Sizzling Summer at SFA
There was a time when things slowed down a bit during the summer months at SFA. Not anymore. I just returned from a very good meeting to plan SFA’s new Wilbur A. Gould Total Quality Management Short Course for the Snack Food Industry at Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 12-15. We will be partnering with the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) and Ohio State to bring our members this state-of-the-art course on quality production of snack foods. The meetings will be held in the new Parker Food Science Building at OSU, which has a snack food laboratory ready and waiting for hands-on training. Please read more about this new SFA program in this article on page 61 and plan to join us in Columbus this September.
Next week, I am off to Idaho to meet with the SFA Potato Chip Committee and the US Potato Board’s Chip Committee to plan the annual Chip Seminar, scheduled for March 1-4, 2006, in San Antonio, Texas. To those of you who make potato snacks and have never participated in this seminar, it is a very worthwhile meeting with potato growers on the latest technology in potato variety development, cold storage and other common problems in potato growth, harvest and shipment. So, put the USPB/SFA Chip Seminar on your schedule for next March.
Speaking of March, we are already hard at work on SNAXPO 2006, March 19-22, in Las Vegas. We are very excited about the plans to bring SNAXPO back to Las Vegas for the first time in 25 years. We have reserved the fantastic Mandalay Bay Hotel and Resort as the location for the convention, which is rated the best venue for holding a trade show in Las Vegas. The SNAXPO Planning Committee is putting together a great program of speakers and entertainment, and the exhibit space is starting to fill up. So get your contract in for booth space now and make your room reservation. Our special room rates are going fast!
Of course, the public policy issues don’t go away just because it’s summertime. Recently, SFA has been responding to the news of a petition submitted to the Attorney General in California to force the labeling of acrylamide on four snack companies’
products in the state under the state’s Proposition 65 law. We have worked with members in responding to news stories about the petition and have submitted background information to members who want to respond to their customers or news organizations on this issue. SFA is involved in an ongoing effort to get an exception from Prop 65 for acrylamide in foods as it is “naturally occurring,” which is recognized as an exception under the state’s law.
SFA has also recently joined with Promar International in submitting a proposal to Food Export Northeast, a government-sponsored entity, for funds to conduct a study on the potential for export outside the U.S. by snack companies in the Northeastern states. The petition has been selected to conduct the study and the results should be out by the end of September — just in time for release at SFA’s Management Workshop, Oct. 23-25, 2005, in Indianapolis, Indiana. If you are a snack company in the Northeastern U.S., you will be contacted to participate in this study. Please cooperate so that we can develop results that we can share with our membership on the potential for exporting snacks outside of the U.S.
We are also negotiating a lease for the new offices of SFA and we hope to move by mid-September. The offices will still be in Northern Virginia and the location will still be convenient to Washington, D.C., and major airports. Once we are relocated, we urge you to make a visit to our new offices.
Do you remember that song about rolling out the “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer?” Well these summer days seem a lot crazier than lazy for SFA. In any case, I hope you are enjoying your summer.
James A. McCarthy
President & CEO