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The Sustainable Foods Summit will be hosted in San Francisco on 21-22 January 2015. Like the previous four editions, it will bring together key stake-holders (food manufacturers & retailers, ingredient suppliers, industry organizations & certification agencies, investors, packaging companies, etc.) and create a forum to debate and discuss key sustainability issues in a high-level forum. Please contact us to receive the conference program.

The Sustainable Foods Summit comprises four distinct sessions...

Session One: Sustainability & Marketing Update

The premier session gives an update on sustainability and marketing developments in the food industry. With growing consumer concerns about contentious ingredients in food and beverages, the summit begins with an opening keynote on transparency.

After an overview of the summit agenda, one of the largest sustainable food enterprises in North America shares its experiences in meeting the growing complexity of the sustainability challenge. Details are given on its ecological and social priorities. Other speakers cover sustainable foods in foodservice and retailing. With a number of food companies becoming accused of making false marketing claims, a law firm describes the regulatory framework for natural / sustainable food marketing and product labels. Featured speakers end the session with a discussion on marketing communications: what is the best way to communicate sustainability initiatives to consumers?

Session Two: Food Traceability

The growing debate about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in foods is making consumers ask greater questions about the food they eat. Questions are being asked about food origins, provenance, and production methods. Food companies and retailers are responding by trying to provide greater transparency to consumers. This session covers such developments in the context of traceability of food ingredients.

The session begins with an update on GM labeling. With some sections of the food industry opposing Vermont's mandatory labeling law, an update will be given on Act 120. What is the likely impact on other states looking to introduce similar bills? What developments are on the horizon in 2015? In the absence of mandatory labelling, voluntary schemes continue to gain popularity. The latest market growth numbers are given for Non-GMO Project Verified food sales. Details are also given of other labeling schemes for Non-GMO foods and related schemes.

A major food brand shares its experiences in building transparent supply chains to guarantee its products are GMO-free. An update is given on the growing array of analytical tools that can detect potentially contentious ingredients in food products and provide traceability. A natural food retailer states how it is strengthening consumer trust by improving its selection of food and beverages.

Session Three: Advances in Sustainable Ingredients

The food industry is continuously searching for new ingredients. Some food & beverage companies look for new ingredients for product innovations, others to reduce the environmental footprint of their products. This session looks at some of the developments in these areas.

Coffee, the most traded agricultural commodity, comes under scrutiny because it is sourced from developing countries. A leading foodservice operator states how it is setting up sustainable supply chain for coffee. With growing questions about the use of palm oil in food applications, an update is given on sustainable sourcing. The high environmental impact of livestock production is leading to the emergence of new plant-based proteins. A pioneering enterprise shares its experiences in making novel forms of proteins. With free-from foods gaining popularity, a food company shares its experiences in re-formulating its products to become gluten-free. Other papers cover natural sweeteners and superfood ingredients. To conclude, featured speakers will discuss the sustainable value provided by food ingredients.

Session Four: Customer Behavior

Sales of organic, fair trade and other eco-labeled food products have increased tremendously over the 15 years. In spite of high market growth rates, the market share of such products remains low because a small consumer base is responsible for most purchases. Furthermore, food and beverage companies are putting considerable investment into reducing the environmental impact of their products. However, it is argued more efforts need to be directed at consumers if the food industry is to become truly sustainable. Approaches to encourage purchases of sustainable foods and responsible consumption are discussed in this session.

The session begins with some lifecycle analysis data on the environmental footprint of foods: how important are the impacts at the consumer level? A research agency gives some insights into green consumer behaviour and sustainable purchasing. A major food company states the challenges it faces in influencing consumers, whilst another paper discusses approaches to encourage sustainable consumption. With a third of all food grown for human consumption getting lost in the supply chain, practical approaches to reduce food waste will be discussed. The session concludes with a panel discussion on encouraging positive behavior change.


Please contact us to get the detailed summit program.

Organized by:

Organic Monitor

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Gold Sponsors:

Daaboon Organic Freekeh Foods

Silver Sponsors:

Control Union
IOI Loders Croklaan
Global ID Real Food Company
Food Reg

Supporting Organizations:

Rainforest Alliance Fairtrade America
Ecocert QAI
Tilth Organic Trade Association

Media Partners:

Future 500 Sustainable Food News World Press Online Organic Producer