Public Release: 

Conference on securing the future supply of food: Challenges and opportunities

2013 IFST Spring Conference

Norwich BioScience Institutes

Securing the future supply of food is a major challenge facing the food industry. How can we ensure that the food chain continues to supply, safe healthy food to the consumer in a sustainable manner, as population grows and resources become scarcer? This is the focus of the IFST Spring Conference, being held jointly with the Institute of Food Research on the Norwich Research Park, 17-18 April.

A range of presentations will look at current food supply issues, such as sustainability and waste, and investigate potential future solutions through the latest science and technology thinking. What will be the impact of using crops for non-food products? What are the alternative sources of protein for feeding livestock? What can modern biotechnology and genetic modification offer the food supply chain? Further sessions will address safeguarding and improving animal welfare, and look at how to reduce the use of antibiotics.

George Freeman MP, Life Science Adviser to the Government will join a panel discussion to summarise key messages from the conference and decide on plans for action.

There will also be practical sessions on topics such as food safety microbiology for industry, and the chance to tour some of the facilities on the Norwich Research Park, including IFR's Biorefinery Centre and the John Innes Centre's GM plant services. A post-graduate poster competition will showcase the range of solutions to food security problems being developed by early career food scientists across the UK, and the conference. The conference dinner will take place at Delia Smith's restaurant at Norwich City football club.


Registration for Securing the future supply of food: challenges and opportunities is now open, with early-bird rates available until 28th February. The conference is sponsored by Marks and Spencer and Greencell. The post-graduate poster competition is sponsored by Barfoots.


IFST is hosting its Spring Conference jointly with the Institute of Food Research, the UK's only publicly funded research institute addressing the fundamental science of food and health. Practical sessions led by IFR's scientists form a key part of the conference programme, on topics including food safety microbiology and food composition databases. IFR's Food and Health Network, which bridges the gap between IFR's science and its application to industry, will make available its expertise in areas such as structuring food for health, food chain sustainability and the link between plants food and health.

Students are particularly encouraged to attend. The IFST Ralph Blanchfield Award was established to encourage young, undergraduate food scientists, technologists and engineers, based in the UK, to travel to, and participate in the Annual IFST Spring Conference, where they will meet with fellow professionals.

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