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Sustainable Food & Beverage Manufacturing Conference & Exhibition is a Major Success

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Sustainable Food & Beverage Manufacturing Conference & Exhibition is a Major Success

Sustainable Food & Beverage Manufacturing Conference & Exhibition is a Major Success
December 02
10:43 2014

500 delegates from food and drink businesses across the UK and Ireland attended the inaugural Sustainable Food & Beverage Manufacturing Conference & Exhibition, which was held at the Motor Cycle Museum, Birmingham on Thursday, 23rd of October 2014.

In line with the event’s theme of ‘sustainable growth for sustainable profits’, the speakers at the Conference were carefully selected from senior management within the food and drink industry, both at home and abroad, who had a successful track record of delivering quantifiable eco results in sustainable manufacturing and throughout the supply chain.

Michael Dickstein, Global Manager Sustainable Development at Heineken International.

Michael Dickstein, Global Manager Sustainable Development at Heineken International.

For example, Michael Dickstein, Global Manager Sustainable Development at Heineken International, travelled from the Netherlands to enlighten the Conference on how Heineken is meeting its 2020 Global Sustainability Goals.

Simon Thompson, Environmental Packaging Lead at Mondelez Europe, outlined how the global snacking giant is optimized packaging to reduce food waste.

Inder Poonaji, Head of Sustainability at Nestlé UK, provided an interesting insight into how the world’s largest food manufacturer is prioritising sustainability.

The importance of sustainability to successful business activity was also explored by Gavin Milligan, Group Sustainability Director at William Jackson Food Group.

Pete Robertson, Managing Director of Dailycer UK, a leading manufacturer of breakfast cereals and cereal bars for many of the leading European food retailers, explained his company’s proactive approach to sustainability.

A retailer’s perspective was presented by Mark Little, Head of Food Waste Reduction at Tesco, who examined the area of reducing food waste, while Laura Babbs, Sustainability Manager at Asda, outlined the grocery chain’s sustainability research and customers’ insights.

Videos of the event, including the presentations by all the speakers is available on the Food & Drink Business Europe website www.fdbusiness.com and on Youtube at

SunstainableConferenceSustainability is Not Just a Fad

“The speakers at the conference provided great examples of what companies in the sector are doing to tackle risks such as food waste, energy, and water. It was inspiring to hear about their journeys. The message was clear that sustainability is not just a fad,” comments Catherine Wassall, Marketing Administrator at DNV GL, a sponsor and exhibitor at the event.

DNV GL certifies management systems including ISO14001 helping food and beverage companies to identify any gaps in their management of energy use and GHG emissions. DNV GL provides assessment services such as carbon foot printing and life cycle assessments which enable companies to identify which aspects of the food and drink lifecycle is most carbon intensive and thereby help them to reduce these.

Catherine Wassall adds: “Companies who fail to manage sustainability risks will be at a disadvantage and will lose their customers’ trust. The sector is still at the beginning of its journey and collaboration and innovation are essential to moving forward.”

Inder Poonaji, Head of Sustainability at Nestlé UK.

Inder Poonaji, Head of Sustainability at Nestlé UK.

She believes that the food and drink industry is at the beginning of its journey in terms of tackling water scarcity and reducing its water use in the manufacture of its products and services.

She elaborates: “Many large food and beverage companies have robust sustainability strategies, management systems, and metrics in place to improve performance, but their Tier 1 suppliers are still in process of developing these. The sector will need to deepen its collaboration in order to tackle its key sustainability risks. For example, we see core brands engaging with customers on minimising food waste.”

DNV GL is helping these companies to develop comprehensive sustainability strategies, managing and engaging across the value chain, providing training on sustainability to build capacity internally to manage sustainability risks, and assessing where companies have risks and gaps in their strategies and approaches.

55 Exhibitors

The inaugural Sustainable Food & Beverage Manufacturing Conference & Exhibition featured 55 exhibitors offering tried and tested solutions alongside the latest technology in business sustainability in areas such as factory optimisation, carbon reduction, water conservation, waste management, energy efficiency, renewable energy, packaging reduction, recycling, and supply chain optimisation.

Gavin Milligan, Group Sustainability Director at William Jackson Food Group.

Gavin Milligan, Group Sustainability Director at William Jackson Food Group.

An innovative aspect of the Conference was that each exhibitor was allowed a one minute ‘elevator pitch’ to introduce themselves and their business to the audience of delegates. Of course, delegates also took the opportunity to browse the exhibition stands.

The various workshops and seminars also provided insights into the latest regulations in energy, packaging & labelling, emissions and water usage. The event provided an excellent forum for networking and discussing the latest industry and market trends.

Source of Inspiration

“The Conference was a good source of inspiration regarding the effort and activities food and drink manufacturers and suppliers do to deliver environment and sustainability targets. It was evidenced that there is a close link between environment, business and social responsibility,” says Eva Otel, Marketing and Sustainability Manager, Global Food & Beverage Industry, at SKF, another sponsor and exhibitor at the Sustainable Food & Beverage Manufacturing Conference & Exhibition.

“The key priorities for food and beverages companies continue to be food safety as number one, but also reducing wastes of all kind – from energy to water, lubricants and food wastes. Increased productivity and operations efficiency remain important for business sustainability,” Eva Otel adds.

SustainableConferenceGreenEcoSKF is developing industry specific solutions and technologies that reduce the risk to food safety, while simultaneously bringing economic and sustainability benefits. SKF has developed many ways to help food and beverage manufacturers reduce their carbon footprint throughout the entire value chain – from farm to fork. This ranges from re-lubrication-free bearing technologies that can additionally help to reduce potential food contamination to electromechanical cylinders that can save up to 90% energy when replacing pneumatic systems. SKF’s asset management services help to improve OEE, which contributes to not only saved CO2, but can impact other sustainability drivers such as reduced wastes.

Food&DrinkConference2014Bigger and Better

Colin Murphy, CEO of event organiser Premier Publishing & Events, comments: “The Sustainable Food & Beverage Manufacturing Conference & Exhibition was our inaugural event in this sector of the industry. The event was well attended, and we are very pleased with the response from exhibitors, sponsors and delegates. We are confident of producing an even better and bigger event next year.”

Premier Publishing & Events has already commenced work on the 2015 Sustainable Food & Beverage Manufacturing Conference & Exhibition. For further information contact John Bent at john@prempub.com or at Tel +353 1612 0880.

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