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The North American edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit will be hosted in San Francisco on 18-20th January 2017. The summit comprises four conference sessions and two interactive workshops...

Session One: Sustainable Food Systems

Agriculture is both a cause and victim of many of the sustainability issues the planet faces. From climate change, loss of biodiversity, resource scarcity, to obesity epidemic, social inequality and mass migration, agriculture and / or food systems are partly responsible for these issues. This session looks at how sustainable food systems can help resolve some of these major issues. What sustainable solutions are provided by permaculture? How can the food industry learn from the science of biomimetics? How can biodynamic agriculture help combat climate change? What are recent development in organic livestock and sustainable seafood production?

The session adjourns with featured speakers debating the future direction of sustainable food systems: is it with new systems designed for sustainability, or should producers be re-considering 'traditional techniques'?

Session Two: Advances in Sustainable Ingredients

Sustainable ingredients continue to gain currency in the food industry. On one side, food and beverage firms are turning to ingredients with lower environmental impacts and / or positive social impacts. On the other, there is growing pressure to replace contentious ingredients from product formulations. This session covers such developments.

An international ingredient firm shows how sustainable sourcing can encourage crop diversity. Other seminars cover developments in natural flavorings, marine ingredients, and innovating with sustainable ingredients. Although the GM labeling bill has now been passed, concerns remain about its scope and implementation. Details will be given of the labeling bill and its implications to the sustainable food community. The session closes with a panel discussion on re-formulating products with sustainable ingredients.

Session Three: Marketing Update

This session gives success stories of operators involved in marketing and distribution of such products. A leading retail chain shares its experiences in meeting the sustainability challenge, whilst a foodservice operator gives insights into its sustainability program, and how it is responsibly sourcing ingredients and tackling waste. With fast-food an integral part of American culture, a case study is given of a new operator that aims to break 'conventional wisdom' about fast-food. A Latin American brand will give details on how it has been successful in merging organic and premium values with its novel products.

As a prelude to the waste impacts session, the last two seminars highlight the role of packaging and digital technologies. How can changes in packaging material reduce the waste impact of finished products? How is a new internet platform helping reduce food waste? The session adjourns with panelists discussing marketing communications: with sustainability now becoming a multi-faceted subject, how should brands and retailers get the often complex green message across to consumers?

Session Four: Waste Impacts

Addressing waste is a major sustainability issue in the food industry. Over 120 billion pounds of food goes to waste in the US each year, having significant environmental, social and economic repercussions. At the same time, about 15 percent of the American population is experiencing food poverty. Packaging waste is also a major concern, with large amounts of plastics going to landfill and / or causing disruption in marine systems. This session discusses approaches to tackle food and packaging waste, highlighting industry best-practices.

Following an update on the extent of food losses and waste in the US, an international food company shares its experiences in becoming a zero-waste organization. A pioneering natural food company shows how it is tackling food waste by creating new products. The role of packaging in extending the life-time of foods is highlighted, followed by a panel discussion on consumer behavior. How can consumers change shopping and eating habits for sustainability? How can they dispose of food and packaging waste more responsibly?

Workshop I: Financing for Business Growth

Financing business growth is a major challenge for many natural and sustainable food enterprises. Getting access to capital, finding suitable investment partners, and / or utilizing finance effectively are major issues faced.

This workshop highlights the various financing options available to sustainable & ethical food companies. With the use of case studies, guidance will be given on accessing and utilizing finance for business growth. The risks and pitfalls of financing are outlined, as well as success stories.

Workshop II: Food Authenticity and Traceability

Food fraud is becoming rife with an estimated one in ten foods adulterated or falsely mislabeled. Organic and sustainable foods are at risk because of their price premium. This new workshop has been designed to help companies mitigate food fraud risks and provide greater controls and traceability in their supply chains.

The workshop begins with an introduction to the various types of food fraud. Details are given of the most common products targeted by fraudsters. The impact of such fraud on human health, consumer confidence, the environment, and commerce is assessed. The supply chain for modern food products is described, including vulnerability spots for food fraud. Existing control methods in food supply chains are outlined, as well as their limitations. Using case studies of recent food fraud scandals, measures to improve traceability in supply chains will be discussed. A detailed account will be given of food authentication methods, followed by recommendations to strengthen supply chains and improve transparency. This workshop is designed for operators in the food industry looking to mitigate the threat of food fraud.


Please contact us to get the detailed summit program.

Organized by:

Organic Monitor

Powered by:

Gold Sponsors:

Barry Callebaut
Nature Works

Silver Sponsor:

Global ID

Supporting Organizations:

Ecocert QAI
Sustainable Food Trade Association Demeter

Media Partners:

Future 500 Sustainable Food News
Organic & Wellness News
The Organic & Non-GMO Report
World Press Online