Highlights from the IPPE 2019 show in Atlanta

By Ashley Williams

- Last updated on GMT

The IPPE 2019 show was held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, US
The IPPE 2019 show was held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, US
The International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) reported record-breaking numbers for this year’s show, with 33,000 attendees and 1,420 exhibitors visiting Atlanta, Georgia last week.

Described as the world’s largest annual meat and poultry event, IPPE exhibitors showcased some of the newest technologies in equipment, supplies and services used by companies in the meat production and processing industry.

Exhibitors also displayed some of the latest meat products on offer, while the event’s educational programme schedules saw industry experts conduct several talks and debates to inform consumers about the latest issues affecting the meat sector.

The event was sponsored by three of the biggest names in the US meat industry: the US Poultry & Egg Association, American Feed Industry Association and the North American Meat Institute (NAMI).

The three bodies said there was a sense of “excitement and energy​” from this year’s attendees and exhibitors.

The expanded trade show floor and attendee and exhibitor numbers continue to complement IPPE’s comprehensive education sessions, valuable networking opportunities and extensive exhibits, showcasing the latest innovative technology, equipment and services for our industries​,” said the trio of organisations.

GlobalMeatNews​ attended the IPPE show and spoke with some of the biggest names in the industry, including new NAMI president Julie Anna Potts and executive director of The American Association of Meat Processors Christopher Young.

Here are some of the highlights from the trip to the US.

Meat Industry Hall of Fame

A highlight of the meat industry’s calendar, the sector’s biggest names came together to celebrate the successes of the US meat industry, as well as discussing some of the challenges that processors should expect.

Held at the Omni hotel in Atlanta’s CNN Center, it featured a networking event, with several high-profile members of the industry in attendance, including former president of NAMI Barry Carpenter and several members of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The keynote address on the evening was given by Barry Carpenter’s successor Julie Anna Potts, who praised the passion and enthusiasm of the sector, but also warned that there was much work to do to address major industry challenges.

The event concluded with the induction of seven people into the 2019 Meat Industry Hall of Fame, who spoke about their successes over the past year.

Emotions were high during the evening, particularly from one of the inductees Rod Bowling, marketing specialist for USDA, who could not hold back the tears when collecting his accolade – a moment that captivated the whole room.

Educational programmes

The 2019 line-up included more than 200 hours of education sessions, ranging from meat and poultry labelling, sow nutrition and health interactions, to wastewater treatment challenges for the poultry and egg industry.

One highlight from the talks was the animal agriculture sustainability summit, with presentations from JBS USA, Tyson Foods and Cargill, which discussed how they planned to develop their companies’ programs, tools and projects to produce more protein in a sustainable fashion.

Other engaging talks included the Meat Industry Regulatory Update on policy and compliance. NAMI’s senior vice president for regulatory and scientific affairs Mark Dopps discussed some of the major regulatory issues affecting meat processors in the past year and covered the challenges to expect for 2019. One of the key discussions concerned the primary jurisdiction argument over plant-based proteins, with Dopps exclusively telling GlobalMeatNews ​that labelling plant-based proteins as a ‘meat’ product was “illegal​”​ and many companies were still “getting away with it​”.

IPPE equipment

Sealed Air showcasing its latest equipment

Equipment innovation

Some of the meat processing equipment on offer at IPPE was astonishing and it seems that technology is continuing to get better every single year to meet the growing demands of the industry.

Several major equipment manufacturing companies were present during the show, including INFICON and Reiser, which showcased their latest releases.

Reiser introduced its Fabbri Automatic Stretch Film Wrapping machine, which packs fresh meat and poultry, wrapping the pre-formed trays so they are ready for retail. Fabbri Stretch Wrappers employ four-way stretch technology to produce tight, wrinkle-free packages with securely sealed bottoms.

Meanwhile, INFICON introduced its non-destructive leak detection technology to the US meat and poultry market for the first time. The equipment is designed to help meat and poultry manufacturers detect leaks in modified atmosphere and flexible packaging.

Introduced to GlobalMeatNews​ by INFICON CEO Bill Burnard, the meat package is placed between two membranes that create a conformal vacuum chamber. Gas flows through any package leaks into the chamber, where it causes an increase in pressure. The chamber calculates the package’s leak rate and delivers results in seconds. These are then reported via an easy-to-read display screen and distinctive red and green LED lights, incorporated into the machine’s acrylic lid, which also communicates if a leak has been detected.

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