Early bird registration for the convention opened yesterday and runs through January 11. The theme of the NCA 2017 Annual Convention is the concept of innovation, while a special 2.5-day Preventive Control Qualified Individual (PCQI) training program that leads to the PCQI certification required by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will run March 21-23, immediately preceding the event.
“It’s a particularly challenging time to be in the coffee business, with pressures coming from new legislation, volatile markets, sustainability concerns and complex regulatory changes,” NCA President and CEO Bill Murray said in an NCA announcement yesterday. “We design our Convention programming to give industry members the knowledge and perspective they need to turn those challenges into business-boosting opportunities.”
The event’s three keynote speakers are Ugandan refugee and social entrepreneur Derreck Kayongo, creator of the Global Soap Project and current CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights; Scott Dikkers, the Thurber and Peabody prize-winning founder of The Onion; and author and marketing expert Scott Stratten, whose focus is on the concepts of “unselling” and “unmarketing” to engage consumers.
Here’s more from the NCA on what to expect from the 2017 convention:
Rounding out the Convention educational program are in-depth sessions devoted to current topics. They include sustainability, market research findings, science-based regulatory issues, crop diversity efforts, commodities market developments and directions in the U.S. economy. The Convention’s special events provide quality networking, social and community service opportunities.
Networking is on the agenda at several special receptions — events for new members and young professionals, the welcome, farewell and theme celebrations, and the first all-attendees networking luncheon.
Kicking off the meeting will be the NCA Day of Service, now an important staple of each NCA Convention, to demonstrate the industry’s volunteer commitment to the city in which it is meeting. The Convention also features a table-top exhibition, a format that combines the benefits of a trade show with one-on-one meetings with coffee executives.