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.

“The Northwest Food & Beverage World is a regional trade show with national impact,” said NWFPA President David McGiverin. “Every fruit and vegetable processor should be at Expo. Why? Because this show is designed to give them everything they need for better business development and operations.”

NW Food & Beverage World provides an opportunity for fruit and vegetable processors to see firsthand the newest equipment and technology in the food and beverage industry. Exhibitors will show the latest developments in equipment to help companies meet higher food safety standards, avoid costly recalls and stay competitive. Fruit and vegetable processors also have the opportunity to attend more than 30 educational sessions that cover continuous improvement, regulatory and legislative issues, food safety and sanitary design, refrigerated transport, entrepreneurship and business development and more.

The show kicks off Monday, Jan. 9, with keynote speaker Peter Skrbek, chief financial officer of Deschutes Brewery, the largest brewery in Oregon. Skrbek will discuss the pathways to taking a regional brand national.

This year key educational sessions include the Tuesday keynote breakfast that focuses on the steps and stages in a food product recall; a two-session seminar on sanitary design led by Joe Stout, founder of Commercial Food Sanitation; and a listeria update with focus on frozen foods and fresh produce.

Additional education sessions will highlight various aspects of food safety, including sessions on Food Safety Modernization Act updates, food defense and proper documentation.

Tuesday’s keynote breakfast features a panel discussion on “Foodborne Illness Litigation and Its Ramifications.” Ron Simon, of Ron Simon & Associates, and Joseph Bottiglieri, of Bonner Kiernan, will provide a litigator’s perspective on foodborne illness lawsuits and what food companies need to know to avoid being in the spotlight. Gary Jay Kushner of Hogan Lovells will moderate the panel and provide a regulatory enforcement perspective.

The expo annually features the Sample Display, which is a traditional cutting offering fruit and vegetable, grain and legume processors to submit their canned or frozen products for competition and blind judging by the USDA and attendees. Prizes are awarded to attendees who judge closest to the USDA findings in frozen, canned and combined.

Coupled with Sample Display, NWFPA brings to the show a Packaging Display giving food and beverage processors the opportunity to show off their newest packaging and labeling trends. A “best of show” award is given to the company based on attendee voting.

The “Productivity Improvement Results from 100 Food & Beverage Producers” session will take a look at a productivity study featuring data from over 900 production lines and 25,000 frontline workers. John Damon of Oregon Freeze Dry, Dirk Davis of Sunshine Dairy Foods, and Richard Tester of Redzone Production Systems will lead the interactive panel with food processors who participated in the study.

A course on industrial refrigeration systems and RETA (Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association) certification preparation will be offered Jan. 7-9. The $350 registration fee for NWFPA or RETA members includes expo admittance, handouts, breakfast and beverages. Registration for non-NWFPA OR RETA members is $495.

The course will prepare attendees for the RETA exam and provide them with knowledge to improve reliability of their refrigeration systems. Greg Jourdan, director of Environmental Systems & Refrigeration Technology for Wenatchee Valley College, will be the instructor for the course.

For more information on NW Food & Beverage World, visit the Northwest Food Processors Association website at