The 15th Joint Annual Conference of the American Butter Institute (ABI) and the American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI) was held April 28-30, 2013 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown. This year's meeting drew over 850 industry executives, government officials, academia, and media.
The two-and-a-half-day meeting addressed the manufactured dairy product industry's latest challenges and opportunities, featuring presentations from a wide range of speakers. The opening panel discussion outlined topics and issues that would affect business, including weather conditions, feed costs, global economic and population growth, as well as production and pricing.
Other topics covered included industry relations and opportunities with China, dairy industry traceability issues, best practices to follow in the event of a recall, and uses of milk protein concentrate as an ingredient. Top industry chief executives also shared their vision of opportunities for the dairy industry in future years.
The 2013 conference also featured a silent auction that was held during the Grand Chicago Reception, which raised $5,000 to benefit the Jim Page Memorial Scholarship Fund. In addition, Phillip S. Tong, Professor of Dairy Science and Director of the Dairy Products Technology Center at California Polytechnic State University, received the 2013 ADPI Award of Merit.
The ABI Board Meeting was held on Tuesday, April 30th, where the board elected Josh White, Hoogwegt, U.S., Inc.; William Schreiber, O-AT-KA Milk Products Coop, Inc.; and Keith Murfield, United Dairymen of Arizona to serve on the ABI Board for 2013-2014. The board also got an opportunity to listen to presentations on ABI's Strategic Planning Meeting, Butter Economic & Market Outlook , an update on the Butter Promotion Program, as well as learn more about the REAL® Seal and Cooperative Working Together.
The complimentary social hours held each afternoon in the exhibit hall and the sizeable receptions held on Monday and Tuesday evenings provided abundant opportunities to network with producers, marketers, suppliers, distributors, and brokers of manufactured dairy products.