As most of you know, the tortilla industry has become the fastest-growing sector of the baking business, with more than $11 billion in sales last year and tortillas overtaking white sandwich bread as a food delivery platform.
One of the more-visible indicators of this growth is geographic. In the past, many people thought of tortillas as mainly a Southwestern phenomenon, and tortilla companies were located almost entirely in the Southwest. Now, there has been phenomenal growth in tortilla producers all over the country. The trend has been seen in the Midwest with the proliferation of companies in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. But even greater growth has occurred on the East Coast. Many leading tortilla companies can now be found in Georgia, Florida, the Carolinas, the mid-Atlantic area, New England and especially in New York and New Jersey.
For this reason, the Tortilla Industry Association (TIA) has announced it will hold its first-ever major event on the East Coast. In addition to our TIA Annual Convention & Trade Exposition (the next one will be held in May 2016 in the San Diego area), we also hold a midyear Technical Conference—and this year’s will take place Oct. 21–22 at the beautiful Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City in New Jersey, where TIA has negotiated a special discounted rate of just $109 a night.
By situating this event in Atlantic City, TIA intends to accomplish two key goals: to make this event more easily accessible to the many tortilla manufacturers on the East Coast and to help West Coast members coming to the event get to know their East Coast counterparts and build valuable business relationships with them.
Attendees will find many extremely useful things about TIA Tech 2015. First, the program consists of 12 educational sessions whose topics have been selected based on surveys TIA conducts asking members what issues they are most concerned about. We then select the top 12 most-frequently requested issues and bring in experts in each field to speak about those topics in a focused way that gives attendees information they can put to use as soon as they return to their factory. This year’s topics include:
- Troubleshooting tortilla defects
- Functions and properties of various ingredients
- Food safety
- Equipment sanitation
- Reducing downtime with an effective preventive maintenance plan
- Options for extending product shelf life and how to select the best ones for you
- Reducing energy costs
- Labor law primer, how to use temporary employees and minimize exposure
- Commodity pricing expectations and forecasts
- The value of corporate social responsibility certifications
- Hydrogenated fats requirement changes, including how to comply and alternative products
The first evening of the Tech Conference will feature our Tabletops Cocktail Reception, where attendees can mingle and network, while visiting with vendors who have tabletop displays set up around the room. On the second day, following educational sessions in the morning, attendees can participate in one of the most-popular TIA Tech Conference events—a field trip to food manufacturing facilities. Attendees get factory tours and observe firsthand some ways that leading facilities are implementing best practices in areas of food processing that are relevant to their own operation.
The TIA Tech Conference is attended by tortilla plant managers and owners, as well as leading suppliers of ingredients and equipment. Atlantic City is a beautiful beach resort with casinos and nice weather in October. Access is easy—by car (Interstate 95), by train (Amtrak) or by air (Philadelphia International Airport).
For more information and latest details, visit www.tortilla-info.com or call 800-944-6099.
If you are in the tortilla business, you cannot afford to miss this exciting and ground-breaking event. If you are in other sectors of the baking business, come and get to know us, so you can see how you can share in the profits and passion of the tortilla industry! I look forward to personally welcoming you.