• Unlock the Potential of the Food Science Community

New Membership Model

The vote to approve IFT’s proposed new membership model, and the interdependent update to its governing documents, received an overwhelmingly positive approval of 89% in favor of the proposed changes. The approved updated Bylaws will become effective immediately. The new model will become effective in September 2017. At that time, all membership category references will be updated online. Details regarding transitioning to the new model will be shared with current members via future email communications and at IFT17.

WHY A NEW MEMBERSHIP MODEL–A New Model for Future Growth and Sustainability

The landscape of professional associations and scientific institutes continues to change.  IFT wants to remain adaptable to shifts in our profession, along with changes in demographics and member needs.  Therefore, the IFT Board of Directors agreed it was important to undergo a thoughtful and comprehensive look at the current membership model, including extensive market research; qualitative phone calls with members, past members, and prospective members; member surveys; and focus groups. The feedback received led to a proposed reshaping of IFT’s current model.


The new membership model provides membership options more directly in line with the needs of current and future members, including more affordable and internationally accessible options for IFT’s growing community.
The new membership model offers the following membership categories:

  • Premier – merges the current Member and Professional Member categories into this new category providing the highest level of access and discounts to all of IFT’s invaluable resources, services, programs and events

  • Networking and engagement – provides a subset of resources plus a discount to IFT’s annual event and select programs and resources

  • Joint international membership – IFT has partnered with a select group of international professional associations to offer joint international membership options

  • Emeritus  (no changes were proposed to this category)

  • Student (no changes were proposed to this category)

In addition, to help make membership more affordable for new professionals after graduation, a tiered early career discount will also be offered within the Premier membership category.  This tiered pricing will provide discounted pricing for the first three years in the workforce following the completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree.

A comprehensive matrix has been created to provide an easy way to see different member benefits provided within each proposed category. Transition details will be shared with current members via future email communications and at IFT17. Details for new members will become available online in July 2017.

View new membership model benefits by category matrix. (PDF)