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2023 NJMEP State of the State Schedule

NJMEP State–of–the–State Manufacturing Summit (SotS)

The 2023 NJMEP SotS is the chance for manufacturers and legislators to meet face to face, to explain their challenges, and for the Legislature to present their goals and solutions for the year ahead and beyond. This event is free and exclusively for Manufacturers, STEM Firms, and NJ Elected Officials Only

Manufacturers and Legislators will collaborate during a “Town Hall” style discussion on industry-critical topics. New Jersey state officials and manufacturers will be highlighting the most disruptive issues the industry is forced to face. These conversations will work to collaboratively create solutions to address these challenges. Register Toaday

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Conference Breakout on Facility Design

Facility Design to Enhance Process & Performance

Get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at photos and blueprints used in the latest facility designs. These slides will NOT be made available after the conference. You have to be in the room this Friday. Register now!

  •  How do I expand an existing facility without slowing down production?
  • Do I renovate a facility to a new use or invest in new construction?
  • How can I incorporate sustainability issues from the beginning vs renovating an existing building?
  • Learn more about the renovation of the Rutgers Food Innovation Center and more recently the Cumberland County Improvement Authority Food Commercialization Center. Both buildings were designed to serve as incubators for developing food businesses and need to handle a wide variety of processes. 

J.W. Pedersen, Architect P.C. is located in Southern New Jersey. President, John W. Pedersen, has over 40 years of experience in the construction industry in both new and renovation projects. Recent projects have included a 70,000 s.f. renovation to a 110,000 s.f. cheese processing facility completed without interruption to production and the completion of a 46,000 s.f. addition to a 62,000 s.f. bakery process facility. 

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Breakout on Processing Facility Construction

Challenges and Solutions For Your Processing Facility Construction

The Food and Beverage business in NJ is booming. NJMEP's 2023 NJ Manufacturing Industry Report lists Food and Beverage Manufacturing as the second-largest manufacturing sector across all of New Jersey. The facilities needed for our industry are VERY different than an empty box warehouse.

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Congratulations to Premio Foods!

2023 NJFPA Stewardship Award AND Breakout Session Presenter

NJFPA and the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program are proud to announce that Premio Foods, Inc. has been selected as the recipient of this year's NJFPA Stewardship Award. Recipients are New Jersey food and beverage processors recognized for their investment in New Jersey, our industry, and the greater community.

Come learn from the best! Our partners at NJMEP present the award at our annual conference on March 17th and share more on why Premio Foods' leadership is worth celebrating. AND lead a breakout session on their workforce success story with Premio HR. Here are just a few of the stories that stood out:

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What is Your Business REALLY Worth

Breakout Session on Fallacies & Fairytales: The Truth Behind Business Valuations

Determining the true value of your business is important for every company: mature, growing, and startup (think shark tank valuations!) But many market-based "Rules of Thumb" are not worth much when valuing a business. Join NJFPA Member Expert Fred Kaplan of Stony Hill Advisors as he dispels the most common myths that catch businesses unprepared. 

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Join the Crowned Queen of Food Safety this March

Breakout Session on Food Safety Culture and Regulatory Compliance

FDA-recognized Food Safety Expert and long-time lecturer from Rutgers University Food Innovation Center, Donna F. Schaffner, will be sharing her insights into how ‘Food Safety Culture’ is being measured by FDA Inspectors in order to meet regulatory expectations.

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Get to know Jill Weber, Sojourn Philly Restaurant Group

Welcome Closing Speaker Dr. Jill Weber 

Dr. Jill Weber is in every sense of the word an explorer in both her fields (so far) of archaeology and restaurateur. One of Jill’s greatest attributes has been described as just being interested. Interested in the past, in science, in processes, in food and wine, and most importantly - in people.

Her true interest and insights have made her a leader in her industries. Jill has been president of Les Dames d'Escoffier - Philly Chapter, is currently on the board of the Geographical Society of Philadelphia and Co-Chair of the Sisterly Love Collective. 

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Get to Know Arlin Wasserman, Changing Tastes

Keynote Speaker Arlin Wasserman of Changing Tastes

Arlin Wasserman is the founder and managing director of Changing Tastes. Over the past two decades, he has helped identify and catalyze some of the most significant shifts in the way businesses and consumers think about food.

