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Meat Conference
Meat Conference 1.jpg The Meat Conference
The Annual Meat Conference's comprehensive education sessions explore the latest developments in meat retailing today.

Educational sessions on tap at Annual Meat Conference

Industry event will draw meat and poultry retail buyers, suppliers and consumers to Nashville

The Annual Meat Conference, being held March 2-4 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, offers a complete education and networking experience for grocery retailers and meat suppliers.

The event, hosted by FMI-The Food Industry Association and the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), includes five hours of exhibits showcasing the latest in new meat and poultry products and the products and services retailers need to increase their bottom line. Comprehensive education sessions include a variety of ways to explore the latest developments in meat retailing today. Retailers, wholesalers and suppliers can register for the Annual Meat Conference here. Among the sessions scheduled:

Monday, March 2
Global Innovation: Grocery Retail Trends Impacting Today’s World and Beyond
Neil Stern, Senior Partner, McMillanDoolittle LLP

This session takes a look at the macro trends impacting the industry and the market as a whole, from the growth of e-commerce, the impact of elevated fast-casual restaurants, to interesting new formats in the supermarket space. This presentation will cover a wide range of innovative concepts, from grocerants to standalone restaurants to meal kit companies and everything in between, showcasing best practice examples in the U.S. and around the world. A special focus will be placed on looking at how innovation is impacting the meat department.

Regulatory Update
Mark Dopp, Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Scientific Affairs/General Counsel, NAMI
Andy Harig, Vice President, Tax, Trade, Sustainability & Policy Development, FMI

Federal, state, and local regulations all impact the meat and poultry industry and how we run our businesses and sell to our customers. Topics of discussion will focus on what we need to know about meat and poultry, including food safety policies, performance standards and publishing data, petitions pending before FSIS, animal welfare issues, labeling policies, antibiotics and residue testing, and other relevant USDA initiatives and priorities.

Panel Discussion: Encouraging Diversity in the Workforce
Panelists: Jennifer Dalrymple, Talent Manager, Heinen’s
Jonathan Mayes, Chief Diversity Officer, Albertsons
Deb Sinta, Vice President, Talent and Culture, Tyson Foods
Moderated by: Kevin Dolan, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company Inc.

Increasing the diversity of your workforce provides a variety of perspectives that benefit businesses, while also increasing creativity, productivity and performance. This discussion will provide tactical information on how retailers and processors can improve diversity within their own companies. By discussing specific programs, initiatives and success stories, attendees will see the impact that a focus on diversity has in today’s workforce.

The Power of Meat 2020: An In-Depth Look at Meat Through the Shopper’s Eyes
Anne-Marie Roerink, Principal, 210 Analytics LLC

Entering its 15th year, The Power of Meat is a must-attend, peer-recommended look at meat though the eyes of the consumer. By combining shopper input with real-life sales results, the Power of Meat outlines red flags as well as opportunities in America’s changing food culture. How can we optimize meat’s role and image in a shifting protein landscape increasingly influenced by sustainability, animal welfare, transparency and health and wellbeing? How can meat continue its dominant role in retail and adjust to current shopping behaviors? What improvements can our industry make to remain front and center as consumer evolve in the way they cook and eat? Optimizing meat sales means meeting shoppers in their changing ways of approaching food.


The Annual Meat Conference showcases the latest in new meat and poultry products and the products and services retailers need to increase their bottom line.

Tuesday, March 3
Market Outlook for Meat and Poultry
Paul Aho, Economist and Consultant, Poultry Perspective
Randy Blach, CEO, CattleFax
Steve Meyer, Economist, Kerns & Associates

World and U.S. economic conditions, trade disagreements and agreements, supply and demand. There are multiple forces at play for producers, processors, retailers and consumers in U.S. meat and poultry markets. This session will look at those factors — and others — in the beef, pork and poultry markets and how they will impact retailer operations in 2020 and beyond.

Beyond the Meat Case: How Digital Technologies Impact Meat
Meagan Nelson, Associate Director, Fresh Growth & Strategy, Nielsen

In the emerging world of meat, new smartphone applications, product and package freshness sensors, improved category navigation tools and augmented/virtual reality will be part of tomorrow’s meat shopping experience.

Hot Topics in Meat Retail
Kim Kirchherr, President, K2 Outcomes LLC
Eric Mittenthal, Vice President of Sustainability, North American Meat Institute
Jason Robertson, Vice President, Case Ready Beef and Pork, Tyson Foods
Robert Voltmann, President & CEO, Transportation Intermediaries Association

This session will capture the hot topic issues not discussed elsewhere on the program, ensuring that AMC discussions cover as much ground as possible. Selected topics include meat nutrition, environmental impacts of meat production, transportation challenges and the future of case-ready meat.

Leaders of Tomorrow Panel Discussion
Back by popular demand, this session will feature winners from the AMC Leaders of Tomorrow program, and provide a forum for learning about what has helped these young people succeed and thrive in the meat retail business. Attendees will hear what motivates these high performers, how they think the industry can attract more talent and how they have been helped and encouraged to further their careers.

Wednesday, March 4
Defend and Deflect No More: Building Trust in Animal Protein
Nicole Johnson-Hoffman, Global McDonald’s Business Unit Leader and Chief Sustainability Officer, OSI Group
Charlie Arnot, CEO, Center for Food Integrity

From the United Nations to New York City to NGO reports and new plant-based competitors, attacks on meat’s sustainability have dramatically increased in recent years. This session will provide a close look at how the industry is taking steps forward to build trust from the ground up. Attendees will learn more about what exactly sustainability means to meat producers and outline some of the specific ways the supply chain is engaging from farmers and ranchers all the way to retailers.

A Seat at the Table: Consumer Attitudes on Animal Protein
Consumer panel moderated by Anne-Marie Roerink, Principal, 210 Analytics LLC

This session will bring together a live panel of consumers from different generations and backgrounds to share their viewpoints on everything from meal planning to the meat case. Moderator Anne-Marie Roerink will guide the consumers through a discussion that aims to explore attitudes around sustainability, meat versus protein alternatives, information sourcing, shopping behavior, and value propositions.

An Election Year Like No Other
Ron Elving, Senior Washington Editor and Correspondent, National Public Radio

For the first time in history, an impeached president is running for re-election; but that president may be more popular than ever. However you look at it, 2020 is bound to be an election year like none we’ve seen before. The Annual Meat Conference coincides with Super Tuesday in the midst of primary season and the national election will likely be hot on everyone’s minds. Who is leading in the Democratic pack? How is impeachment impacting the process? What work is getting done on the Hill and in the halls of government?

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