Celebrating 98 years of service
1918 In September 1918, at the Hotel Sherman in Chicago, George E. Dean and others joined forces to organize BEMA to help with the WWI war effort.
1920 The first Baking Expo took place in 1920 in Atlantic City, NJ. Its purpose was to showcase the products of bakery equipment manufacturers and suppliers.
1942 In 1942, BEMA purchased thousands of dollars in War Bonds and encouraged its members to purchase bonds and freeze equipment prices to support the war effort.
1948 BEMA's Technical Committee was created in 1948 to study federal, state and municipal sanitation regulations for baking machinery.
1949 The Technical Committee established the first sanitation codes for BEMA members. In 1949 BEMA, along with allied organizations, helped form the Baking Industry Sanitation Standards Committee whose purpose is to develop and promote sanitation standards for bakery equipment.
1949 In 1949, BEMA invited the American Bakers Association to co-sponsor the Baking Expo with BEMA. It was a natural partnership with BEMA members as exhibitors and ABA members as attendees. BEMA and the ABA open the IBIE with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
1951 In 1951, at the request of the U.S. Government, BEMA, representing the baking industry, formed along with other industries, the National Defense Preparedness Committee, to determine the nation's metal requirements for every industry. BEMA was first to submit its report to the federal government.
1955 The first Bakery Equipment Guide was distributed at the 1955 Bakery Expo. Over 13,000 attendees viewed the first continuous mixing systems of bread production.
1967 In 1967, California Governor Ronald Reagan keynoted the Bakery Expo, where automation of production equipment and new packaging and labeling machines were featured.
1970 In 1970, BEMA threw its support behind the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Workmen's Compensation Act. These acts passed Congress, were signed by the President and are still in force today.
1979 In 1979, BEMA began donating funds to the industry. The first monetary contribution was made to the American Institute of Baking.
1981 In 1981, the Baking Expo was renamed the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE). The total number of foreign exhibitors doubled and foreign attendance comprised more than 20% of all attendees.
1984 In 1984, BEMA launched its "Warning Label" program featuring different labels equipment manufacturers could display on their products.
1991 In 1991, BEMA transferred the warning label program to the AIB and it was incorporated into their safety program.
1992 In 1992, BEMA's membership exceeded 100 members.
1995 In 1995, BEMA launched BEMATech, an all industry technology conference and small trade show, in conjunction with NAFEM '95. The show proved to be a success and was followed with an even bigger BEMATech 97.
2000 In 2000, BEMA opened up membership to all suppliers and changed its logo to reflect that decision.
2001 At the 2001 IBIE, BEMA distributed the newly renamed Bakery Equipment, Product and Service Guide. The guide identifies BEMA suppliers and the products and services they provide.
2002 In 2002, BEMA's membership exceeded 200 members.
2002 In 2002, BEMA dissolved BEMATech in favor of holding the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) every three years.
2005 In 2005, BEMA's offices moved from Chicago (Wilmette, IL) to Kansas City (Overland Park, KS.)
2010 In 2010, IBIE returned to Las Vegas with record attendance.
2011 In 2011 BEMA joined forces with ABA and AIB to fund the rewirting of the BISSC/ANSI Z50.2 Standard through a third party facilitator.