I recently had the opportunity thanks to our membership in the Northwest Iowa Development who sponsored my attendance to be at the 2009 International Food and Technology Show in Anaheim, California.
There were over 800 exhibitors in Anaheim and nearly 200 educational sessions with more than 14,000 food professional attending the show to hear about the latest food science and technology developments, learn about the newest products and trends, and build stronger professional relationships.
The show moves its location every year. Last year it was held in New Orleans and next year it will be held in Chicago where the event will be co-located with the Food Processing Suppliers Association (FPSA) Process Expo, bringing together two premier meetings and tens of thousands of food industry professionals interested in product development, processing, packaging, and the science of food.
The relevance in attending the show is that we have a cluster of food processing and distribution businesses in Cherokee County and Northwest Iowa.
Our hope is to make a connection with other businesses that can provide services to or would be interested in locating near one of our existing businesses. We also hope to raise the level of recognition of Iowa and particularly Northwest Iowa as a major production and processing center of food in the country.
Our time is split between manning a booth, which was located in the middle of a number of Iowa companies that were exhibiting and walking the floor prospecting potential companies.
I was able to speak with a couple of companies that had potential connection with local companies and two other contacts for businesses looking for a new location. We are following up on these leads.
While these certainly are long odds, it does allow us to make these business contacts and get our name out in front of the cutting edge in food processing and technology.
Some of the Iowa companies that were in attendance were Sioux Bee Honey, Soylink, Proliant Meat Ingredients, Gelita, Asoyia and Cresco Food Technologies to name a few.