Another year for the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) means another Pet Food Conference hosted by the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), a crucial opportunity for pet food and treat manufacturers to network with vendors and learn about the latest industry trends. The annual conference will feature eight speakers and several students to share valuable insights on key industry topics.

As the pet food and treat industry faces both age-old and more modern challenges, this annual conference is designed to increase awareness and understanding of opportunities, threats and best practices available for mitigating pet food formulation and marketing issues. The agenda will address global trends, nutritional challenges associated with senior pets, the influences of ingredient quality and a close look at the canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) issue.

A handful of new elements will be included in the 2020 Pet Food Conference, such as the Friend of Pet Food Award, which will recognize two professionals “who go above and beyond for the pet food industry,” as AFIA describes. Nominations for the award were submitted from all areas of the industry, from ingredient suppliers to members of the academic community, then reviewed by AFIA’s Pet Food Committee and other leaders within the organization.

Also for the first time, three graduate students will present their research during the Pet Food Conference, giving them the opportunity to educate the industry on groundbreaking findings and network with potential employers. Additionally, a small group of undergraduate students have the opportunity to present their own research or discuss a relevant topic at a poster session during the conference.

The 2020 Pet Food Conference will take a deep dive into a variety of topics, including global pet food trends; international trade issues impacting the pet food market; a panel discussion on DCM; new methods for measuring the oxidation of pet food ingredients; a pet food-focused update from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO); an analysis of pet food production and ingredients; and, to wrap up the day, an update from FDA on FSMA and the alleged correlation between DCM with grain-free diets.

The 2020 Pet Food Conference will take place during IPPE at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia, on Tuesday, Jan. 28, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more details and registration information about the conference, visit

Stay up to date on news about the pet food processing industry on our News page.