Refrigerated Foods Association Announces Virtual Spring Symposium Schedule

Atlanta, GA – The Refrigerated Foods Association (RFA) announced the schedule and opened registration for their Virtual Spring Symposium, being held April 20-21.  The event will run from 1:00-4:00 pm ET each day.  Registration is by company, so any number of individuals from each registered business can attend the event for one low fee.  Sponsorships are available.

Kicking off the event on April 20 is Suzy Badaracco, President of Culinary Tides, who will present “Navigating Online Grocery & Meal Delivery Trends for 2021 & Beyond.”  Suzy has been practicing trends intelligence and predictive forecasting for more than 15 years, and has been able to help navigate food trends by revealing relevant patterns so manufacturers can create products that connect with customers.  Suzy’s presentation will help attendees better predict opportunities and pathways for ensuring product success in the marketplace.

Following Suzy’s presentation, Arturo Ania and Andrea Jones of DuPont Sustainable Solutions will address Employee Safety Culture with their presentation, “Your People: The Key to Building a Safe and High Performing Culture.”  The presentation will cover how to engage and empower employees in creating a safer culture; the role of leadership in this endeavor; and sustaining these improvements in the workplace.

Tuesday’s final presentation will be delivered by Diane Marret, Sustainability Director, Consumer Packaging, NA at Berry Global.  She will address “Developments in Sustainable Food Packaging,” focusing on recyclability, material sourcing, optimized production practices and transportation impacts, and more.  Diane will help attendees align their product innovation strategy towards their targeted goals, and consider product design and material choices.

A very familiar face to the RFA family will kick off the day on Wednesday, with RFA’s Technical Director Martin Mitchell discussing “Life After COVID: What’s New in 2021”.  Marty will hit on the hot topics of the day, including traceability; regulatory issues; and pathogens.  Marty’s presentations are always much anticipated and highly rated for their relevance and clarity.

Dr. Jennifer McIntyre, Senior Vice President at United Fresh Produce Association, will discuss “Traceability in the Produce Industry: Improving Food Safety or Creating Paperwork?”  Her presentation will give an overview of the state of traceability in the produce industry, including the history and current implementation of the Produce Traceability Initiative, which has served as a model for interoperability for other perishable foods.  It will also highlight the elements of the proposed rule that will have the greatest impact on the produce supply chain, and offer a perspective on the extent to which implementation of this rule will improve produce safety.

“Illegal Interview Questions” will be covered by Jim Wimberly, Principal in the labor firm of Wimberly, Lawson, Steckel, Schneider & Stine P.C. in Atlanta.  Jim will provide practical information for employers on the legal and practical considerations to keep in mind in designing application interview questions.  He will help attendees understand special issues arising from using third-party providers, the effective use of employment “disclaimers,” what to say to rejected applicants, and current and controversial issues of the day regarding hiring.

The event will close with an inspiring presentation on “Building a Bigger, Better Future… The Dream Manager.”  Chris DeVlieger of The Suter Company and Kate Volman of Floyd Consulting will deliver this presentation, based on Matthew Kelly’s best-selling book, The Dream Manager.  This program is specifically designed to help people become the best version of themselves, resulting in happier and more fulfilling lives.  This program was conducted at The Suter Company, resulting in increased employee engagement, improved retention and significant improvement in the company’s culture.

The Refrigerated Foods Association’s Virtual Spring Symposium is open to both members and non-members.  For more information, visit the RFA website: or contact the RFA Headquarters at