President’s Letter

Meeting Season is Upon Us
Fall is always a very busy time for SFA. Not only are the U.S. Congress and state legislatures back in session, but the federal agency staffs are back at their desks, and many laws affecting our industry are now back at the forefront of their attention. Autumn also is a busy time of year for SFA members and staff due to the various meetings and seminars we host and others we participate in.
First, a few important updates: The traditional SFA Pretzel Seminar, which usually takes place in November in south central Pennsylvania has been rescheduled to occur April 12-13, 2005, at Penn State University in State College, Pa. The seminar is also being reformatted to focus on other baked snacks in addition to pretzels, such as cookies and crackers.
Both changes will add value to the meeting and benefit SFA members. The new location of SFA’s Pretzel and Baked Snacks Seminar will take advantage of the expertise in food science and food safety available on the Penn State campus. The new time of year for the meeting is more convenient for pretzel plant managers and operators to take the time out for a more focused, hands-on seminar. Please plan to join us for this improved format and mark your calendars accordingly.
Another meeting that SFA has participated in over the last few years, the Canacintra’s  V Encuentro Nacional de Fabricantes de Botanas, in Mexico City, is an excellent opportunity for our members in Latin America and the U.S., alike. The meeting, which will be held November 4 and 5, will provide excellent speakers on important topics and an opportunity for suppliers to exhibit to snack manufacturers in Mexico and throughout Latin America. SFA’s Chairman Nick Chilton and I plan to be there to acknowledge an official agreement
between SFA and the Canacintra Botanos to share information and jointly promote our annual meetings. For further information, please contact Liz Wells at 1-800-628-1334 ext. 202 or
Of course our annual Top Management Seminar, the annual senior-level executive meeting of the industry, will be held at the beautiful Four Seasons resort in Palm Beach, Fla., October 3-5. This meeting will provide excellent speakers, important networking opportunities, and a chance to catch up with colleagues and friends in the industry.
Following Top Management, Nick Chilton and I travel to the Canadian Snack Food Association meeting in Quebec City, Canada, from October 14-17, and then we are off to SFA’s Management Workshop in Cleveland, Ohio.
A superb program has been planned for SFA’s Management Workshop, October, 24-26. The program will include both marketing and manufacturing lectures, coupled with a fantastic, state-of-the-art plant tour and excellent networking opportunities. The theme for the program this year is “Cleveland Rocks,” and I believe attendees will come away from this meeting with the conclusion that SFA’s Management Workshop has “rocked their world” in a positive way.
I hope to see you on the meetings circuit this fall. It will be great to catch up with our many current and new members at these important meetings.
Jim McCarthy
President and CEO
Snack Food Association