2019 Seattle Conference Recap

In 2019, we gathered at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront from October 18 to 21. The conference theme, “From Local to Global: Innovative Strategies for Changing Food Distribution Networks” focused on creative applications and technologies aimed at improving the economic efficiency and overall effectiveness of the world food system.

Our FDRS Board met on October 18 and discussed plans for the future, including our next conference, upcoming plans for our journal, and more. We also welcomed two new board members, Dr. Matthew Salois (Chief Economist, American Veterinary Medical Association) as Vice President of Industry Relations and Dr. Zoë Plakias (Assistant Professor at Ohio State University) as Vice President of Communications. We then gathered for a fun and tasty seafood lunch and headed to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, where we learned about Starbucks' coffee sourcing, roasting, and quality control process.

On Saturday, October 19, we welcomed seven student teams for our Food Marketing Challenge competition. They were tasked with developing a marketing plan for our local industry partner Pear Up Cider, based across the Cascades in Wenatchee, WA. Our teams hailed from Arkansas State University, California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, California State University Chico, California State University Fresno, Texas A&M University, the University of Delaware and the University of Missouri Columbia. After preliminary judging by our professional economist judges and final judging by Pear Up Cider CEO Kevin Van Reenen, the winners of our competition were California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo (1st place), University of Missouri Columbia (2nd place) and University of Delaware (3rd place). These awards were given at our welcome reception on Sunday, October 20, after an afternoon of optional guided tours of Seattle's famous Pike Place market.

Our main presentations took place on Monday, October 21. After an early breakfast to discuss FDRS business, we enjoyed two keynote plenary sessions, one on U.S. Agri-Food Trade Policy and one on Transportation Challenges for Agricultural and Food Products, welcoming industry guests from around the Pacific Northwest. During lunch, we heard from Tatiana Drugova, a Ph.D. graduate of Utah State University, the 2019 winner of our Richardson-Applebaum Scholarship Award For Outstanding Graduate Research on Food Distribution and Marketing. Dr. Drugova presented a summary of her dissertation, “The Organic Wheat Market: Three Essays on Pricing, Consumer Segments, and the Importance of Labels.” Dr. Drugova's work was advised by long-time FDRS member, Dr. Kynda Curtis. We also recognized our 2019 winner of our Richardson-Applebaum Scholarship Award For Outstanding Graduate Research on Food Distribution and Marketing. We also recognized Emma Boase, a graduate of the University of Missouri, Columbia, who received our Richardson-Applebaum Award for Best MS Thesis on Food Distribution and Marketing. Her thesis was titled “How We Think Drives How We Taste: A Conjoint Analysis with Auction Mechanism and Consumption of Yogurt Products.”

Throughout Monday afternoon, October 21, we shared our research on a wide variety of topics, including agricultural value chains, consumer choices and diets, beverage supply chain, innovation and risk in agricultural supply chains, consumer attitudes toward food choices, food labels and claims, social issues influencing food choices, market trends and behavior, international and ethnic food markets, producer issues and decisions. We wrapped up with our awards banquet on Monday evening, ending another enjoyable and productive conference.

2019 FDRS Conference Schedule

Friday, October 18, 2019

  • 10 am til noon - FDRS Board Meeting – Executive Boardroom Seattle Marriott Waterfront, 2100 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121
  • 12:30 – 2 pm - FDRS Board Lunch – The Crabpot Restaurant, (206)624-1890, 1301 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121
  • 2:30 – 3:30 pm - FDRS Exclusive Board Event – Starbucks Roastery Experience: Tour and Tasting (Princi Pastry and Truffle Pairing)

Saturday, October 19, 2019

  • 7:30 – 8:30 am – FDRS Board breakfast with Food Marketing Challenge (FMC) student team members and coaches
  • 9 am til noon – S1067 Annual Meeting
  • 9 am – 8 pm – Food Marketing Challenge- Student Competition

Sunday, October 20, 2019

  • 1 pm – 4:30 pm Pike Place Tour for 50 (4 groups of 12 at 1:15 pm, 1:30, 1:45 and 2:00 pm) Please meet in the lobby of the hotel at 1pm
  • Noon til 5:30 pm – Posters placed in meeting room lobby area
  • 6:30 – 8 pm – FDRS Welcome Reception (hors d oeuvres/beverages) and FMC Student Awards

Monday, October 21, 2019

  • 7:00 – 7:45 am FDRS Business Meeting (full breakfast included)
  • 7:45 – 8:00 am Break
  • 8:00 – 8:05 am Welcome comments
  • 8:05 – 8:40 am Keynote – Jason Hafemeister, Special Trade Counsel, USDA – “The Future of U.S. Agri-Food Trade Policy”
  • 8:45 – 10 am Plenary Session #1 (Keynote speaker from Washington State Dept of Ag)
    • Jason Hafemeister, Special Trade Counsel, USDA
    • Elisa Daun - Trade Specialist International Marketing Program Washington State Department of Agriculture
    • Bill Bryant - Seattle Port Commission
    • Mark Powers - President of the Northwest Horticultural Council
    • Andrew Muhammad, Blasingame Chair of Excellence Professor, University of Tennessee
    • Karina Gallardo (Moderator), Associate Professor, Washington State University
  • 10 – 10:30 am Networking Break/Poster reviews
  • 10:30 – 11:45 am Plenary Session #2 “Transportation Challenges for Agricultural and Food Products”
    • Matt Harris, Director of Government Affairs, Washington State Potato Commission
    • Anne Goodchild, Professor at University of Washington, Director of the Urban Freight Lab
    • Greg Guthrie, Director of Agriculture Products, BNSF Railroad
    • Jon DeVaney, President of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association
    • Eric Jessup (Moderator), Director, Freight Policy Transportation Institute, Washington State University
  • Noon – 1:30 pm Richardson-Applebaum Awards Luncheon - Speaker Tatiana Drugova, Utah State University, Richardson-Applebaum Scholarship Award For Outstanding Graduate Research on Food Distribution and Marketing, Ph.D. dissertation “The Organic Wheat Market: Three Essays on Pricing, Consumer Segments, and the Importance of Labels”
  • 1:30 – 3 pm Concurrent breakout sessions
  • 3 – 3:30 pm Networking Break/Poster reviews
  • 3:30 – 5 pm Concurrent breakout sessions
  • 6 – 8 pm FDRS Awards Banquet

Conference close