IGFS recently hosted the inaugural Belfast Summit on Global Food Integrity which attracted over 600 delegates from 47 countries to the Waterfront Hall over four days.
The Summit, at the end of May, was a great success, with a lively line-up of plenary and keynote speakers, workshops, EU project meetings and spinoff events.
Speakers from the United Nations, Pepsico, World Wildlife Fund and research centres like Wageningen gave us thought-provoking insights – like how AMR is likely to be a bigger public-health threat than cancer by 2050.
Or that 96% of all mammals left in the world are farmed animals with the remaining 4% of wildlife squeezed into smaller and smaller areas of forest.
And how it’s all connected. Biodiversity (or lack of), climate change, geopolitics, pollution, terrorism, Brexit, agriculture – they all have a direct impact on our global food supply system.
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom. A central message to come out of the Summit is that there’s still time to turn things around with some creativity, focus and action. But the action needs to be now.
To that end, the next step is to funnel the outcomes of the Summit into clear recommendations and then feed these back into the regulatory organisations which participated in the Summit so policy can be influenced at the highest levels.
Delegates found time to have some fun too. Telly scientist Marty Jopson injected some timely light-heartedness; the high quality of NI agri-food was showcased at a pop-up market; and delegates enjoyed some homegrown music and craic at a Gala Dinner at the Titanic Visitor Centre.
Visit the Summit website for more pictures and video highlights from the opening day.
Roll on Belfast Food Summit#2!