With more than 1,400 exhibitors and over 30,000 visitors from around the globe, the International Production and Processing Expo (@IPPEexpo) that took place in Atlanta, Georgia from February 12th to 14th, 2019 was a must-attend event for all meat and poultry producers, retailers, and logistics and distribution companies.
Attendees from over 125 countries came to learn about the latest technology, equipment, and services used in the meat and egg industry which were showcased in three massive exhibition halls. If you missed it, here are our top five highlights of the conference:
1) Meeting With Industry Peers & Influencers
As cliché as it sounds, our number one highlight was meeting with potential partners, industry influencers, and peers. As a new startup, it is extremely satisfying and encouraging to get such positive feedback and validation!
It was very exciting to see the reaction of people stopping by the booth. While most had heard of IoT and blockchain-based services and smart components, they could not visualize how this would impact their supply chain. Seeing a demo brought home the benefits for many.
Chainvu's team was exhibiting as well — giving attendees and other exhibitors the opportunity to interact with Chainvu sensors and see first hand how they react to heat, shock, motion, and when moved outside of a predefined zone.
In addition, they took an end-to-end trip through the Chainvu-enabled supply chain and experienced how a successful delivery kicks off a blockchain transaction automatically.
2) Food Safety Is #1 Concern
2018 was a rough year for food safety — just think of the massive romaine lettuce recall because of potential E. coli contamination, or the 12 million pounds of beef that were recalled because of salmonella concerns. Every year, food safety concerns cost businesses $7 billion, not including the damaged brand and industry reputation!
Whenever we spoke to people during the conference, food safety was one of their major concerns. We were also very excited to see how genuinely people were concerned about the safety of the food they were producing.
[For more information, please watch our video on food safety.]
3) Traceability & Blockchain Is In The Food Supply Chain
Besides browsing the expo stands in the gigantic exhibition halls, conference attendees could also attend more than 35 educational sessions ranging from Beef 101 to succession planning for family farms. Two sessions were entirely dedicated to traceability and blockchain: "Navigating Traceability and Business Management Systems in the Meat and Poultry Industry" and "How to Prepare for the Blockchain Revolution".
The sessions confirmed Chainvu's fundamental belief in giving the entire supply chain full visibility, traceability, and transparency. As an industry in general, the meat industry is still on the brink of exploration of emerging technologies, such as Internet of Things, Blockchain, and Big Data — so much even that in some sessions, Extract, Load, and Transform (ETL), Data Warehousing (DW), and analytics on top of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems sounded like a novelty.
However, there are many early adopters eager to explore the benefits of blockchain and smart supply chains in the food industry, and it will be those fast movers that will be able to garner the biggest competitive advantage, while late adopters will enter when the market is more mature — and saturated.
4) Meeting Barry Carpenter
One of the highlights for the entire team was meeting the former President and CEO of the North American Meat Institute, Barry Carpenter, who was honored at the conference with the Richard E. Lyng Award for Public Service. Congratulations, sir!
And last but certainly not least, the Richard E. Lyng Award for Public Service goes to Former President and CEO of the North American Meat Institute, Barry Carpenter.— North American Meat Institute (@MeatInstitute) February 12, 2019
Thank you, Barry, for your years of steadfast leadership and guidance over the years. pic.twitter.com/hkV3hELkIg
5) Starting Trials & Pilots
Last but not least, we have had some amazing conversations with existing and new contacts looking to start a trial period to evaluate Chainvu's features or participate in pilots that allow customers to truly operate our platform solution in real-world conditions for an extended period of time to explore the multitude of benefits.
This is where the rubber hits the road and we cannot wait to get started.
If you are toying with the idea of embedding smart sensors, IoT, and blockchain technology into your supply chain — whether that is as a pallet manufacturer, producer, processor, integrator, distribution partner, or retailer — give us a shout and we would be happy to set up a trial for you!