Purchasing Seminar

June 2-4, 2024 | Kansas City, MO

2023 Sosland Publishing
Purchasing Seminar Winter Webinar

Gain insights on the top issues affecting ingredient markets in 2024

December 6, 2023
10:00 AM-12:00 PM ET

Free Registration

Weather has emerged as the dominant factor in grain markets this year with heat, drought and El Niño impacting global crops, adding to uncertainty about the war in Ukraine, exports and food inflation amid volatile commodity prices. Commodity and weather experts at the Sosland Publishing Purchasing Seminar Winter Webinar will provide vital insights to navigate the markets for the upcoming year.

Sponsored by:



Global Grains and Bakery Flour

Steve Freed, Consultant
Freed Consulting

Larger corn and sorghum crops more than offsetting smaller wheat, barley and oats crops are expected to account for increased global grains production in 2023-24. Fighting in the Black Sea region between two top world grain exporters continually recalculates world supplies nearly 20 months into the war. Meanwhile, bakers and other flour users have seen wheat futures turn mostly lower since July, basis remains rangebound, and millfeed prices have been weak. Webinar participants, including flour buyers and sellers, will gain insight into navigating domestic and global grain markets amid shifts in crop production and geo-political threats to supplies and logistics.



Drew Lerner, President and Senior Agricultural Meteorologist
World Weather, Inc.

For the last several years, La Niña, characterized by cold waters in the Pacific, has been blamed for dryness, severe in parts of North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Australia. More recently, El Niño, warmer Pacific waters, has emerged. Will drought end in Canada, the southern US Plains, northern Mexico, southern Europe and North Africa? This and other questions about weather and crop prospects will be explored in Mr. Lerner’s presentation.


Edible Oils and Shortening

Alex Norton, President
Beeson & Associates, Inc.

The see-saw ride – domestic and global – continues to roil edible oils market, as La Nina influences shifted to an El Niño weather pattern, as demand from renewable fuels manufacturers balloons competing with the food sector, and as geo-political turbulence disrupts the supply-and-demand picture. The Sosland Publishing Purchasing Seminar Winter Webinar will provide insight to help edible oils buyers and sellers navigate the market in 2024.



Ron Sterk, Senior Editor, Markets
Sosland Publishing Co.

The domestic sugar and corn sweetener markets have experienced historically high prices the past two years. Supplies have been tight for some sectors due to weather, inconsistent imports and other factors. The Sweetener presentation will provide insight into current supply, demand and pricing of sugar and corn sweeteners in the domestic market, influence from outside and world markets, and offer ideas about what food manufacturers may expect for sugar and other sweeteners in the year ahead.

Meet the Speakers



Freed Consulting

Mr. Freed is a consultant to the grain industry. He recently retired from ADM Investor Services after 30 years at the company, including time spent as director of research and, most recently, vice president of grain research. Prior to that he was with Dean Witter Reynolds as vice president of futures research. He also has held positions as oilseeds analyst for Frazier Parrott and as field crop analyst for Continental Grain Co., covering the United States, Canada, Brazil and Argentina. Mr. Freed received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Illinois State University.


Drew Lerner

President and Senior Agricultural Meteorologist
World Weather, Inc.

Mr. Lerner has been forecasting international weather for over 40 years. He supports the agricultural industry by providing detailed short- and long-range weather predictions for each major crop area in the world. His daily assessments of crop and weather expectations supports commodity market trade and helps many companies make better agricultural business decisions. Mr. Lerner started World Weather, Inc. in 2001 after leading Global Weather Services in the late 1990s. World Weather, Inc. supports an expanding group of clientele residing in North and South America, India, Europe, Africa and Australia. 



Beeson & Associates Inc.

Mr. Norton is president of Beeson & Associates, Inc., a commodity risk management consulting firm. He joined the company in 2008 as a commodity analyst with a focus on grains and oilseeds markets. Responsibilities grew to include providing analysis to back recommendations and risk management strategies for customers as the director of risk management. He later was named vice president of agricultural services in 2019, and in 2021 he was named president. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wake Forest University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Massachusetts.



Senior Editor, Markets
Sosland Publishing Co.

Mr. Sterk is senior editor, markets, for Milling & Baking News and Food Business News, and is the creator and editor of the Sosland Sweetener Report, the only newsletter dedicated to covering the domestic sweetener market. In addition to sugar, he covers a wide array of ingredient markets pertinent to grain-based foods and other food manufacturers. Prior to joining Sosland Publishing Co. in 2003, he was involved in market coverage and management for several years at real-time news services. He has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism with a focus in agronomy and a minor in animal science from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in business from Rockhurst University in Kansas City.