Just as Covid has impacted all of our companies, the pandemic has impacted NAFFS as well. Thankfully – and I hope the same is true for your company – NAFFS was and continues to be able to adjust to the many pandemic-related curveballs.
Those of us who were able to attend NAFFS’ 2021 Convention in Longboat Key, Fla. were thrilled to be together in-person again.
Of course, at the core of any association event is the education lineup. This publication includes articles about the convention’s presentations. The articles will provide those unfamiliar with NAFFS’ offerings a snapshot into the high quality of the content at our meetings. Earlier in 2021, we were able to offer our annual Winter, California and Technical meetings, all three providing convenient opportunities for obtaining valuable industry information and insights. Though the meetings were offered in different formats – in-person or virtual – the primary focus was on content.
2022 will be no different – at least from the quality-content perspective. While I’m not even going to try to predict what things will look like as we make our way through the year, one thing I can state with confidence is that NAFFS’ programs – whether in-person, virtual or a hybrid – will feature knowledgeable speakers on topics of importance to our industry. That’s because the organization’s committees that create the programs are made up of people at different levels at different types of companies, so we get a great cross-section of input that helps us put together timely, interesting programs. I’ve served on several committees over the years and have enjoyed doing so. I encourage everyone reading this to consider joining a committee. Most NAFFS committees focus on one annual event. An initial call usually centers around discussing possible topics and speakers, with a few more calls to follow up and finalize things. There’s not a lot of heavy lifting and not much of a time commitment.
Our scholarship committee’s work is obviously focused on that program instead of a meeting. It’s been wonderful to see, through the direct support of member companies, that program grow to a point where NAFFS is able to make scholarship donations to approximately a dozen universities throughout the country. The students are so grateful. I look forward to one day reading a future edition of this publication in which this report is written by a NAFFS scholarship recipient.
I’m also hopeful many in the industry take advantage of the on-demand regulatory training NAFFS launched in 2020. The first two modules - Food Grade, USA and Gluten Free Claims, USA have been well received and we’re looking forward to the launch of future modules. Get the details at www.naffs.org.
That program is an example of how the NAFFS Board of Directors continually tries to stay on top – or ahead – of industry issues. The board realized the need to adjust the association’s offerings to meet the expectations and new norms for educational programs and wholeheartedly supported the on-demand training.
Those programs – and all benefits of NAFFS membership – are company benefits; everyone at NAFFS member companies is able to take that program, attend association events (in-person or virtually) at the discounted member rate, receive the information NAFFS sends out and contact the NAFFS office with questions. NAFFS membership is truly a great bargain. I hope those reading this who are with firms not yet members of NAFFS will make the decision to join. We’d love to have you!