Presentations on manufacturing and sustainability, as well as a cookie-cracker technical workshop and a NextGenBaker Leadership Forum are among the offerings on tap from the American Bakers Association as part of its education program for the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) set for Sept. 17-21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“We are offering education sessions that will matter to ABA members,” said Pippa O’Shea, education manager at the ABA. “These are curated sessions that enable baking industry attendees to learn about trends and identify challenges and gaps.”

Sustainability and supply chain, two issues capturing headlines in the grain-based foods industry on a nearly daily basis over the past year, will be examined in multiple sessions at IBIE.

Lee Sanders, senior vice president of government affairs at the ABA, will join a group of industry leaders for a session called “Supply chain challenges: a panel discussion.” The discussion will focus on supply chain strategies, policy efforts and future forecasts. Panelists will include Hayden Wands, vice president of global procurement, commodities for Grupo Bimbo, and Maggie Brown, director of global supply chain for Kwik Lok.

A second supply chain session, titled “The new rules for leveraging contract manufacturing relationships,” will focus on ways to view and manage supply chains by absorbing lessons from the pandemic. The session will be led by Carl Melville, managing partner for The Melville Group, LLC.

Meanwhile, Rasma Zvaners, vice president of regulatory and technical services at the ABA, will lead a session called “Transforming a traditional bakery with sustainability.” The session will include baker perspectives and information about government programs, the ABA said. A second sustainability session, “Regenerative ag,” will take a closer look at consumer expectations of companies and industry opportunities to support farm-based projects. The “Regenerative ag” session will be led by Shrene White, general manager for The Annex by Ardent Mills.

Food safety will be the focus of another education session at the meeting. Gina Reo, president of QAS, LLC, will discuss California’s Proposition 65 and the Food Safety Modernization Act as part of a session titled “ABA monitoring chemical hazards in foods.”

The ABA said it will be offering a full-day cookie-cracker technical workshop on Sept. 17. The workshop will include a panel on hybrid ovens, a cookie and cracker trends report, a session on plant-based ingredients and a networking cocktail reception for bakers and suppliers. The workshop also will feature an IncuBAKER ideation event during the workshop’s luncheon. The IncuBAKER event is designed to foster creative idea generation to help bakers and suppliers implement improvements in their facilities and operations, the ABA said.

Two first-time IBIE workshops also are slated for this year, the ABA said. The first, a gluten washing workshop, will address quality attributes and flour applications and performance. It also will examine a test that points to the quality and quantity of gluten in wheat flour. The second workshop will be interactive and will take a closer look at understanding leavening functionality. Participants in the second workshop will learn about the fundamentals of ingredients and have the opportunity to manipulate ingredients to change the physical and textural properties of a cookie, the ABA said.

Lastly, the ABA will bring together the baking industry’s decision makers and thought leaders for its Sept. 20 NextGenBaker Leadership Forum. Leaders from the ABA and NextGenBaker will discuss key leadership lessons that have been learned since the last IBIE held in 2019.