Conference to consider what happens if we run out of food

The security and safety of food systems are in danger from a host of threats including climate change, urbanisation, globalisation and the ongoing degradation of natural resources. But reliable food systems are critical to our way of life.

The Asia Pacific Centre for Food Integrity will examine and debate these issues at its annual conference, Food Integrity 2019 – Food Safety vs Food Security, in Auckland on July 30-31.

Dr Geoff Allen, chief executive of Asia Pacific Centre for Food Integrity, says the format chosen for this year’s conference challenges speakers to pick a side – food safety or food security.

“We want to know if they think it’s more important that our food is safe to consume, or that there’s enough to feed the planet, and if these positions are mutually exclusive,” he says.

“So many conferences on food security do not include people who are working in food safety. So many conferences on food safety have no representation of consumers, nor interest in how the actions of food safety enthusiasts may impact on the amount of available food, or the amount of food waste, or the amount of plastic packaging. 

“In short, the food system is comprised of many parts – rarely do all of these parts come together to ask how they can collaborate or how they can work together.”  

Food Integrity 2019 will feature over 30 industry experts from around the globe in a series of keynote and rapid-fire sessions debating how we ensure our food is safe and plentiful.

Keynote speakers include renowned expert in food fraud and agro-terrorism, Shaun Kennedy, who will speak on advances in detection and prevention of deliberate adulteration of the food supply chain. Drawing on his extensive experience in the US, working with players across the food supply chain, Kennedy has an interest in food ecosystems and in the interface between human health, wildlife and the environment. Kennedy will draw on his research into food system vulnerabilities to present current US initiatives and interventions.

Joining the debate is Marc Smith, CEO NodeXL. Smith is a US sociologist specialising in the social organisation of online communities and computer mediated interaction. Smith leads the Connected Action consulting group and lives and works in Silicon Valley, California. He is a co-founder of the Social Media Research Foundation which is dedicated to Open Tools, Open Data, and Open Scholarship related to social media. He will be talking about how food can be made safer and more secure through collective action.

Also speaking are Katherine Rich – CEO, NZ Food and Grocery Council, Suzanne Snively ONZM – Chair, Transparency International New Zealand, Ash Whitaker – Co-founder of Cardrona Distillery and a host of industry experts in field including food systems, exporting, data science, food waste and many more.

Source:  Asia Pacific Centre for Food Integrity

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog

Leave a Reply