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National conference to examine food chain security

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Protecting the UK food chain will come under the spotlight at a major national conference for food manufacturers, processors and retailers – being held in the aftermath of the horse meat crisis.

‘Assuring The Integrity of the Food Chain’ will examine the issues surrounding the horsemeat incident and explore how robust verification measures can be included in supply chain management to assure product integrity.

The high level debate – hosted by York, North Yorkshire & East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership – is seen as key to re-establishing consumer confidence and trust in the food industry and particularly the meat sector.

Leading international and UK industry speakers will address the one-day event which will also feature representatives from Defra and the Food Standards Agency.

The conference is being held in the heart of Yorkshire – which has the largest concentration of food and drink businesses in the UK, contributing £2.7 billion to the regional economy – at The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) at Sand Hutton, York, on Wednesday, April 24.

Professor Rob Edwards, Chief Scientist at Fera, said:

The food sector faces a significant challenge in restoring consumer confidence following the revelations surrounding horsemeat. Science has a significant role to play in helping companies rebuild trust with their customers. The aim of this conference is to bring together industry specialists and scientists to look at what can be done now and what may need to be developed for the future.”

The conference will address key problems and issues on meat speciation and verification. European neighbours including the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in Germany and Nofima, the Norwegian food research institute, will share their experiences with the expected 200 delegates.

LEP board member David Kerfoot said:

The UK food and drink industry is the largest manufacturing sector in the country so it’s vital that we learn all we can from the horsemeat episode. Yorkshire and Humber is an ideal venue for this conference as it has extensive, mature supply chains, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and one of the largest concentrations of distributors in the UK.

Drawing together industry experts and scientists from the UK and wider Europe will facilitate a debate about how best we address food integrity and assure the food supply chain.

The food and drink manufacturing industry is the single largest manufacturing sector in the UK, with a turnover of £72.8bn, accounting for 15% of the total manufacturing sector. 440,000 people are employed in food manufacturing in the UK.

To book your place at the conference please email rachel@cicada-comms.com or telephone 01423 567111.

David Kerfoot copy
LEP board member David Kerfoot

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