Organic leaders to debate the future of food at Natural & Organic Products Europe 2018

Some of the biggest names in the organic world will be heading to London ExCeL next month for Natural & Organic Products Europe – the UK’s flagship trade event for the natural and organic sector. Soil Association, Sustainable Food Trust, Riverford, Daylesford & Ocado now confirmed.

Chief executives and senior managers from the Soil Association, Sustainable Food Trust, Riverford, Daylesford and Ocado are among the speakers now confirmed to appear in the show’s new-format Natural Food Talks Theatre (sponsored by Natural Products Global) over 22-23 April.

The stellar line-up also includes Zac Goldsmith, Conservative MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston – a lifelong environmentalist, animal welfare campaigner, and passionate advocate for organic food.  He’ll be talking candidly about his environmental beliefs, what he thinks the organic industry can do to feed a hungry world, and what should happen to British agriculture post Brexit, in an exclusive interview with journalist Michael Wale, on the show’s second day (11am, Monday 23 April).

Brexit & beyond

The government’s recent pledge of delivering a ‘Green Brexit’ and commitment to ‘conserving natural capital’ has been widely welcomed by the organic and sustainable farming community.

But what does a Green Brexit actually mean for organic? What might a farming policy that prioritises environmental protection and emphasises the vital links between food and health look like in practice? Is it, as it’s been called, a transformative moment in agricultural history?

These are just some of the questions three prominent organic farmers – including Soil Association chief Helen Browning OBE, Sustainable Food Trust’s CEO Patrick Holden CBE, and Riverford founder Guy Watson – will be tackling in a headline Keynote panel discussion at the show (1pm, Monday 23 April).

For this year’s visitors, it’s a rare opportunity to hear directly from three of the UK’s most inspirational and influential individuals working in the organic sector today, addressing some of the key issues facing UK farmers and the organic sector more generally.

Commenting on the session, Natural Products Global editor in chief, Jim Manson, says: “If, as an industry, we can show that our products and our approaches to production – environment-friendly, high animal welfare standards, sustainable – are a natural fit with the Government’s stated new priorities we will have a fantastic opportunity to strengthen our businesses and achieve our vision.”

Organic retail trends

Other Natural Food Talks highlights include a rare Keynote by Tim Field, sustainability manager at Daylesford.  Since joining the company in 2007, he has worked closely with founder Carole Bamford on the farm, retail and café business and the Daylesford Foundation charity.  He’ll be discussing successful organic retailing and the new trends driving their innovations, including packaging, plant based diets, and agroecology practices (12pm, Sunday 22 April).

New speakers also include:

  • Kevin Hancock, senior buying manager at Ocado – the world’s largest dedicated online grocery retailer – sharing insights into their rising star categories.
  • Mark Hiscox, alcohol buyer at CLF Distribution, outlining new organic alcohol trends and opportunities for independent retailers.
  • Dr Cass Ingram, from North American Herb & Spice, exploring ‘Food as Medicine’, focussing on the historical and modern use of wild oregano, black seed, raw honey, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon.
  • Danish futurist Birthe Linddal with her forecast of the ‘8 trends that will shape the food world in the coming decade’.

While popular returning speaker Lee Holdstock, trade relations manager at Soil Association, will be talking about why organic is ‘food as it should be’ – and why stocking it can help retailing businesses grow.

“Consumers are becoming increasingly vocal on environment, animal welfare health, so offering truly ethical products is now more important than ever.  Holistic, long-standing and delivering a wide range of benefits, with a 16% increase in sales in independent retail in 2017, organic is truly delivering,” says Holdstock.

From exclusive Keynotes and interviews, to research updates and panel discussions – each session at Natural & Organic Products Europe has been tailored specifically to address key business opportunities (and challenges) for the natural and organic industry.  The full speaker programme – running across three dedicated theatres over two days, will be available to view on the show’s website later this month (www.naturalproducts.co.uk/seminars).

“Natural & Organic Products Europe has already firmly established itself as the destination show for natural and organic retailers and suppliers, and our fantastic speakers for 2018 makes it even more unmissable,” says Carol Dunning, event director of Natural & Organic Products Europe.

The Natural Food Show at Natural & Organic Products Europe will take place on 22-23 April 2018 at ExCeL London.

Natural & Organic Products Europe 2018 – Register for a free trade pass

Natural & Organic Products Europe – Europe’s biggest natural and organic trade event – returns to London ExCeL on 22-23 April.

Bio Eco Actual, International Organic Newspaper
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