The merger of ABA and the Biscuit & Cracker Manufacturers’ Association (B&CMA) stands to increase the influence of both associations into the future.

Robb MacKie, ABA’s president and CEO, says many policy priorities will be addressed this year that could benefit not only the baking industry but also food and beverage as a whole. With the B&CMA merger coming soon, ABA aptly gave this year’s convention the theme “Stronger Together.”

“I am very excited about it, from the talent of the professional team to the energy and enthusiasm from the respective members, I think the value proposition and the relevancy that each of our organizations brings to the table together will be much greater than the two parts,” Mr. MacKie says.

The 2017 ABA Convention will be held March 26-29 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, Boca Raton, FL.

ABA’s meeting will be co-located with and preceded by the B&CMA Annual Convention, taking place on March 24 and 25. Both meetings will focus on building relationships, collaborating, learning and sharing ideas to advance the baking industry. And with more than 500 of the baking industry’s leaders expected to attend, the co-located events provide new ways to expand ABA’s mission of providing the voice of a cohesive industry.

“We really wanted to build on that because, ­whether it’s the policy side or the marketplace, we believe the industry is much stronger when we’re united,” Mr. MacKie says. “And that includes bakers, suppliers and the entire supply chain, including customers.”

More details about the merger will be released in the days leading up to the convention. Mr. MacKie is confident that with all of the changes ahead, there will be a new level of excitement from everyone involved.

“Coming out of the convention, the goal is to have a completely unified industry in support of not only our policy priorities but also in terms of the industry initiatives that we want to undertake,” Mr. MacKie says.