The European edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit will be hosted in Amsterdam on 9-10th June 2022. Please contact us to keep updated.

The 2021 virtual edition comprised four sessions and a workshop…

Session One: Sustainability Developments

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of having sustainable and resilient food systems. Although the flow of food products has continued, the pandemic has highlighted frailties in existing systems. This session gave an update on sustainability issues in the food industry in light of the crisis. The keynote speaker highlighted some of the key lessons from the pandemic. An update was given on the sustainable food market, as well as veganism and the plant-based food market. How has demand changed during the COVID-19 crisis? Details were given of the new European Union green deal and its implications to the food industry.

Approaches to reduce the packaging impact of food & beverages were discussed, followed by some pointers on how operators can prepare for a circular economy. The subject was further discussed by the panel discussion: how can the food industry take positive steps to close material loops?

Session Three: Ethical Sourcing & Transparency

Ethical sourcing is becoming a permanent fixture in the food industry, with a growing number of raw materials now ethically sourced. This session covered recent developments. An update was given on biodiversity regulations and protocols, blockchain technology, deforestation-free products, and sourcing from Africa.

The second part focused on social impacts. What are the social risks in supply chains for foods / ingredients? How can operators assess and mitigate such risks? The role of fair trade in creating positive impacts was discussed. Case studies were given of operators leading the way in ethical sourcing. The session adjourned with featured speakers discussing approaches to measure social impacts of ethical sourcing.

Workshop: Sustainability in Packaging

Packaging has become one of the biggest sustainability issues facing food & beverage firms. Growing consumer opposition to plastics is making brands actively seek for packaging solutions. This workshop highlighted the various ways food & beverage companies can make their packaging more sustainable. Practical guidance and advice was given to brands on packaging design and the use of green materials.

Session Two: Food Ingredients

A wide range of food ingredients now have sustainability merits; some provide ethical / social value, whilst others have lower environmental / health impacts. This session gave details on new and emerging ingredients that are providing such sustainable value to food and beverage products.

The growing use of food byproducts as a raw material source was discussed. Details were given of innovative plant-based proteins that are making their way into food products. Other speakers covered regenerative agriculture, ingredient supply chains, hemp ingredients, and novel sustainable ingredients.

Session Four: Food Diversity & Marketing

The first part discussed approaches to encourage diversity in crop production and consumption. The concept of agricultural biodiversity was introduced. What is the agrobiodiversity index and how it related to food systems? The following speakers covered forgotten foods, ancient grains from Africa, and future projections.

The second part covered marketing trends & developments during the pandemic. An update was given on sustainable food retailing. Another speaker discussed changes in consumer behaviour during the pandemic. What are the implications to sustainable food brands and retailers? Consumer behaviour was further discussed in the panel discussion: how can consumers be encouraged to change their behaviour so they make responsible choices and consumer sustainable foods?