It's Conference Planning Time!

2023 NJFPA Annual Conference 

Overwhelmingly you have said that one of the biggest challenges you are facing is workforce. From hiring and retention of your own employees to driver shortages and port personnel logistics affecting your processes and profits. How can NJ businesses stay ready for anything?

As many of you know, the NJFPA Annual Conference is planned by members, for members. The education committee is building on some of our most popular topics from last year. For instance, bringing in students to talk about apprenticeships and hiring practices. 

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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.

  • 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 2,000 to 3,000 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 distribute 5,000 Care Packages to food pantries, school programs, and charities throughout the Mid-Atlantic, creating special events, and promoting participants and food pantries along the way.

Is Your Business Financially Fit?

The Financial Fitness Corner with Maryann and Bill

"Because you want a partner that believes in you and the business, right? I think, unfortunately, banks have become a little bit more commoditized now. As long as this box and this box and this box is checked we'll loan you the money. That's not really a partner, you need to align yourself in a way with whatever the services are, right? Accountants, attorneys, banking, where they see the vision, they can understand where you're headed."

- Dan Kilcoyne, Mini Melts of America
S2E2 Food Forum Podcast

Food processors need to have a true partnership with their banks. Longtime members Bill Cornelius of M&T Bank and Maryann Lewis of Investors Bank both focus their work specifically in the food industry. They have teamed up to regularly highlight the issues crucial to our members. Disagree? Have a follow-up question? Maryann and Bill are regular attendees at our On The Road events or email [email protected]. Get financial information you can trust from people you actually know.

To start, Bill shares a couple of tips on the foundations to make your business Financially Fit! 

  1. Set a goal - When you set a financial goal for your business, make sure it’s something you actually can and want to achieve. Consider your current financial situation, what’s possible within your available resources and restrictions, and what opportunities exist to take you one step closer to your goal.

  2. Have a plan - By creating a plan that outlines daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual actions, it will help you move in the right direction to achieve your goals.

  3. Monitor your progress – Monitor your progress versus your goals. This will give you the opportunity to assess and re-assess and make tweaks along the way.

  4. Outsource to experts when things get complicated – There may be a time in your journey when results begin to plateau. Self-motivation is a plus but you may be able to get there faster with experts. Similar to a personal trainer, they provide guidelines and mentorship and most importantly a view through a different objective lens. All of these could be very helpful.

  5. Prepare for the off-season – “Summer bodies are made in the winter”. For businesses, the winter period includes the Holidays and Jan/Feb can be quiet. So take this time to perhaps set a savings goal through this time period. As well use this time to revisit your plan, change what isn’t working and get ready for the upcoming season.

EPA Grant for Food Manufacturing Facilities

EPA Grant for Food Manufacturing Facilities

No long complicated applications and never knowing if you will get the grant. This is an exclusive invitation to food processors looking to conserve resources and reduce their environmental impact.

The DEP is looking specifically for 3 food companies to partner with in a pilot program doing FREE in-depth analysis of their manufacturing processes and potential waste issues. So you wouldn't have to go through a lengthy application form just give Ky Asral at the DEP a call and see if you are a good fit for the program. Contact Lisa McCracken at NJFPA for more information or go directly to Ky Asral at the DEP to get started.

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Winter On the Road

Celebrating NJFPA Members Giving Back!

Each On The Road event offers a perfect combination of networking and industry discussion in a social setting. This winter member Bill Cornelius has generously invited us to gather together at M&T Bank in Cherry Hill, NJ for dinner and drinks, and celebrate our community.

The theme of this 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. 

Our featured speaker is Andy Morfopoulos, CEO at ignite2X, Inc. Equally important, Andy is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Food Trade Organization's (MAFTO) Board of Directors and committee chair Community Care Package Corporate Fundraiser programs. MAFTO's mission is to improve the quality of lives through Charity, Education, Scholarships, Social Events, and Networking to advance and promote our Food Marketing Industry and culture.

REGISTER TODAY

Overheard On the Road

October OTR Feedback

Were you at our October On The Road networking event? Tag yourself in the Facebook photo album and share your pictures as well. 

This networking and tasting event happened because a member like you made it happen. Want to have an event near you? Have a suggestion for a larger location? Reach out to [email protected].

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NJMEP Manufacturing Day and Survey Results

What do YOU think is the most urgent issue facing NJ businesses?

