Ift And Iufost

Within the past three years the IFT has turned toward instituting a greater international presence. The number of international companies exhibiting products, equipment, and services at the annual meeting of the IFT as well as the number of attendees and papers given by those from outside the United States attests to its strong inter national presence. In 1998 the Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology, the Mexican Association for Food Science and Technology, and the IFT held their annual meetings or conferences at the same time in Atlanta. Within the past five years, the IFT has stepped up its supporting role in IUFoST.

IUFoST is an organization made up of member countries, each of which has official delegates to IUFoST, the number being different according to the dues paid to IUFoST. No country, however, can have more than six delegates. The United States, for example, has six accredited delegates. At four-year intervals IUFoST hosts a meeting. The last one was held in 1995 in Hungary, and the next one is to be held in Australia in 1999. Currently, the United States, actually the IFT, pays its yearly dues of $6000, but it also underwrites some of the administrative expenses of IUFoST by providing services to it. During 1996-1997, the IFT and IUFoST developed a plan, called the International Action Plan, to strengthen formally each other's endeavors to facilitate cooperation among the member bodies. The IFT and IUFoST envision that there are many areas where exhibitions, short courses, other types of training courses, and various forms of cooperation could be carried on more effectively and expeditiously, by joint efforts, without compromising in any way the interests of national bodies in other countries, if the IFT and IUFoST were to take the lead in funding and supporting such endeavors. At the present time, the IFT will do most of the funding, for IUFoST has always been handicapped by the limited resources it has been able to generate. Many of its member countries are among the poorest in the world.

Based on its record to date, the perspectives for the IFT are that it will become even more the knowledgeable and influential organization that it is in the United States. Because of its current commitment to bring its organizational skill and willingness to share its knowledge and resources with food science organizations elsewhere, the prospects are that the IFT will assume in the years ahead international roles even more beneficial to food science and technology and thus to the world's food supply and the well-being of humans.

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