October 8-10, 2014
Wyoming Union, University of Wyoming Campus, Laramie, WY

The 14th Consumer Issues Conference will be held on October 8th to October 10th with the theme of "Food: Perceptions, Practices & Policies." The location will be the Wyoming Union on the campus of the University of Wyoming. The conference features speakers on Local Food Issues; Legal and Ethical Food Policies; and Global Food Marketing.

Why This Theme?

Food is a universal human need and its marketing, preparation and consumption affects all consumers and encompasses local, regional, national and global markets. Consumer issues related to food range from food insecurity (getting enough food); advertising, labeling, grading and marketing of food products (learning about food choices and protecting against deceptive advertising); eating the right foods (how food choices affect health); food safety (ensuring the food we eat will not sicken us); food waste (how to distribute the food supply more efficiently) and the trade-offs involved in "eating locally" versus having access to global markets that supply the foods consumers desire at a reasonable cost.

The local food movement has gained momentum in recent years for a variety of reasons, ranging from cost, to environmental concerns, to the desire to promote healthy lifestyles. Yet there have been legal and other roadblocks facing consumers and producers who wish to pursue the goal of selling and eating locally, and making good use of all available foods that might otherwise go to waste. Our "Local Food" track will feature speakers addressing some of these concerns as they affect not only our own local area, but by analogy would be relevant to any locality interested in local food sources. The second track, "Legal and Ethical Food Policy Issues" will focus on local, state and federal policies ranging from food safety, to food labeling, advertising and marketing. This track will address questions that may be raised regarding how national food production and distribution policies affect consumers and their individual health. The final track, "Global Food Markets" is meant to address the international market for food and how this affects consumers. In this area, we plan to have speakers covering such topics as import/export policies, food importing by large U.S. grocery retailers, food exporting by local producers, and cultural issues affecting food preferences. We also plan to show a documentary film related to the "Food" theme of the conference, and to have an exhibits area where participants can pick up a variety of free information offered by exhibitors.

Why This Conference?

The consumer issues conference is a well-established annual event on the campus of the University of Wyoming. The conference brings together experts, policy makers, and academics from a variety of disciplines. It has been a joint project of several colleges, including the College of Law, the College of Agriculture and the College of Business, with participation from the College of Health Sciences as well in this health-related theme. The conference is unique in its appeal to a broad range of participants, including students, faculty, professionals, government officials and the general public. It puts the University's best foot forward as a center for research, thought, dialogue and communication of information and ideas for action. We hope to provide a springboard for individual and collective action to address issues that come up in the course of the conference. We hope the conference will be only a beginning of ongoing networking and conversations leading to action that constitutes a win-win solution for all concerned.

Call for Exhibitors

Exhibitors are welcome to reserve a table at the conference to display information of use to participants. To request exhibit space, please complete the "Call for Conference Exhibitors" form by October 3rd. The specific theme of the Consumer Issues Conference changes each year but consumer education exhibits on topics broader than the conference theme are welcome. There is no fee to be an exhibitor, but the conference planning committee will screen applications in order to ensure that that focus will be preserved.

Call for Posters

Posters profiling project or academic research are welcome. Please submit an abstract (up to 250 words) on the poster content. With the submission, provide your contact information (name, title, affiliation, e-mail and phone number) and whether your poster is research or project oriented. The posters are to be available during the conference in the conference venue (the Wyoming Union on the campus of the University of Wyoming) by 8:15 am on 9 October 2014 and should remain up until 10:15 on 10 October. During the afternoon break on the 9th, authors should be next to their posters to discuss their work and answer questions. Submissions will be reviewed as they come in. The deadline for submissions is Friday, 26 September. Submission guidelines are available. Submission guidelines and presentation tips are available.

Speakers and Topics

An exciting slate of national and regionally prominent speakers on this topic will be announced in the near future.

CLE and other Professional Education Credit Available