Online and at our booth at the NJMEP Manufacturing Day Celebration we asked people to drop a business card in what they thought was the biggest challenge facing NJ businesses today. What should we be planning the annual NJFPA Conference around? (OK we did bribe them with a chance at Eagles / Flyers /Conference tickets. Winners to be announced shortly.) We asked them to choose between:

  1. Workforce
  2. Transportation / Logistics
  3. Agility (How can you plan when everything keeps changing!)
  4. Other

The winner by a landslide was workforce.

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October OTR Recap and Photos

October OTR Recap and Photo Album

Were you at our October On The Road networking event? Tag yourself in the Facebook photo album and share your pictures as well. (How is it possible that the Cultinary Family Farm twins were not captured on camera??)

The staff and space of Cross Keys Brewing were wonderfully welcoming and the room was packed. Thank goodness the rain held off because the crowd was spilling out the door. Not that rain would have kept anyone from lining up for dinner from Red's Rolling Restaurant.

Culinary Family Farms Black Garlic was an experience. When they walk you through the flavors like a wine tasting you know this is something special. Superfoods was already using black garlic in their recipes and were excited to meet a NJ source. The samples of Superfood's veggie burgers, taco filling, and "forbidden banana bread" are all vegan and amazingly delicious. Paul is an experienced chef that has already brought products to Costco and it shows. We got to learn a little more about the history behind the spring rolls of Carey's Gourmet and their established following. 

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Food Business Basics Workshop - Register Now

Thursday, November 3, 2022 - Food Business Workshop

Are you interested in the upcoming Rutgers Food Innovation Center, Food Business Basics Workshop but still on the fence?

Check out the workshop schedule to see the full scope of what this day will cover to bring your food business to the next level: branding, packaging materials, food safety, sales, Whole Foods foragers, and finding co-packers. 

And this workshop is not just for startups! Are you new to the industry and need a crash course? An established small business looking to take things to the next level? Even the largest NJ food processors have taken advantage of the resources of the Rutgers Food Innovation Center to test out new recipes, formulas, and processes. 

Still not sure? Reach out to [email protected] and [email protected] to learn more. The first 15 NJFPA members that mention this post will get a VERY special rate.

If you can't make this one, remember that NJFPA members always get 10% off on RFIC classes. 

Member Spotlight: DirtyJerzBBQ

Wolfgang Tsoutsouris of DirtyJerzBBQ

The original Dirty Jerz BBQ Sauce was created by CEO/Founder, Wolfgang Tsoutsouris, in his home kitchen, right here in New Jersey. Wolfgang was at our recent Golf Outing connecting with people about the NJ food space and finding small-batch co-packers in NJ. 

Worlfgang is also a business consultant and active member of the Association for Corporate Growth, NJ Chapter. He recommends ACG events to all NJFPA members looking to grow their businesses. Get connected with him and other NJFPA members in our Member Directory and watch your business grow. 

Hopefully, you got a taste of his signature sauce at our in person October 13th OTR at Cross Keys Brewing

Missed it? This networking and tasting event happened because a member like you made it happen. Want to have an event near you? Have an idea for a location? Reach out to [email protected].



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October 13th OTR Updates!

October 13th OTR - New Tastings

For our October OTR we are featuring some up-and-coming local food processors.

If that wasn't enough to tempt you, we are excited to welcome Larry Walker, President & CEO of Balford Foods who will share a few words on his experiences and advice in the food industry.

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Piscataway RFIC Update

Rutgers Food Innovation Center North - Fall 2022 Update

While Rutgers University made a fiscal decision to no longer rent job Rutgers-owned buildings during the COVID era, they did want to continue the presence of RFIC North. We received approval from the SEBS executive leadership team and the Chair of the Food Science Department to take up residency in a lab on the 4th floor of the Food Science building. This smaller space is designed to allow start up’s and clients from the northern part of the state and New York Metro area to meet with the FIC team without needing to drive to the Bridgeton site for initial conversations and testing of prototypes.

While this new space in New Brunswick will not allow for manufacturing as Piscataway had, it is still an opportunity for potential clients to begin the process of working with RFIC. The biggest advantage comes from the opportunity for the professors and student body to engage much easier with the RFIC team who will be in the New Brunswick lab and office a few times a month. FIC will offer food safety and training courses, both virtually and in person. Work with the sensory labs will grow and the marketing team will have access to a remarkably diverse group to work with on competing analyses. All in all, entering the next phase of FIC in New Brunswick promises to afford new and exciting horizons for everyone. 

- Nolan Lewin 
Rutgers Food Innovation Center

Remember NJFPA members always get a 10% discount on FIC training courses!

Build Your Workforce Pipeline

Inspire the next generation of food and beverage manufacturers!

