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Food and drink sustainability conference first of its kind in Wales

(Adobe Stock)

Wales’ first ever conference focusing on sustainability in the food and drink industry will be held on Wednesday 3 July 2024 at the All Nations Centre, Cardiff and will be open to all food and drink businesses and professionals in Wales.

The Food & Drink Wales Sustainability Conference, which is being delivered by the Welsh Government’s Food & Drink Wales Sustainability Cluster, in collaboration with the Food & Drink Wales Insight Programme, will help businesses improve their sustainability in areas that matter most to consumers.

Using an interactive mix of activities and networking opportunities, the event aims to increase business knowledge across market insights, consumer trends, and buyer Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The event will also demonstrate how Welsh Government is working to enhance the environmental performance of the food and drink industry and to highlight the successes of businesses in improving their sustainability.

The conference will also offer the opportunity to take part in the Carbon Reduction Plan Pilot Programme, designed to support business baseline their carbon emissions and develop actionable carbon reduction plans.

Mark Grant, Food & Drink Wales Sustainability Cluster Lead, who is organising the conference, said: “We are thrilled to launch the first Sustainability Conference in Wales. We have many great speakers with extensive knowledge and experience in the industry joining us, so it promises to be a beneficial event for all food and drink businesses and professionals in Wales. It will be a great chance for the industry to come together at this unique event to discuss and tackle sustainability.”

Supporting and developing sustainable business practices across Wales’ agri-food industry is at the heart of the Food & Drink Wales Sustainability Cluster’s work. Launched in January 2020, it uses the triple helix approach of government, industry and academia working hand in hand to tackle common industry problems.

The Cluster has over 100 producer members, along with 60 government bodies, academic organisations and support organisations including Food Innovation Wales, AMRC Cymru, FareShare, Wrap Cymru, National Farmers’ Union (NFU), Farmers Union of Wales (FUW) and Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC).

Functioning as a central hub, the Cluster provides intelligence to businesses, becoming the eyes and ears of the industry, developing networks and industry expertise to help Wales become a world leader in sustainability.

The conference is bringing together experts, trade and policymakers to explore the latest consumer insight from Kantar, IGD and The Food People, whilst finding out why sustainability is important to food business and the trade more widely.

Guest speaker Fiona Powell, IGD Head of Sustainability said: “I am delighted to be a part of the Food & Drink Wales Sustainability Conference where I will give an overview of how sustainable packaging is evolving, with some key insights on the current progress of environmental labelling in the UK. This will give the SME delegates insight as to what they can be planning for within their own businesses over the medium term.”