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The Food Processing Suppliers Association (FPSA) is pleased to announce it has finalized its slate of speakers for the meat breakout sessions at the 2018 FPSA Annual Conference, March 21-23 at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Arizona.

The theme of this year’s meat track is Technology, Innovation and Success and features Robert Rebholtz Jr, CEO and President of Agri Beef Co. in Boise, Idaho and Robert Davis, founder of New Edge Systems in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Mr. Rebholtz, who is also being awarded the prestigious Knowlton Award at the MISA Foundation Banquet & Auction, will share with attendees his experience in dramatically building Agri Beef’s reputation as a high-quality processor by way of their vertical integration model and early adoption of new technologies.

With its second speaker, Robert Davis, MISA makes its first foray into the realm of alternative proteins. Mr. Davis will discuss consumer acceptance and demand in this fast-growing segment. Mr. Davis is an expert in this field, having developed the next generation of plant-based hot dog in 2016, the Alpha Dog, as well as a number of other innovative products such as a plant-based flax drinkable yogurt, the first hemp ice cream – Tempt, the first almond based yogurt – Amande, the first organic, soy and rice ice cream – Believe, and the first hemp cheese – HempRella.

“This is a very different set of speakers from what we are used to,” said Jarrod McCarroll, Chairman of FPSA’s Meat Industry Suppliers Alliance (MISA) and CEO of Weber, Inc. “We are excited to hear from them how they have utilized evolving technologies to deliver on ever-changing consumer expectations and thus ensure sustainable success in their businesses. Agri Beef has done a fantastic job of putting quality northwest protein on the map, while New Edge Systems has built the alternative protein niche into one of the food industry’s biggest success stories today. Although they come from opposite ends of the protein spectrum, they provide FPSA members with an excellent view of two fast growing segments.”

“This is why FPSA members come to the Annual Conference,” said David Seckman, President and CEO of FPSA. “Not only is it an excellent networking opportunity between peers but also to an excellent opportunity to learn about industry trends and developments straight from the customer. As such, FPSA members are much better informed about what is going on in the marketplace and prepared to take advantage of new opportunities.”

Registration for the 2018 FPSA Annual Conference is now open at www.fpsa.org. The early-bird registration rate of $850 for FPSA members is in effect until February 22nd. For more information on the FPSA Annual Conference, contact Dolores Alonso at (703) 663-1226 or dalonso@fpsa.org.