NJFPA member Melissa Eckstein is the District Career Facilitator of the Gateway 2 Careers program at Gateway Regional High School. She is legendary throughout the state for developing symbiotic relationships between education and the workforce. (Food Forum Podcast S2E7)

Having cultivated partnerships with 150 businesses and counting, she has created career opportunities for students, as well as workforce development prospects for companies. You are invited to participate in their December 2nd career day to speak to Gateway students directly about careers available at your company and learn about the workforce programs at Gateway 2 Careers that are building a pipeline of talent for area businesses.

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NJ Manufacturing Day Schedule

October 7th - NJ Manufacturing Day Schedule

Stop by the NJFPA booth for your 'Proud NJFPA Member' pin AND a chance to win NJFPA Conference tickets, Eagles and Flyers tickets!

What?!? You still aren't registered yet? Use code SOTS15 for 15% off: https://www.njmep.org/events/manufacturing-day/

2023 NJFPA Conference Save the Date!

March 16-17, 2023 - Atlantic City

In 2023, the New Jersey Food Processors Association will again gather on March 16-17 in Atlantic City to share ideas, benchmark industry trends, and network amongst peers. This is a cornerstone program for the NJFPA that continues to grow its reach and engagement.

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NJFPA On the Road October 13th

On The Road Networking at Cross Keys Brewing

Date: Thursday, October 13th at 5:30 PM - 8:30 ET
Location: Cross Keys Brewing - Williamstown, NJ 08094
Registration: https://njfpa.memberclicks.net/otrcrosskeys
$40 Non-member
$35 Member

For our October OTR we are featuring some up-and-coming local food processors. Sample new in-development sauces from Dirty Jerz BBQ, taste the next hot flavor of Black Garlic with Cultinary Family Farms, and more. Have some samples you want to share? Want feedback from the staff of Rutgers Food Innovation Center? Contact [email protected].

Thank you to our sponsor M&T Bank!
In good times, networking can seem like an "optional" activity. But throughout the pandemic, the theme of relationships came up again and again with our members. That when (not if) an emergency happened, they weren't just searching google for help. Our members could rely on the relationships built through the NJFPA. Relationships with other food processors that are going through the same things. Relationships with vendors they can trust.

Register Today: https://njfpa.memberclicks.net/otrcrosskeys

Member Spotlight: Garton's Rigging Crane

Member Spotlight: Garton's Rigging Crane

New member John McDaris is with business development at Garton’s and reached out to the NJFPA to begin building more relationships in the wider NJ Food industry. Look for him at our upcoming On The Road in Williamstown and welcome him to the NJFPA.

"Garton’s Rigging was founded in 1946 by Buster Garton’s grandfather, Henry Garton with just one 8- ton crane and a stake body truck. Henry initially founded the company to service the crane rental and transport needs of the booming Vineland and Millville areas.

While we started in the crane and transporting business what a lot of people don't know is that we also do rigging of equipment for the food industry.

We have been working on this in the Vineland areas since 1950’s and our clients have said they really appreciated the way we accommodate all their needs for handling their process equipment."

Co-Packers - Co-Packers - Co-Packers!

Calling all Co-Packers!

Hands down, one of the most frequent questions we get at NJFPA is where to find a co-packer, especially a NEW JERSEY co-packer. Are you a co-packer looking for new clients? Do you know of one? Are you looking to build more co-packing space in NJ? Reach out to us at the October OTR or [email protected]

"I want the governor to be serving my sauce at his next BBQ. How can I do that if it's being made in Pennsylvania!"
- Wolfgang Tsoutsouris 
Dirty Jerz BBQ

Celebrate National Manufacturing Day!

NJFPA is proud to sponsor NJMEP's 'MADE in New Jersey' National Manufacturing Day

Date: October 7, 2022 - 8:00 AM-3:00 PM
Location:  iPlay America, 110 Schanck Road, Freehold, NJ 07728
Registration: https://www.njmep.org/events/manufacturing-day/

Each year, Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) is held on the first Friday in October in order to show students, parents, and the public what modern manufacturing is all about.

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One Day Food Business Basics Course

One Day Food Business Basics Course

Looking to jump-start or level up a new food business? The one-day session will include business and technical experts, including an attorney, food scientists, a packaging expert, trend and marketing experts and so much more.  (You know, like an NJFPA event!)

Date: November 3, 2022 8:30 AM-5:00 PM
Location:  Rutgers Eco Center 1200 Florence Columbus Road, Bordentown, NJ 08505.
Registration: https://foodinnovation.rutgers.edu/what-fic-does/learn/food-business-basics/

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