Economic outlook to inform Protein Summit attendees

That the U.S. cattle herd is at its lowest level in 60 years, a trend pushing beef prices to historic highs, is just one of the challenges facing meat processors and buyers planning to attend the upcoming 2012 Protein Innovation Summit.

Farha Aslam, managing director of Stephens Inc., will provide an economic outlook not only on beef but also on pork and poultry prices at the event. Her presentation will help purveyors as they navigate a new landscape of buying and menu development decisions.

The Protein Innovation Summit connects chefs and product development professionals from foodservice companies with their R&D counterparts from meat and poultry processing companies to discuss issues and trends impacting product and menu development. The 2012 event, co-presented by HOTELS, Meatingplace and Plate magazines, will be held April 16 and 17 at the Trump Hotel, Chicago.

In addition to managing food costs amid soaring protein prices, the 2012 program also will feature a segment on sustainability and heath/nutrition. Other agenda highlights include:

  • Keynotes by Jon Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota; John Cain Carter, founder of Aliança da Terra in Brazil; and Matthew Smith, global innovation leader for Cargill’s Animal Nutrition, Animal Protein and Salt businesses
  • Original consumer and market research on health and nutrition, presented by Technomic
  • Case-study presentations by Chipotle, Smithfield Foods, Hyatt Hotels and Rock River Ranches on the practical realities of creating and maintaining a sustainable meat supply chain
  • A farm-to-fork panel discussion, moderated by Forbes/The Daily columnist Trevor Butterworth, that addresses converging and conflicting sustainability agendas throughout the supply chain. Panelists include Sodexo, Niman Ranch, Animal Agriculture Alliance and Chicago Green Restaurant Co-Op=
  • Case-study presentations by Tallgrass Beef, Fairmont Hotels, AdvancePierre Foods and Culver’s Franchising Systems, on tackling nutritional issues
  • A panel discussion, moderated by Forbes/The Daily columnist Trevor Butterworth, on the challenges of balancing nutrition, flavor and customer expectations. Panelists include Technomic, RMH Foods, Flik/Compass Group and Hyatt Hotels
  • Carcass optimization cutting/tasting demos by David Burke Primehouse at The James Hotel, Pioneer Meats, and butcher/author Kari Underly
  • Opportunities to discuss collaborative strategies with foodservice and hotel corporate chefs, meat and poultry buyers, processors and supply-chain partners to optimize the R&D process

To learn more about the summit or to register, click here.