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OSU to hold 'Going Green' conference May 20

Oklahoma

More than 100 food industry representatives will participate in the Food Industry Trends Conference on May 20.

Hosted by Oklahoma State University's Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center in Stillwater, the conference will focus on "going green" in the food and agricultural industries.

"We hear a lot about the importance of sustainability these days," said Christina DeWitt, FAPC food chemist. "This conference was designed to introduce people to some of the important topic areas that are relevant to sustainability and provide them with some insight on how sustainability issues are and will impact the food industry."

According to Supermarket News, the environment remains a concern for the majority of Americans. One-third, or 35 percent, of survey respondents say they would pay more for environmentally friendly products.

Participants will learn industry efforts in implementing sustainable or "green" practices into the workplace. Highlighted topic areas include eco footprint minimization and "going green" in food sanitization.

Additional discussion topics during the conference will include an introduction to carbon credits and how they are currently being used, which will be followed by a separate discussion on how carbon credits might impact the food industry.

Participants also will be given insight into the energy and water issues that are key to this region and introduced to the topic of "building envelopes," how building design can be used to minimize environmental impact and improve sustainability.

Discussions also are planned on trends in packaging and the application of environmentally responsible food sanitation that improve corporate sustainability efforts.

The keynote speaker will be Cashion East of the Sustainability Consortium. The Sustainability Consortium is an independent organization of diverse global participants who work collaboratively to build a scientific foundation that drives innovation to improve consumer product sustainability through a product's life cycle. A complete listing of the members can be found at www.sustainabilityconsortium.org/members.

Other speakers during the Food Industry Trends Conference include Robert Wegener, Oklahoma Secretary of Energy; Wouter Moormann, PURAC; Larry Sanders and Damian Adams, OSU Department of Agricultural Economics; Rodney Holcomb, OSU Department of Agricultural Economics and FAPC; and Mike Smolen, OSU Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering.

"We are fortunate to have such a variety of speakers discuss many of the areas important to sustainability in the food industry," said Erin Early, FAPC business and marketing client coordinator.

The cost for the conference is $200 (cash or check) and includes lunch, snacks and conference materials. The registration deadline is May 7.

Register online at www.fapc.biz/goinggreen/index.html, call Karen Smith at 405-744-6277 or e-mail karenl.smith@okstate.edu.



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