Representing one of the fastest-growing segments of the baking industry, the Tortilla Industry Association (TIA) Annual Convention & Trade Show is a much-anticipated event by everyone in our industry, as well as all those interested in exploring it. This year marks our 28th Annual Convention, and it’s a good time of year to highlight a variety of new initiatives that benefit our members and friends.
Held May 1–2 at the Paris Las Vegas, the TIA Convention kicks off with a golf tournament on April 30 at Angel Park Golf Resort, sponsored by Engineered Food Systems, followed by a poolside Opening Reception that evening. The next two days feature educational sessions in the morning and a trade show in the afternoon where 80+ exhibitors showcase the latest in equipment and ingredients. The night of May 1 is highlighted by our annual TIA Awards & Entertainment Banquet, sponsored by MINSA Corp., in which our Hall of Fame inductees are honored and our TIA Scholarship winners are announced. Among the evening’s activities are a 40-minute performance by PIP, the world-famous Comic Illusionist from Australia, and the evening is emceed by The Comedy Channel’s Monique Marvez.
2017 is a year in which TIA continues to expand its activities and offerings. For the first time ever, we participated in ANTAD, the largest food show in Mexico. Held in Guadalajara from March 7–9, with a booth on the expo show floor. TIA also hosted three educational sessions during their general session program. Topics focused on tortilla market trends and statistics, tortilla troubleshooting, and a special “Ask the Experts” panel discussion. Additionally—and reflecting the tremendous growth of the tortilla category around the globe—by popular demand from our international members, TIA is planning its first European TIA educational event in Amsterdam, Holland.
Then, in October, our much-acclaimed TIA Technical Conference will be coming to Los Angeles at the beautiful Pacific Palms Golf Resort & Spa, featuring two days of educational sessions, a tabletops cocktail reception and a field trip on the second day of the event, where we will visit and tour three leading tortilla production plants in the area and observe firsthand their “best practices” in operation.
TIA continues to broaden its benefits to members through partnerships with leading providers of the types of services they use to run their businesses. For example, this year, in order to assist our members with the key need for food safety testing, TIA has partnered with FSNS (Food Safety Net Services), one of the nation’s largest ISO 17025 accredited laboratory networks. FSNS has provided speakers at TIA events on this topic and is able to provide outsourced testing services for TIA members at a significantly discounted rate. These services include: microbiological testing (including yeast/mold, Listeria, Salmonella, aerobic plate count/APC and coliforms, among others), chemistry testing (including allergens, fats/oils and full nutritionals) and FSMA compliance. Additionally, FSNS Certification & Audit is also offering rate reductions for TIA members on all auditing services provided, such as BRC, SQF and others. Finally, look for an additional program announcement soon that will help TIA members with their employee health insurance needs.
As you can see, your best resource for participating in this exciting industry segment is TIA and its events. We hope to see you at the TIA Annual Convention this May at Paris Las Vegas!
Jim Kabbani, CEO Tortilla Industry Association