2023 City Food and Drink Lecture panel announced

2023 City Food and Drink Lecture panel announced

For its 22nd lecture and first year re-branded as the City Food and Drink Lecture around 600 livery members, VIP guests and industry experts will discuss the issue of food and drink sustainability throughout the supply chain.

L-R: Charlotte Smith, Sophie Lawrence, Sue Davies, Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones.

The panel joining this year’s speaker, Sir Charles Godfray are:

  • Wilfred Emmanuel Jones, Founder of The Black Farmer
  • Panel chair Charlotte Smith, who is well known for her role as presenter on BBC1’s Countryfile and on Radio 4’s Farming Today
  • Sophie Lawrence, Stewardship and Engagement Lead at Rathbones Greenbank
  • Sue Davies, Head of Consumer Rights and Food Policy at Which?

Sir Charles Godfray, director of Oxford University’s Oxford Martin School and its Future of Food Programme is set to discuss the resilience of the food and drink system, the impact of de-globalisation, the challenges of net zero and the creative and disruption potential of new technologies, amongst other issues.

Panel chair for the third year running, Charlotte Smith, said: “This year’s lecture provides a challenging subject for food, drink and farming. I look forward to hearing from Sir Charles and discussing the prevalent issues with the panel.”

Commenting on this year’s theme, Sophie Lawrence, Stewardship and Engagement Lead at Rathbones Greenbank says: “There are a multitude of risks facing the food and drink system today linked to issues such as nutrition, biodiversity loss and climate change. How companies respond to these issues and to the changing regulatory, consumer and other stakeholder demands surrounding them will influence not only their social licence to operate but also the long-term resilience of their operating models and supply chains. I am excited to represent the investor perspective at the City Food & Drink lecture and explore with my fellow panellists how we can work together to build a healthy, sustainable and affordable food and drink system.”

Sue Davies, head of Consumer Rights and Food Policy at Which? said: “I am really looking forward to this important discussion. Consumers are being hit very hard by relentless food price inflation and people are increasingly having to trade down and shop around. Millions are telling us that they are having to take drastic steps such as skipping meals, and as a result people are finding eating healthily much more challenging.

“The Government has a crucial role in developing and delivering a food strategy that ensures a more resilient food system that supports people in making affordable, healthy and sustainable choices. But the food industry and particularly the main supermarkets need to step up and do more to ensure people can access affordable, healthy ranges and rely on transparent pricing to compare best value.”

Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, founder of The Black Farmer added: “I am really looking forward to Sir Charles’ lecture and taking part on the panel.  I firmly believe that building a just, healthy, and sustainable food and drink system is not only a challenge, but an imperative for our collective future. Let us embrace the opportunities that lie ahead and work together to create a food system that nourishes both our bodies and the planet.”

The interactive panel discussion will touch upon and debate key takeaways from the lecture, providing insight into both the challenges we face in the food & drink system, as well as the opportunities that come from this.

John Giles, the chair of the City Food & Drink Lecture said: “We put a good deal of thought into the composition of the panel for the City Food & Drink Lecture and this is a very important part of the overall event itself. This year we have again 3 excellent people on the panel, each from different parts of the supply chain. We are very much looking forward to hearing their thoughts and views from the questions received from the audience and then their reaction to the Keynote speech delivered by Sir Charles Godfray. This will cover issues such as de-globalisation, diet, moving towards genuine net zero carbon commitments, anti-obesity drugs and the need to stress test our food and drink system through a series of huge supply chain shocks over the last few years”.

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