Belfast summit aims to tackle the escalating problem of food integrity

Professor Chris Elliott
Professor Chris Elliott

Food-security experts from all over the world will converge on Belfast from 28-31 May 2018 for a major Summit on how to feed a growing global population - amid massive challenges such as climate change, Brexit, labyrinthine food-supply chains and food fraud on a global scale.

The Belfast Summit on Global Food Integrity will be chaired by Professor Chris Elliott OBE, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Medicine, Health and Life Sciences faculty at Queen’s University Belfast.

Keynote speakers already signed up boast experience in organisations including the World Health Organisation; the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO); World Wildlife Fund; World Bank; PepsiCo as well as internationally leading agri-food research institutions such as Wageningen URL (the Netherlands).

Dubliner Dr John Bell, Head of Bioeconomy at the Research and Innovation Directorate General of the European Commission, will open the summit, setting the high-level tone. A number of EU projects will attend the Summit and host meetings while in Belfast.

The summit will be outcomes-focussed, working towards a series of urgent recommendations to influence policy in the area of food integrity, food safety and food security.

The event – which will also provide a major boost for Belfast tourism and international business links – will be hosted by the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) at Queen’s, founded by Professor Elliott, along with principal partners safefood and Laval University (Quebec, Canada).

Because of the scale of the Summit – up to 700 delegates from around the world are expected to attend the four-day event – the decision was made to move the location from Queen’s to Northern Ireland’s premier conference location, the Belfast Waterfront.

Professor Chris Elliott said: “The event, a first of its kind in the world, shows the global strength of IGFS in terms of developing a future food supply system based on the principles of integrity. Belfast playing host to such a Summit is an accolade for the city and the wider Northern Ireland food industry.”

Although hosted by world-renowned academics from IGFS at Queen’s, the Summit will be attended by a range of experts from across the international food industry, food science and agri-food/environmental science, including business leaders, policy-makers, and representatives from NGOs.