York hosts national conference on food chain security
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 horsemeat 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 24 April.
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.”