Food is one of New Jersey’s largest industries. A recent study estimated the entire output of the state’s food system, which includes agriculture, food and beverage manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers, at $126.79 billion. Out of that mix agriculture tends to get the most attention, but what about the many businesses that turn produce into more refined products? As it turns out the sophisticated food manufacturing business is evolving just like other technology-dependent industries.

The New Jersey Food Processors Association will host its annual meeting and conference on Friday, March 9, from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Princeton in Plainsboro. Tickets are $395, $95 for members. For more information, visit www.njfoodprocessors.org.

The conference theme is Food Industry Disruption — Affecting Our Products, Our Customers, and Our Workforce. The program will cover disruptive innovation, changes in food marketing, and creating a positive culture in the workforce.

The New Jersey food industry is thriving, expanding, and evolving at an incredible pace. New types of disruptive and innovative food products, a dramatic evolution of the supply chain and distribution channels, and significant amounts of acquisition activity and venture capital are transforming the food industry within the Garden State.

The conference features three panels and community discussions: Venture Capital Perspectives on Food Industry Disruptions; Disruptive Changes in Food Marketing; and Creating a Culture and Talented Workforce at our Companies.

Panelists include Howard Dorman, partner, US Food and Beverage Practice Leader, Mazars; Tom Mastrobuoni, CFO, Tyson Ventures; Jeffrey Braverman, president and chief nut, Nuts.com; Mark McNeil, CEO of Lassonde Pappas.

“New Jersey is becoming known as a worldwide hub for the food industry,” said Lou Cooperhouse Jr., NJFPA’s executive director. “The New Jersey Food Processors’ Annual Conference will energize attendees as they learn how New Jersey is to the food industry as Silicon Valley is to technology.”

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