Almost every industry has conferences and conventions where people gather to talk about the latest and greatest in their field. Beans are no exception. Recently, I had a chance to attend the 2012 Dry Bean Convention held in Lake Tahoe, California.

At the convention, I was able to talk face-to-face with bean suppliers, packaging suppliers and anyone along the way that might have impact on producing Randall Beans. It was exciting to learn about additional sources of American and international beans so we can expand our line of Randall Beans–something that we are committed to doing in the near future. What new products would you like to see from Randall Beans?

We’re also working on improving our current product line any way we can. The smallest change can have a big impact. For instance, we currently ship beans from their grain elevators to our plant in Tekonsha, Michigan in 100 pound paper

Meredith, President of Randall Beans, is fresh back from the US Dry Bean Convention

Meredith, President of Randall Beans, is fresh back from the US Dry Bean Convention

bags. However, after the convention, we’re thinking of switching to recyclable tote bags. Not only is this great for the environment, it will also help our beans be handled more gently, which means fewer cracked beans in your Randall Beans jar. Our beans will be beauties to behold!

The conference was information-packed, with guest speakers covering everything from the drought, the Mexican and Canadian crop report and the politics behind adjusting the US dietary guidelines on bean consumption from three cups a week in 2005 to it’s current recommendation of one and a half cups a week. It turns out that most people don’t eat beans because of the energy and time associated with cooking them. Apparently the government wanted to adopt a more “realistic and convenient way” for Americans to obtain a nutritious diet. All the more reason to buy Randall Beans!

Believe it or not, this does affect all of us. Farmers are more reluctant to plant bean fields if government-funded programs such as WIC and school lunch programs which strictly follow the dietary requirements of the USDA reduce the weekly recommendation for legumes.

We had a great time at the convention and are motivated to keep improving Randall Beans!