Chris Elliott to present City Food Lecture

Professor Chris Elliott will present the 2017 City Food Lecture

Food fraud threats will be the focus of the prestigious City Food Lecture 2017 to be presented by Professor Chris Elliott at London’s Guildhall next month (February 21).

Elliott, who is professor of food safety and founder of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast, will give a lecture titled: ‘Does it matter where our food comes from?’

The annual City Food Lecture is one of the main events in the food calendar. It brings together industry leaders, academics and members of London’s leading food-related livery companies.

“To try and guarantee what we eat is what we think it is, has become an enormous challenge,” said Elliot. “Due to globalisation of the feed and food supply chains the ability for fraudulent activity to be undertaken has risen enormously.”

Food fingerprinting

Research at the Institute for Global Food Security has centred on using ‘food fingerprinting techniques’ which can be used by stakeholders to test for signs of adulteration in foods such as palm oil, olive oil and honey.

John Reynolds, chairman of the City Food Lecture committee, said: “The UK has one of the world’s best food safety records, but at a time of global change, the food industry needs to be on its guard to maintain and, where possible, improve food safety.

“Professor Elliott’s lecture will no doubt be a timely reminder of the key challenges our industry faces in the years ahead.”

Panel debate

The lecture will be followed by a panel debate chaired by businesswoman and former TV personality Margaret Mountford and featuring Caroline Drummond, chief executive of the organisation Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF), writer and broadcaster Tim Hayward and Tesco group quality director Tim Smith.

The event will be rounded off with an informal networking supper in the Guildhall’s famous Old Library room.

The City Food Lecture is organised by seven City of London livery companies whose roots are in the food industry – namely the Worshipful Companies of Bakers, Butchers, Cooks, Farmers, Fishmongers, Fruiterers and Poulters.

Previous keynote speakers at the City Food Lecture include Christophe Jouan, chief executive of The Future Foundation, Sainsbury’s former chief executive Justin King, Unilever chief executive Paul Polman, former Cadbury Schweppes chairman, John Sunderland, and former Tesco chief executive, Sir Terry Leahy.

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