ATLANTA, GEORGIA, US — The International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) is returning to an in-person event this January with a feed program that will focus on regulatory changes and provide an industry outlook for 2022.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 event was virtual only. The 2022 in-person event will be Jan. 25-27 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, US. Organizers said they look forward to welcoming visitors from across the globe.

“The US has announced that travel restrictions for international visitors who are vaccinated against COVID-19 will ease in November,” IPPE show management said. “We look forward to welcoming our domestic and international attendees to the 2022 IPPE.”

The 2022 IPPE will include a full week of education programs, including new technology, events on the show floor and networking opportunities with key leaders from the animal food, meat and poultry industries. The event brings together the expertise from the American Feed Industry Association, the North American Meat Institute and the US Poultry & Egg Association.

With the return to an in-person event, the IPPE is taking measures to prevent any spread of COVID-19 or African swine fever. IPPE management is monitoring the changing conditions and will follow state guidelines regarding COVID-19 and will adjust onsite operations as necessary.

Several safety initiatives will be incorporated, including encouraging the vaccination of participants, encouraging masks for unvaccinated participants, frequent disinfection, hand sanitizer stations and social distancing where appropriate.

To protect from spreading ASF, higher levels of biosecurity will be in place, including asking all international travelers to remain free from contact with pigs and other livestock or poultry for a minimum of five days before visiting the IPPE. In addition, the convention center will have foot cleaning mats and hand washing dispensers.

The IPPE is prohibiting the distribution of any bulk or packaged samples of feed ingredients or additives. If any such items are on display, they must be in sealed containers and taken with at the end of the event.

The AFIA’s free Feed Education Program is planned from 8-10 a.m. on Jan. 26 and will update attendees on recent changes within several federal agencies and provide an outlook for the animal food industry for 2022. The program is ideal for animal food facility managers and operations and mill personnel wanting to learn about the latest regulatory requirements impacting their businesses.

“With such a rollercoaster of a year from a new presidential administration to fresh waves of COVID-19 outbreaks in 2021, there was a lot coming out of regulatory agencies which the animal food industry must keep up with,” said Gary Huddleston, director of feed manufacturing and regulatory affairs at the AFIA. “The AFIA Feed Education Program will keep industry stakeholders informed of potential changes in regulations.”

The featured speaker will focus on the importance of a written pandemic policy. The agenda also includes updates on what the industry can expect in 2022 from the Food and Drug Administration, including inspection plans; the Occupational Safety and Health administration, such as new workforce requirements; and the Environmental Protection Agency, such as new climate regulations.

The AFIA will provide an update on the Feed Facility of the Year Program and name the winner of the 2021 Commercial Feed Facility of the Year, as well as discuss new educational tools for feed manufacturers.

Several topics are on the agenda for the AFIA’s Pet Food Conference on Jan. 25, including pet food labeling, export trends, human resources in the industry, regulatory updates and best practices for dealing with cybersecurity and ransomware. The AFIA also will announce the recipient of the annual Friend of Pet Food Award at the conference.

“We are thrilled to bring the pet food industry together again,” said Louise Calderwood, director of regulatory affairs at the AFIA. “Since the last in-person conference in 2020, much has changed — sustainability has risen to be a top priority, concerns of cybersecurity and ransomware attacks have heightened given recent events and major changes to pet food labels given new consumer preferences are shaking things up. The 2022 Pet Food Conference will reconnect hundreds of pet food professionals and examine the new landscape we are operating in.”

Carolyn Kennedy, independent consultant with EAS Consulting Group, will discuss “Pet Food Labeling: To Be Human Grade or Not Human Grade.” Gina Tumbarello, senior director of international policy and trade at the AFIA, will examine the AFIA’s support of pet food exports.

Dave Edwards, director of the division of animal feeds at the FDA, will provide the federal regulatory update while John Hoffman, senior research fellow at the University of Minnesota, and Todd Renner, supervisory special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, will discuss cybersecurity and ransomware.

The conference is 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and includes breakfast and lunch. An early-bird rate of $105 is available until Jan. 7, after which the price increases to $150.

Other educational opportunities include “Business Continuity in Times of Disruption: Lessons Learned in the Feed Industry,” from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Jan. 26. Cost is $55 before Jan. 7 and $75 thereafter.

The AFIA’s nutrition committee will host the program focused on challenges and opportunities to the industry in the face of disruptions, such as global pandemics or foreign animal diseases.

On Jan. 25, the Feed Strategy Conference: Poultry Trends, Feeding and Health will look at the economic and nutrition issues influencing 2022 poultry and feed production. It will look at global protein trends to strategies for successful antibiotic-free production. The event is suited for poultry and feed industry stakeholders who want insights on critical issues impacting their poultry operation’s productivity and profitability. Cost is $150 before Jan. 7 and $200 thereafter.

Sustainability is again a hot topic at the IPPE with the Animal Agriculture Sustainability Summit from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Jan. 25. The event is free with trade show admission.

Representatives of the meat, poultry and animal feed industries will share details on the development of industry programs or tools to advance their goals of producing more protein in a sustainable fashion.

Environmental impact also will be a focus with the session on “Environmental Commitments and Considerations” from 8:30-10 a.m. on Jan. 27. The event is free with trade show admission. This session will explore the aspects of a successful environmental improvement program and provide real world examples and best practices that span industries.

Another free session from 8:30-10 a.m. on Jan. 26 will examine “The Future of Work and Workforce Issues.” Presenters will cover the biggest pressure points in 2022 and how to relieve them. From embracing automation to understanding regulatory changes in worker safety, this session will take a look at a variety of issues affecting the workplace today.

Read more about pet food and treat industry events.