MCLEAN, VA. — The Food Processing Suppliers Association (F.P.S.A.) held its Annual Conference in Cancun, Mexico from March 10 – 13, 2010. Paul Kafer, from Smithfield Foods was keynote speaker at the M.I.S.A. (Meat Industry Suppliers Alliance) session.

“It’s all about the plants” said Paul Kafer, assistant vice president for corporate engineering at Smithfield Foods. “Our plants are where the action is…and our supplier program that was launched a few years ago was designed to focus our efforts on our plants.”

Mr. Kafer reviewed the critical elements of the Smithfield Foods Supplier Program including one of its central themes, Life Cycle Cost of Ownership. “Understanding and measuring life cycle costs is fundamental to the success of the program and in helping our plants control costs” Mr. Kafer said.

By using this program purchase decisions are not made on the initial purchase price but on the basis of quantifiable total ownership cost. Smithfield will provide a Life Cycle Cost Model (LCCM) for those suppliers who lack the diagnostics necessary to measure the LLC of their assets.

Another key for suppliers to understand about doing business with Smithfield Foods is their emphasis on “Return on Invested Capital,” which Mr. Kafer defined as “total assets less excess cash less non-interest bearing liabilities.”

“For payback calculations, the project must clearly show the area where less cash will be spent for inputs or more cash will be generated by output of product by the plant. Remember,” concluded Mr. Kafer, “it is all about the plants”.

At its annual business meeting, M.I.S.A. members elected the officers and directors of the board for the 2010-2011 year. Officers are: George Reed, F.R. Drake, chairman; Tom Hoffman, Mepaco, vice-chairman; and, Shawn Nicholas, Baader, USA, immediate past chairman. New directors are: Kevin Howard, Provisur; Tom Kittle, Handtmann; Rudy Koewelyn, Weber; and Jan Kuhlmann, Multivac.

The M.I.S.A. Foundation held its Annual Banquet and Auction where more than $40,000 was raised for the M.I.S.A. Foundation Scholarship Program. “We grant $25,000 annually to students who will be the future leaders in our industry”, said Craig Hess of Speco Inc., chairman of the Board of Trustees of the M.I.S.A. Foundation. “We grant three $5,000 awards from M.I.S.A. and one $10,000 scholarship jointly with the generous support of Siemens, Inc.”

The President’s Cup, an annual golf competition among the various industry councils of FPSA, was contested at the conference. A team playing for M.I.S.A. was victorious for the second year in a row. The other councils will have to wait until March, 2011, in Palm Springs the next site of the F.P.S.A. Conference, to wrest the cup from M.I.S.A.

The Food Processing Suppliers Association (F.P.S.A.) is a global trade association serving suppliers in the food and beverage industries. The association's programs and services support member’s success by providing assistance in marketing their products and services, overall improvement in key business practices and many opportunities to network among industry colleagues.

Programs and services to achieve these objectives include PROCESS EXPO (industry leading trade show), electronic media marketing, education, market intelligence, research, and advocation of critical industry issues such as food safety, sanitary design of equipment, and global trade.

F.P.S.A. members are organized in vertical industry councils, which focus on specific needs and concerns that are unique to each industry sector. F.P.S.A. councils currently represent the Bakery, Beverage, Dairy, Fruits & Vegetable and Meat sectors.