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Schedule is subject to change.

Sunday 02.11

9:00 AM 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Location: The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom Foyer
9:30 AM 9:30 - 11:00 AM
Sweetener Users Association Board Meeting
Location: Genoa II
Noon Noon 
Golf Tournament *
Location: The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club
6:00 PM 6:00 - 7:30 PM
Welcome Reception
Location: Da Vinci Lawn
9:00 PM 9:00 - 11:30 PM
After-Hours Party 
Location: Siena I-II

Monday 02.12

7:30 AM 7:30 AM - Noon
Location: The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom Foyer
8:00 AM 8:00 - 9:00 AM
Session I - Breakfast and Keynote Address
Location: The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom I-III
Jason Hafemeister is the Trade Counsel at the U.S. Department of Agriculture where he advises Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney on agricultural trade policy. One of the country’s most informed and respected agricultural and trade policy experts, Hafemeister previously served as lead U.S. agriculture negotiator for the World Trade Organization’s Doha Round of negotiations, which aimed to lower trade barriers and increase global trade. He has held several policy leadership roles at both the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and USDA prior to his current position. Hafemeister has acquired a keen understanding of the issues facing the U.S. sweetener sector and is uniquely qualified to provide the latest insights on the U.S. government’s trade agenda for agriculture.
Jason Hafemeister
, Trade Counsel to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
9:15 AM 9:15 - 10:30 AM
Session II - A Path Forward to Achieve a Sustainable Sugar Sector
Location: The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom IV-VI
After a number of industry-wide discussions over the past year on pre-competitive cooperation on sugar sustainability issues, this panel of speakers will help you assess how sustainable sugar efforts stack up against sustainability progress for other commodities, and outline the existing platforms already in place in the European Union for sugar beets, which may be used as baseline experiences to determine the best way to advance a sustainable sugar sector in the Americas. This session is sure to be an eye-opener to anyone who is aware of the supply chain sustainability challenges to end-users, refiners, mills and growers.
Alissa Marturano
, Sustainability Sourcing Insights Manager, Mars Wrigley Confectionery
Jamie Barsimantov
, Chief Operating Officer, SupplyShift Inc. 
Nick Betts, Program Manager, Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform
Rod Snyder, President, Field to Market
10:30 AM 10:30 - 11:00 AM 
Networking Break
11:00 AM 11:00 AM - Noon 
Session III - Domestic Sugar Market Outlook
Location: The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom IV-VI
Who will hold the strongest hand in the 2018 U.S. sugar poker game? The suspension agreements may seem to have stacked the deck, but there are a lot of players at the table. And there are a few wild cards – GMO concerns, labeling rules, NAFTA negotiations, and the farm bill. Our speakers know the odds, and who might be bluffing.
Thomas Earley
, Vice President, Agralytica
Frank Jenkins
, President, JSG Commodities
Craig Ruffolo, Vice President and Commodity Expert, McKeany-Flavell Company

4:00 PM

4:00 - 5:30 PM 
End User Sugar Sustainability Meeting 
Location: Genoa II
6:00 PM 6:00 - 7:00 PM 
Networking Reception 
Location: Bleu Bar & Grill

