WASHINGTON — The Tortilla Industry Association will hold its annual two-day technical conference in conjunction with the International Baking Industry Exposition (I.B.I.E.). The conference, which typically is held in May, will now take place Sept. 25-26, 2010, in Las Vegas as part of the I.B.I.E.’s educational program that also includes offerings from AIB International and the Retail Bakers of America.

The T.I.A. conference is expected to focus on operational skills, safety regulations, quality control, preventative maintenance, plant efficiency, and other best practices.

"Demand in our industry keeps growing and tortilla manufacturers must innovate, increase production and efficiency and quickly adapt to changing consumer tastes to stay competitive," said Jim Kabbani, executive director for the T.I.A. "This may include installing automated solutions to their production line, reformulating products to include new flavors and healthful ingredients, and updating their packaging to keep products versatile and consumer-friendly. By co-locating with I.B.I.E., our members will have easy access to a broad range of resources they need to accomplish these objectives. Additionally, we will be offering a new special track for I.B.I.E. attendees interested in exploring their possible entry into the tortilla market."

Mike Beaty, executive vice-president of Flowers Foods, Inc. and vice-chairman of the I.B.I.E. committee, said the alliance is another step in uniting all facets of the baking community.

"We are thrilled about the mutually beneficial opportunities presented by this partnership," Mr. Beaty said.