May this New Year be a year of success in your companies and a year of happiness for you and your loved ones. Your collaboration is dear and precious for the success of our joint actions, in order to continue to work for the present and the future of the world of ice!
Each chosen convention city has a distinct and colourful history. Last year we celebrated our milestone tenth anniversary in Venice, Italy. One might think that it is almost impossible to find a more unique city, however each year we strive to meet in a city with its own unique qualities and characteristics. As a walk down memory lane, let’s think back over the years:
2007 – Our initial planning meeting in the financial capital of Germany: Frankfurt.
2008 – Then our first official meeting in the birthplace of Flamenco, the city of Seville, Spain.
2009 – Let’s not forget the most beautiful and vibrant Old Town Square in Wroclaw, Poland. Will anyone ever forget that banquet with medieval dancers and pit roasted pig and beer bongs on every table.
2010 – Then off to the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands to meet in Palma de Mallorca, such fun and don’t forget the boat ride along the beautiful coast with unlimited beer and wine.
2011 – Staying in Spain for the next year, we met in the capital of the Catalonia area of Spain, Barcelona. There we had the most interesting treasure hunt in the old city where the challenge was to put the clues together and find the location for the food and drink to cap off the night. Many of us also visited Gaudi’s most famous work: La Sagrada Familia to round out the experience.
2012 – Not to be outdone, we next visited York, England where the presence of people in the area dates back as far as 8 century BC. As York was a town in Roman times, its Celtic name is recorded in Roman sources and is thought to mean “wild-boar town”. To keep with the medieval atmosphere, the gala banquet was held in a manor house with period music and included roast pig served by costumed servers in the medieval style on baked bread to be used as plates.
2013 – Then we were off to meet in a city founded in 734 BC by the Phoenicians as Ziz! Palermo in Sicily is the capital city in this autonomous region of Italy. Palermo provided a wonderful Sicilian atmosphere to serve as background for enjoyment in the warm sunny weather of the southern Mediterranean.
2014 – Next we traveled as far back as we possibly can and historically still be in civilized Europe. We met in Athens, Greece ; which has documented its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC. Here we found the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy.
2015 – Knowing how our members have a taste for wine, we then set off for Montpellier, South of France as the capital of the largest wine producing region in the world, Languedoc. And not only did we imbibe, but enjoyed actual mounds of delicious “foie gras” and piles of fresh local oysters during our factory visit.
2016 – Spain has so much to offer we travelled back to the long-time capital of Moorish Andalusia and the world-famous “Alhambra” in Granada, Spain. Just as we enjoyed the delicious food on Montpellier, we could not stop the enjoyment of so many delicious offerings of tapas and especially the world-renown dry-cured Spanish “jamón” made with black Iberian pigs.
2017 – Back to the convention city where we first all agreed to require HACCP certification as a condition of membership to be an EPIA packaged ice producer, Wroclaw, Poland. Not to forget the medieval dancers and pit roasted pig, we had African fire dancing, another feast of roast pig and enough excellent vodka for the entire Polish army.
2018 – Now the crowning celebration of our tumultuous ten years. Where better could that take place but, in the city that Wikipedia describes as “the “La Dominante”, “Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic”, “City of Water”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The Floating City”, and “City of Canals”. And now also known as the city of EPIA 10th year’s anniversary celebration, Venice, Italy.
What do we do next? In 2011 we met in the capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia, Barcelona. It seems fitting that we spend some time understanding another historically tumultuous autonomous community in Spain, the Greater Basque region. The ancient Basque people of northern Spain and western France have managed to maintain an independent identity throughout history, an identity rooted in their unique language, Euskara, which is unrelated to any other European language. Our host city is Bilbao which is the main urban area in what is defined as the Greater Basque region.
And where will we go in 2020? We invite any EPIA’s producer who wishes to organize next convention to contact Maryse!
We remind all our producer’s members to send your up dated HACCP certificates to Maryse as soon as possible.
Next place to meet again in 2019 will be in Bilbao, North West Spain from 14 to 17th October organised by Francisco Wend and his dynamic team: Hielos de Vitoria!