Tuesday 02.13

8:00 AM 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Location: The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom Foyer
8:30 AM 8:30 - 9:00 AM
Continental Breakfast
9:00 AM 9:00 - 10:15 AM
Session IV - The State of Play in the Trade Arena
Location: The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom IV-VI
Will the Administration blow up NAFTA? Will Congress reel it back in? The implications for the sugar sector are enormous. World agricultural trade protectionism has not typically been built around national antidumping and countervailing duty laws, but recent U.S. actions regarding Mexican sugar imports may be a small ray of hope. Hear what the insiders have to say about what we can expect.
Randy Green
, Principal, Watson Green LLC
Pat Henneberry
, Senior Vice President, Imperial Sugar Company
Sandra Marsden, President, Canadian Sugar Institute
Bill Reinsch, Senior Adviser and Scholl Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
10:15 AM 10:15 - 10:45 AM
Networking Break
10:45 AM 10:45 - 11:45 AM
Session V - International Sweetener Outlook
Location: The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom IV-VI
If “what goes up must come down” is true, then the opposite must also be true. But what will it take to reverse current low world sugar prices? Developments may hinge on world oil and ethanol market developments, or on the EU’s future sugar and starch sweetener evolution. One of the world’s most skilled market analysts will lead us in an eye opening discussion of world sweetener market developments.
Thomas Earley
, Vice President, Agralytica
Tom McNeill
, Managing Director, Green Pool Commodity Specialists
Noon Noon - 1:15 PM
Session VI - Luncheon: Political Update 2018 and Beyond
Location: The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom I-III
For more than two decades, Charlie Cook has been a trusted and accurate voice on all things political. Cook, publisher of The Cook Political Report and a political analyst for the National Journal Group, brings us an up close and personal look at the 2018 political environment and shares his insights into which issues will have the strongest impact on the mid-term elections.
Charlie Cook
, Editor and Publisher, Cook Political Report and Columnist, National Journal  
1:30 PM 1:30 - 2:30 PM
Session VII - Sweet Retail, Shopper and Consumer Trends
Location: The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom IV-VI
Representatives from IRI will review some of the most recent trends at retail and among consumers regarding channel preferences, shifts in shopper behavior as well as an examination of sweetener use trends in key categories throughout the store.
John Crawford
, Vice President, Client Insights-Dairy, IRI
Chris von der Linden, Senior Vice President, Consumer and Shopper Marketing, IRI
2:30 PM 2:30 - 3:45 PM
Session VIII - Sugar Program Administration in a U.S.-Mexico Sugar Suspension Agreement Environment
Location: The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom IV-VI
With suspension agreements adding even more limitations on sugar imports from Mexico, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is playing an even greater role in determining how to adequately supply sugar to the U.S. market. This session will dive deep into the intersection of market dynamics and government action.
Rick Pasco
, President, Sweetener Users Association
Barb Fecso
, Director, Dairy and Sweetener Analysis Group, Farm Service Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Mike Gorrell, President and CEO, Imperial Sugar Company
Paul Steed, Senior Global Sugar Price Risk Lead, Sugar, Mars Wrigley Confectionery
3:50 PM
3:50 - 4:50 PM
Session IX - Concurrent Sessions on Ingredients
Moderate prices for key ingredients like wheat flour, vegetable oil, corn products, peanuts, and dairy products have been a boon for food companies in recent years. But nothing lasts forever. Learn what 2018 holds for other major food ingredients at one of the following sessions.

Session 1: Grains, Oilseeds and Peanuts
Location: The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom I-III
Thomas Earley
, Vice President, Agralytica
Steve Freed
, Vice President, Grain Research, ADM Investor Services
George Lovatt, President, Lovatt & Rushing

Session 2: Cocoa and Dairy
Location: The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom IV-VI
Greg Breunig
, Executive Vice President Operations, Clasen Quality Chocolate 
Sara Dorland
, Managing Partner, Ceres Dairy Risk Management 
Steve Wateridge, Managing Partner, Tropical Research Services

Wednesday 02.14

7:30 AM 7:30 - 8:00 AM
Continental Breakfast
8:00 AM 8:00 - 9:15 AM
Session X - U.S. Sugar Policy & the Farm Bill
Location: The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom IV-VI
The last Farm Bill was completed in 2014 and renewal is just around the corner. Congress has been focused on fixes to the current cotton and dairy programs, but 2018 is shaping up to be a busy year for sugar policy as well. The consequences of the modified sugar suspension agreements with Mexico are still be becoming clear, while renegotiation (or not) of NAFTA is well underway with possible consequences for Canada, Mexico and the U.S. Our panelists have so much fodder for conversation; you will not want to miss a minute.
Rick Pasco
, President, Sweetener Users Association
Paul Farmer
, President, CSC Sugar LLC
Bill O’Conner, Agriculture Policy Expert, Watkinson Miller PLLC
Jack Roney, Director, Economics and Policy Analysis, American Sugar Alliance
9:15 AM 9:15 - 10:30 AM
Session XI - Nutrition and Labeling Regulation in the Trump Era
Location: The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom IV-VI
The Administration has challenged federal agencies that want a new regulation to first eliminate two existing regulations. What does that mean for GMO disclosure, Nutrition Facts labeling, and the Dietary Guidelines? What are the implications for how the public perceives “added sugars”? And what new developments may lie ahead? Our expert panelists will share their insights and analysis on nutrition and labeling policy decisions.
Jerry Hagstrom
, Founder and Executive Editor, The Hagstrom Report
Randy Green
, Principal, Watson Green LLC
Ron Sterk, Senior Editor, Sosland Publishing Co. 
Andrew Walmsley, Director, Congressional Relations, American Farm Bureau Federation

* Separate fee and preregistration required.

Affiliate Meetings During the International Sweetener Colloquium

No meetings or events may be held during the International Sweetener Colloquium program hours at the conference hotel. However, we invite you to host a meeting or event at the hotel during the following non-Colloquium program times:

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Sunday, February 11, 2018
After 7:30 PM

Monday, February 12, 2018
Noon – 5:30 PM
After 7:00 PM

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
After 5:00 PM

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
After 10:30 AM

Please contact the meetings team at for more details.