CHICAGO — The Retail Bakers of America (R.B.A.) has joined the American Bakers Association (A.B.A.) and BEMA as a strategic partner of the triennial International Baking Industry Exposition (I.B.I.E.).

As part of the agreement, the R.B.A. will not hold its standalone event, the American Retail Bakery Exposition, in 2010. Instead, the group will take part in the 2010 I.B.I.E. by integrating its exhibitors into the I.B.I.E. show floor, rather than placed in a separate hall or pavilion. The R.B.A. will continue to provide demonstrations and education on the show floor and will develop a targeted marketing campaign designed to attract more retail bakers to the show. The R.B.A. said it will continue to hold its A.R.B.E. in non-I.B.I.E. years.

"The I.B.I.E. committee reached out to R.B.A. to discuss a partnership that would be mutually beneficial and would contribute to the overall well-being of our industry," said Rich Hoskins, chairman of the I.B.I.E. committee. "This agreement is a huge step toward achieving I.B.I.E.’s position as the one event that brings the entire grain-based foods industry together and further proof that I.B.I.E. is dedicated to meeting the ever-changing needs of our industry."

Lynn Schurman, president of the R.B.A., agreed, adding, "R.B.A. has supported and participated in I.B.I.E. for many years and will increase that commitment in 2010. Our board unanimously concluded that joining forces with I.B.I.E. next year is the most efficient and effective way to give retail bakers the relevant education and comprehensive resources that they need to be successful in today’s marketplace."

The 2010 I.B.I.E. is set for Sept. 26-29, 2010, in Las Vegas. The theme for the 2010 meeting is "Where the Industry Unites." For more information, visit