ELIZABETHTOWN, PA. – The American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP) announced on June 15 that it is canceling its annual convention, which was scheduled for July 30-Aug. 1 in Des Moines, Iowa.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, it’s become clear that in the face of an unprecedented situation, we had a tough decision to make,” said Rick Reams, AAMP president. “We understand how important the AAMP Convention is to the industry and we know that this will come as a disappointment to those who had planned for months to attend. While it is not the outcome we wanted, the safety of our attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, vendor partners, and our AAMP staff is the most important.”

AAMP said this will be the first time in 75 years that it will not hold its annual event. The last time it was canceled was in 1945 due to the ending of World War II.

The association was expecting about 1,200 attendees for this year’s convention. On May 26, AAMP outlined a plan to hold the convention in light of the pandemic.

“We recognize the magnitude of this decision for the association and our membership,” said Chris Young, AAMP executive director. “This year, we were especially looking forward to the convention taking place in AAMP’s birthplace hometown of Des Moines; however, the well-being of our members, staff, and Iowa hosts has to be the number one concern, and that drove our decision-making.

“Furthermore, there is fear among public health officials that there will be more waves of the virus in the coming months,” Young added. “Although agency guidance has varied, social distancing efforts will likely remain in effect, making gatherings such as our convention challenging.”

AAMP will work directly with conference registrants and exhibitors to discuss refunds and how to proceed in the next few weeks.

The 2021 AAMP Convention is scheduled to take place July 15-17,2021, in Oklahoma City.

MEAT+POULTRY continues to track trade shows, conferences and seminars for cancellations and postponements, as well as those sticking to their original schedule.