Why attend

FERMENTATION 2020 is the first event in the United States that brings together everyone involved in the world of fermentation -  producers, retailers, chefs, scientists, authors, suppliers, and regulators to share knowledge, experience, and strategies for growth.

Together we will explore the power of fermentation to build flavor, preserve food, and enhance health,  and discuss how we can document and promote these benefits to the public.

Get practical tips on how to grow your fermentation business

Uncover the trends driving the industry

Learn the latest in fermentation techniques

Network with a diverse group of fermentation experts

Find your next supplier, new seller, or business partner

Hear about the state of the art in health and scientific research

Add-on to your travel plans for the National Restaurant Association Show or the Sweets and Snacks Expo

Enjoy the endless things to see, do, and experience in Chicago (bring the family)

Who Should Attend

  • Producers, suppliers, importers, and retailers of fermented foods and products, and those that use fermentation in their production processes (major product categories listed below)

Hard Cider



We also welcome producers of products that are oxidized (eg, tea) and cured (eg, salumi, jerky).

  • Suppliers, importers, and retailers of fermented foods and products
  • Chefs and other food service professionals
  • Academics and researchers
  • Health and food technology professionals

Agenda & Speakers



We will be regularly announcing speakers leading up to the event, so please check back often for the latest list of speakers

Kirsten K. Shockey and Christopher Shockey

Kirsten K. Shockey and Christopher Shockey are the co-authors of bestselling Fermented Vegetables, Fiery Ferments, and the new Miso, Tempeh, Natto and other Tasty Ferments books that came from their desires to both help people eat in new ways, both for the health of themselves and the planet and to push these culinary arts to new flavors. They got their start in fermenting foods twenty years ago on a 40-acre hillside smallholding which grew into their organic food company. When Kirsten and Christopher realized their passion was for the process, they chose to focus on teaching fermentation arts to others instead. They travel worldwide helping people to make, enjoy and connect with their food.

Maria Marco

Maria Marco is a Professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis, USA. Prof. Marco received her BS degree in microbiology from the Pennsylvania State University and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. She then worked as a postdoc and subsequently as a scientist at NIZO food research, The Netherlands where she also led a project supported by the TI Food & Nutrition. Prof. Marco initiated her laboratory at UC Davis in 2008. Her research focuses on lactic acid bacteria in food systems and the mammalian digestive tract. The broad objective of her work is to identify the attributes of microbes that can be used to guide improvements in food production to benefit human health.

Benjamin E. Wolfe

Benjamin E. Wolfe is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Tufts University, running the Wolfe Lab. The work in the Wolfe Lab will help develop principles of microbial community assembly that can guide the design and manipulation of microbial communities in agriculture, industry, medicine, and nature. Prof. Wolfe received his BS degree in Natural Resources/Plant Science from Cornell University, his masters from University of Guelph and PhD from Harvard University before becoming a Postdoctoral Researcher in the FAS Center for Systems Biology at Harvard. His research and teaching interests include Ecology and evolution of microbial communities, Microbiology of food systems, Plant-microbe interactions, and Public perceptions and knowledge of microbes.

Preliminary Agenda

We will be regularly updating our agenda leading up to the event, so please check back often for the latest schedule.


  • The Fermentation Association Advisory Board Meeting
    (by invitation only)

  • Welcome Reception
    (all attendees welcome)


  • Morning Keynote

  • Morning Sessions
    (3 Tracks)

  • Lunch Break

  • Afternoon Keynote

  • Afternoon Sessions
    (3 Tracks)

  • Attendee Reception
    (Attendees are free for dinner)


  • Morning Keynote

  • Morning Sessions
    (3 Tracks)

  • Conference Adjourns
    (Grab-and-Go Lunch Available)


Click the button below to request additional information about sponsoring FERMENTATION 2020


FERMENTATION 2020 will be held at the
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile 

540 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
(Driveway Entrance on 541 North Rush Street)

We have negotiated a discounted room rate of $179/night for FERMENTATION 2020 attendees. Rooms are available for stays May 19 - May 24.

You must book your room by May 7, 2020 to receive the discounted rate.

Things to do in Chicago

So how do you choose between all of Chicago’s top restaurants, nightlife spots, shopping districts, sporting events, museums, and performing arts? Check out Choose Chicago to plan your time in the Windy City.


Register for FERMENTATION 2020 and SAVE 40% ($200) when you register by February 27, 2020.

Your registration gives you access to all tracks and sessions and includes a 1-Year Membership to The Fermentation Association.

Questions? Please contact us at info@fermentationassociation.org


You will be taken to our secure registration site hosted at eventzilla.net to complete your registration