Organizers of the 2022 Annual Meat Conference have canceled this year's in-person event, which had been slated to take place Feb. 7-9 in Washington, D.C.
The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) and FMI–The Food Industry Association said in a statement that they made the decision to cancel this year's conference "out of respect for the health of our communities and due to the attention and consideration our respective members are putting into their operations."
In place of the in-person event, a three-part virtual discussion series hosted by NAMI and FMI in partnership with Sealed Air will kick off Feb. 7; additional information on that offering is forthcoming, according to the organizers. The discussion series will focus on analysis of the latest Power of Meat report and will be free to all previously registered attendees as well as NAMI and FMI members.
"Like the meat and poultry industry, many of our partners in retail are experiencing significant operational and supply chain challenges," NAMI President and CEO Julie Anna Potts said in the statement. "At this time, attending an in-person conference is difficult, which diminishes the value of the event for all participants."
All registered attendees, exhibitors and sponsors of the 2022 in-person event will receive a full refund, and the conference will cancel all hotel reservations, according to organizers.
"We look forward to hosting our 2023 event March 6-8, 2023, at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas," NAMI and FMI said on the conference's website.
Earlier this week, FMI said it was pausing plans for its Midwinter Executive Conference, slated to begin later this month in Orlando. FMI hopes to host the event at a "later date in 2022 when circumstances improve," association President and CEO Leslie Sarasin said in a statement. Meanwhile, the National Retail Federation's NRF 2022: Retail's Big Show is moving forward as scheduled, with events scheduled to begin Jan. 16 in New York City.