Wasserman’s accomplishments include working with General Mills to develop the first sustainability strategy for a major U.S. food company and innovating the now common practice among food companies to make forward-looking, measurable commitments to reduce carbon emissions, water consumption, energy and chemical use, and waste. 

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2023 Industry Survey Results

Get the 2023 Industry Survey Results First

For the third year since the extraordinary year that was 2020, NJFPA has partnered with Grassi Advisors & Accountants to create a benchmarking survey that examined the specific regional challenges and opportunities of the NJ Food Processing Community. Review the 2022 & 2021 Reports.

Be the first to hear the comprehensive industry benchmarks that your business can leverage at the 2023 NJFPA Annual Conference.

Don't forget, if you participated in the survey you were given a coupon code for 20% off registration to the Conference in Atlantic City. (Discount code was provided at the end of the survey.)

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Conference Schedule - so far

Conference Schedule as of February 24

Register | Schedule Exhibitors | Sponsorship | Accommodations | 2022 Recap 

Casual Kick Off Cocktail Reception
Visit Exhibitors and Networking
Harrah's Conference Center, Wildwood Ballroom

FRIDAY, MARCH 17TH, 7 AM - 2:30 PM
7:00 AM    Breakfast / Visit Exhibitors / Networking
8:00 AM Welcome and Remarks by Sam Pipitone, III, NJFPA President
8:05 AM Keynote Address by Arlin Wasserman, Changing Tastes
8:45 AM    Food Manufacturing Survey by NJFPA and Grassi
9:30 AM Visitors Exhibitors / Networking
10:20 AM Breakout Sessions I
11:10 AM Breakout Sessions II
12:00 PM Visitors Exhibitors / Networking
12:45 PM Lunch and Awards
1:30 PM Dessert and Closing Presentation by Jill Weber, Sojourn Philly Restaurant Group

Reserve Your Conference Exhibit Table

Get your exhibitor reservation in today!

In 2022, the exhibit hall was energetic. We heard how wonderful and productive the conversations were throughout the day with NJ area companies especially looking to support each other. More than 40 companies are expected to participate, displaying products and services and interacting with top-level executives from organizations throughout the state. With extended exhibit hall hours during Thursday's welcoming cocktail reception, this is a program not to be missed.

Set up begins at approx.12 noon on Thursday, March 16, 2023.

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Book Your Conference Hotel

Don't miss out on conference hotel room rates!

With extended exhibit hall hours and Whitepenny's welcoming cocktail reception Thursday night, (not to mention March Madness) there is more reason than ever to take advantage of accommodations in Atlantic City. 

Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City, New Jersey - Rate Cut-Off-Date is Monday, February 20, 2023
$81 Run of House on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 and Thursday, March 16, 2023
$221 Run of House on Friday, March 17, 2023
Reservations can be made by calling (888) 516-2215, Group Code SHO3FR3 or NJFPA Annual Conference. OR online at
Additional applicable taxes, occupancy fee, casino fee, resort fee

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Take the 2023 Benchmarking Survey

2023 NJ / NY Food and Beverage Manufacturing Benchmarking Survey

We need your insight! If your company is a food or beverage manufacturer or distributor doing business in NJ / NY, please take a few minutes to complete this survey and share it with your network. Tell us how shifting consumer demands, supply chain disruptions, and volatility in ingredient pricing and other trends have impacted your business operations and outlook. Your responses will be used to compile a comprehensive industry benchmarking report specific to our region that will help companies like yours measure their progress and plan for the road ahead.

The food and beverage manufacturing and distribution industry evolves every year. What is changing and what is still to come? Those are the questions we are looking to answer in our 2023 survey of New York and New Jersey food manufacturers. The NJFPA is conducting this survey in partnership with Grassi CPAs, and facilitated by the research team at Crain's New York Business.

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NJFPA & Christmas for All Kids

NJFPA Members Contribute to MAFTO's Christmas for All Kids

With less than a week's notice, attendees at our winter OTR brought a huge bag of toys to contribute to MAFTO's Christmas for All Kids program. And even able to join representatives of MAFTO to deliver them. 

Can we start a little friendly rivalry to level up for next year? This year MAFTO brought more toys but NJFPA stayed longer to help unload and sort.

