In the months following the last IBIE in 2019, the world was thrown into turmoil with a pandemic-driven shutdown unlike anything experienced before. Social and political conflicts, disruptions at home, and attacks abroad — and yet, our industry, our community, has prevailed and strengthened despite these seemingly insurmountable challenges.  

Despite the constant barrage of bad news in the past several years, this year’s IBIE welcomes us to what feels like a new era for the baking industry. We are starting to emerge from the chaos with an even deeper appreciation for our critical workforce, an accelerated adoption of new technologies and a stronger bond with our global baking community. We’ve been through a lot together. 

Thanks to input from our valued members and trusted industry partners, the American Bakers Association (ABA), in partnership with BEMA and Retail Bakers Association (RBA), helped guide this year’s IBIE programming, pivoting areas of focus as the world quickly changed around us. With that knowledge, we are confident that ABA and IBIE will help address issues important to all of us. 

Supply Chain Strategies

ABA’s Lee Sanders, senior vice president of government affairs, will join a group of industry leaders for a session called Supply Chain Challenges: A Panel Discussion. The discussion will focus on topics including supply chain strategies, policy efforts and future forecasts. Panelists will include Hayden Wands, vice president of global procurement, commodities for Grupo Bimbo, and Maggie Brown, director of global supply chain for Kwik Lok.

Another ABA supply chain session is called The New Rules for Leveraging Contract Manufacturing Relationships, led by Carl Melville, managing partner for The Melville Group, LLC. The focus will be on ways to view and manage supply chains — especially critical contract manufacturing relationships — by absorbing lessons from the pandemic.

Sustainability Enhancement

ABA’s Rasma Zvaners, vice president, regulatory and technical services, will lead a session called Transforming a Traditional Bakery with Sustainability. The discussion will include a baker’s perspective and highlight government programs.

Food Safety Focus

A session called ABA Monitoring Chemical Hazards in Foods with Gina Reo, president of QAS, LLC., will raise the profile of food safety issues for the baking community. It will reference California’s Proposition 65 and the Food Safety Modernization Act in addressing topics such as material monitoring, risk assessment, and compliance and testing. 

ABA Hands-On Workshops

ABA will present two first-time IBIE workshops geared to beginner- to intermediate-level professionals who want to learn more about ingredient processing. Both sessions will be led by Brian Strouts, a technical advisor to ABA. 

Come See Us

The ABA is one of the co-owners of IBIE along with BEMA and in partnership with RBA. ABA helps companies navigate these big picture issues. We invite you to our booth in the West Hall Lobby to learn how to become a member or speak with the team to ensure your company is making the most of your membership.