The aim of the Sustainable Foods Summit is to explore new horizons for eco-labels and sustainability in the food industry by discussing key industry issues. How do organic, fairtrade and other eco-labeling schemes encourage sustainable development? What new sustainability schemes are emerging? Is the future with third party ethical sourcing standards or with in-house schemes? What is the outlook for plant-based foods? What developments are occurring in green packaging materials? What can be done to help the food industry make the transition to a circular economy? Such questions are regularly addressed at this international series of summits.
The North American edition of this executive summit is comprised of four dedicated sessions over two days:
- Session 1: Sustainability Developments
- Session 2: Food Ingredients
- Session 3: Marketing Update
- Session 4: Green Packaging Solutions
Session One: Sustainability Developments
This session gives an update on major sustainability issues facing the food industry, highlighting solutions offered by the circular economy. What are the principles of a circular economy? How should food & beverage products and packaging be designed so nutrient loops are closed? A case study is given of a natural food retailer that has developed zero-waste stores. Insights are given into how it re-directs edible and inedible food for worthwhile causes. The prospects for regional markets for sustainable foods are discussed.
Consumer behaviour is often cited as an obstacle to sustainable food systems; fresh insights are given into how consumers be encouraged to lead a more minimalistic lifestyle. How can small changes in behaviour lead to major changes in sustainable food production and waste reduction? The subject is further discussed in the panel discussion. What can be done to encourage consumers to lead a sustainable lifestyle?
Session Two: Food Ingredients
Ingredients are coming under close scrutiny for the sustainability credentials of a finished product are only as good as the raw materials. Some ingredients are linked to deforestation and biodiversity loss, whilst others are linked to social and health issues. This session looks at some of the ingredients that are adding sustainable value to finished products.
With plant-based proteins gaining currency in the food industry, an update is given on this trend. Details are given of new plant proteins that are being used in meat and dairy substitute products. Hemp is described as a highly versatile and sustainable crop. The opportunities provided by hemp ingredients in food & beverage applications are discussed. Other speakers discuss the upcycling of food side stream ingredients, biodiversity crops, and heritage grains. The session concludes with featured speakers discussing the role of culture in promoting biodiversity in food ingredients.
Session Three: Marketing Update
This session gives a marketing update on sustainable foods, highlighting developments in ethical labels, plant-based foods, digital marketing and consumer behavior. Some predictions are given for sustainable foods: what developments are on the horizon? Will we see more personalization? What role will digital platforms and artificial intelligence have in the future? How will the shopping experience change?
Organic remains the dominant eco-label in the food industry; an update is given on the US & global market for organic foods. What other eco-labels are gaining traction, and how do they compare with organic foods? Plant-based foods continue to become popular because of their ethical and environmental credentials. Two case studies are given of successful operators in this emerging area. Some fresh consumer research is presented on sustainable foods: why are consumers buying such products, and what do they look for? Some insights are given into the growing demographic of Gen Z and millennials, as well as marketing guidelines.
Session Four: Green Packaging Solutions
Although plastic pollution has become a major sustainability issue, few food & beverage companies appear to be taking concrete steps to reduce their packaging impacts. This session looks at the various ways companies can reduce their packaging footprints, especially in terms of moving away from single-use plastics. An update is given on methodologies to measure the environmental impact of packaging. Details are given of new packaging formats that helps reduce wastage, as well as new materials that can be used to replace plastics in packaging. The growing number of applications for biopolymers in flexible packaging is discussed.
A new shopping platform is introduced; insights are given into how the Loop platform aims to make plastic waste a thing of the past. Case studies are given of brands that have been successful with sustainable packaging followed by the panel discussion: industry experts will discuss the packaging needs for a circular economy. How can food & beverage brands close their packaging material loops? Is the way forward with sustainable materials or by eradicating single-use packaging altogether?
CEO & Co-Founder, Numi Organic Tea
CEO, The Planetarians
Founder and President, Ecovia Intelligence
Executive Director, Plant Based Products Council
Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Lotus Foods
Professor Harriet Friedmann
University of Toronto
Curator, Oaksterdam Cannabis Museum
SVP Merchandising & Product Development, Thrive Market
Sustainability & Marketing Specialist, Tradin Organic
Senior Director, IDEO
Head of Digital Marketing, PR, Fig Or Out
VP, Global Business Development, Terracycle
The Sustainable Foods Summit is devised for key stake-holders in the food industry that include:
- Food & beverage companies
- Packaging companies
- Academics & researchers
- Ingredient & raw material suppliers
- Industry organizations & NGOs
- Investors & financiers
- Retailers & distributors
- Certification agencies
- Other stake-holders
Merchants Exchange Club
75 Leidesdorff Street