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Learn More About MAFTO's Community Care Package Program

This Q&A has been adapted from the conversation between NJFPA Board Member Bill Cornelius of M&T Bank and chatted with Andy Morfopoulos, CEO at ignite2X, Inc and a member of the Mid-Atlantic Food Trade Organization's (MAFTO) Board of Directors at our winter OTR. (minor updates made January 3, 2023)

Bill: Tell us about your day job: 

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Join us Jan 20th with Southern NJ Chamber

NJ / NY Food Manufacturers Benchmarking Survey Discussion

Friday, January 20, 2023 | 8:30 - 10:30 AM | Register
The Grove at Centerton, Pittsgrove, NJ

Building on the 2021 report, in 2022, the NJFPA, in partnership with Grassi Advisors & Accountants, conducted a survey and received feedback from 148 NY and NJ food and beverage manufacturing business decision-makers. The survey revealed anticipated growth for 2022 and the latest strategies for success.

Thanks to M&T Bank for the opportunity to discuss this key resource for our community.  Dive deeper into industry insights specific to our region with the NJFPA and Grassi team and obtain information on the upcoming 2023 survey.  Register now at CCSNJ.

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Overheard On The Road


"This is by far the best networking event I've been to lately!" - Sanjay Spence, JCI Transportation

"OK Lisa, who should I talk to next!" - The Beneficial Bakery

See the pictures from last night! NJFPA Board member Bill Cornelious welcomed NJFPA to M&T Bank offices and chatted with Andy Morfopoulos, CEO at ignite2X, Inc and a member of the Mid-Atlantic Food Trade Organization's (MAFTO) Board of Directors. Andy shared opportunities to contribute to two significant MAFTO fundraising programs.

It is our members that make it happen! Want to see an OTR near you? Reach out to [email protected] and get started. 

MAFTO's Community Cares Package Program

MAFTO's Community Cares Package Program

2023 MAFTO Community Care Packages builds on the relationships we share to raise funds for Philabundance, Small Things, and other MAFTO charities. NJFPA would like to extend our thanks and appreciation for all the brands below that participated in last year's program and encourage our members to consider participating this year. Learn more about this and other MAFTO programs tonight in Cherry Hill!

Read more about participating in the 2023 MAFTO Community Cares Package Program.

Rutgers University FIC Names Advisory Board

RFIC Breaking News!

The Rutgers Food Innovation Center, which has been in operation for over 20 years with extraordinary success, has identified the need to create its first formal Advisory Board to identify new strategic opportunities to better serve the food industry going forward. Each advisory board member is a leader in the food industry and brings a unique and diverse set of perspectives to the Center, and a global depth and breadth of expertise. The advisors will help provide strategic guidance to FIC’s senior leadership team, including Nolan Lewin, FIC’s Executive Director.

Congratulations from the NJFPA to the inaugural first class:

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Celebrating NJFPA Members Giving Back

Share Some Good News!

The theme of our next OTR is philanthropy and the food industry is one that has always one that has led the way. From the way food brings people together and nourishes both body and soul to food banks and the support of our essential workers, it is important to recognize the role that each one of us can play in impacting the community around us. For the next month or two we will be highlighting our members and their work on our social media channels. Let us know what you are up to at [email protected].

Andy Morfopoulos is CEO at ignite2X, Inc. Equally important, Andy is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Food Trade Organization's (MAFTO) Board of Directors and is passionate about not just talking the talk about giving back. Andy wanted to highlight two significant upcoming MAFTO programs:

  • Christmas For All Kids 2022 – Monte Carlo Night - December 2
    An evening with food, gambling, prizes, and most of all great satisfaction! Yes, the satisfaction you will receive knowing that the profits and toys collected will be going to needy children in our area to help make their Christmas a little more joyful. Have a fun-filled evening with your friends, bring an unwrapped toy, and help provide a little Christmas Spirit to many area youngsters.

    NEW! - If you will miss your chance to drop off toys at MAFTO's Christmas for all Kids event, bring them to the Thursday, December 8th On The Road!

  • Community Care Package Corporate Fundraiser programs
    Donate Product: MAFTO is seeking donations from its member regional food, beverage, and consumer packaged goods brands to supply 1,000 to 2,000 units of a variety of non-perishable products, free goods coupons or gift cards to support the program.

    Be A Sponsor: Over the last two years MAFTO, its community, and sponsors have driven $140,000 in donations to Philabundance, Small Things, and food pantries throughout our region. MAFTO has also distributed 5,000 Care Packages to food pantries, school programs, and charities throughout the Mid-Atlantic, creating special events with our generous donor sponsors.