AACC International (AACCI) will provide a forum to further educate the industry about global food issues through discussions with various scientific experts and knowledgeable speakers, all of whom can be found at Cereals and Grains 19, scheduled for Nov. 3-5 in Denver.
After Cereals and Grains sold out in London last year, AACCI is bringing the event to the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, which has more space. The area is easy for attendees to travel to and is connected to the seed and baking side of agriculture by serving as a hub for breeding companies, breweries and Ardent Mills.
Approximately 1,000 people will attend the event, which Sean Finnie, Cereals and Grains 19 program chair and senior manager of R.&D. at Bay State Milling, said offers a good balance — big enough to attract scientific discussions and small enough to maintain intimacy. “The most important thing at Cereals and Grains 19 is the networking and building of friendships, both professionally and personally,” he noted. “The personal nature of the conference makes it stand apart from others.”
Part of this intimate element is the fact that members drove the direction of the program. Subjects and speaker ideas were sent in at the beginning of the year to the program team, which reviewed the topics and chose the overall theme based on relevance and conversational potential. This year, it’s all about global food systems.
“We’re reaching deep into the current and emerging issues of our membership and feel that the conference will bring new ideas, approaches, conversations and solutions to the members, their science, their company and career,” Mr. Finnie said.
Within the overall theme are daily topics, which include food safety, innovation in the value chain, and health and wellness. On the first day, Nabeeha Kazi, executive director of No Wasted Lives, will speak on building sustainability programs to fight hunger. The second day brings in Hamed Faridi, chief science officer at McCormick & Co., and experts from IBM to talk about artificial intelligence. On Nov. 5, Karen Nelson, Ph.D., president of J. Craig Venter Institute, will discuss microbiome with personalized medications and nutrition.
In addition to a variety of sessions and exhibits, there will be four optional pre-meeting workshops on Nov. 2. These include Enzyme Chemistry and Applications in Brewing, Grain and Grain Based Food Safety, Chemical Leavening Basics, and Protein Highway.
For the first time, AACCI will offer post-meeting tours in the U.S. On Nov. 6, attendees can participate in a seed and brew tour at the Limagrain Cereal Seeds, a malthouse and brewery, as well as a bread and brew tour at the mill at Whole Foods Bakery.
“The tours are developed with the thought that some hands-on experience will bring added value to the people who join as well as another unique opportunity for networking and building professional and personal relationships,” Mr. Finnie explained.
To provide even more discussion, AACCI is including meals in the registration fee this year.
“The hope is that people will use the luncheons, breaks and happy hours to take advantage of meeting and growing from the connections of being with ‘like’ people,” Mr. Finnie said. “Time and again, attendees find endless ways they have benefitted through the relationships developed through attending the AACCI – Cereals & Grains 19.”