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Leading Experts Will 'Meat the Future' at Annual Meat Conference March 9-11, 2003, in Atlanta, GA

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Washington, DC - Three leading trend-watchers will headline the Annual Meat Conference, offering insights into the consumers of the future and how meat marketers can satisfy their desire for a variety of meat and poultry products. The Annual Meat Conference will be held March 9-11, 2003, at the Hilton Atlanta in Atlanta, GA.

During the first general session "Survival Guide for Competing Intelligently & Effectively in the Future," Dr. Barry Asmus, senior economist at the National Center for Policy Analysis, will offer his insights into the near and long-term future of business, technology and social and economic trends. And, noted international business development expert Ira Blumenthal will provide an in-depth analysis of the competitive marketplace.

Asmus, named one of the five most requested speakers in the U.S. by USA Today, has addressed business and agriculture groups of all sizes nationwide and is known for translating complex economic ideas into simple language people can understand. He also has served as a principle commentator on a nationally syndicated radio show called "Perspectives on the Economy" and can now be heard weekly on KMNY, a Los Angeles money and business talk show. Blumenthal, a former senior marketing manager for an innovative meat and poultry processing company, is now an author and featured media source for expertise on branding, market strategies and business development. The session will be held March 9 from 1:30-5 p.m.

Futurist Dr. Lowell Catlett will offer his insights during the Closing General Session "When Good Consumers Go Bad: Re-capturing the Mind of the Consumer.” Catlett, an economist and professor at New Mexico State University, is an expert in emerging technologies and their implications for the way people live and work. He will forecast how technology in both food production and preparation will impact companies and consumers alike. In a recent column called "The Wealth Effect" Catlett said, "Customers are doing two major things right now with food-they are paying for brands and moving from consuming commodity type food products to higher quality products." As a consultant to Fortune 500 companies nationwide, Catlett offers advice on how to leverage these trends." He is renowned for his animated, upbeat and engaging presentation style that prompts audiences to say "I never thought of it that way." He received his doctorate in economics from Iowa State University. The session will be held March 11 from 9-11:30 a.m.

The Annual Meat Conference also will include a product tasting reception, technology fair and an agenda packed with insightful information about trends in meat and poultry marketing. The conference is sponsored by the American Meat Institute and the Food Marketing Institute. Associate sponsors include the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Pork Board and the National Turkey Federation.

Registration for the conference is $595 per person for members of sponsoring organizations, $545 when three or more people register together. To download the registration form and for ongoing information updates, go to http://www.meatconference.com. For questions about registration, contact Elizabeth Newton, enewton@fmi.org, 202/452-8444.

AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Together, AMI's members produce 95 percent of the beef, pork, lamb and veal products and 70 percent of the turkey products in the U.S. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute provides legislative, regulatory, public relations, technical, scientific and educational services to the industry. Its affiliate, the AMI Foundation, is a separate 501(c)3 organization that conducts research, education and information projects for the industry.

Food Marketing Institute (FMI) conducts programs in research, education, industry relations and public affairs on behalf of its 2,300 member companies - food retailers and wholesalers - in the United States and around the world. FMI's U.S. members operate approximately 26,000 retail food stores with a combined annual sales volume of $340 billion - three-quarters of all food retail store sales in the United States. FMI's retail membership is composed of large multi-store chains, regional firms and independent supermarkets. Its international membership includes 200 companies from 60 countries.

For more information contact:
Janet Riley
Vice President, Public Affairs
Josee Daoust
Manager, Public Affairs

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