LOUISVILLE, KY — What began in 108 years ago as a gathering of 35 men from three countries has grown to more than 4,300 people from dozens of countries, and there’s no reason to think the IAFP is going to stop growing.

At the annual conference of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) here this week attendees learned that the $2 million goal for the group’s foundation — which was set for 2020 — has already been achieved. The foundation supports educational efforts of the association. 

The foundation has traditionally funded travel scholarships for students pursuing degrees in food safety fields as well as travel grants for professionals from a variety of countries. 

Since 2010 the group has spent $418,000 on the scholarships and grants, according to IAFP past president Gary Acuff, who said the experience of attending the annual conference “can be life changing.” This year the foundation selected 31 people from 232 applicants to receive about $75,000 in travel awards.

The foundation is also now paying for IAFP webinars to further extend the reach of the association.

In addition to the growth of the foundation and its programs, the IAFP itself wis growing. The association issued a new charter to Japan’s Association of Food Protection, making the island nation the newest member of the IAFP family.

While the association is growing in total membership and adding new country chapters, there is some concern about the number of sustaining numbers, said Tim Jackson, outgoing IAFP president. He said that decline is largely because of the number of corporate mergers.

Other IAFP news

  • The association has been working to bring it’s scientific publication, the Journal of Food Protection into the digital age. The project is virtually complete not that all previous editions of the journal are now available online, said Jackson. The publication also has a new look following a redesign.
  • Recipients of the IAFP Fellows Award this year are Francisco Diez-Gonzales. Linda Harris, Steve Ricke and Tori Stivers.
  • The Peanut Proud Student Scholarship award was presented to Kaitlyn Casulli.
  • Diamond Level contributors to the foundation, giving $2,500 or more, are Larry Beuchat, Betsy Booren, Dale Grinstead, Paul Hall, Lisa Lane, Mansour Samadpour, Jenny Scott and Tori Stivers. 

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