This week, 20 experts from around the world have assembled in Paris for a stimulating two-day think-in. Their task? Constructing the programme for the food industry’s annual rendez-vous – the Global Food Safety Conference.
This is the first Programme Committee meeting of many taking place over the coming months as they strive to make the 2018 conference the best one yet. And the bar is set high for this 17th edition to meet – and surpass – delegates’ expectations while driving the global food safety agenda even further.
What keeps industry leaders awake at night? What challenges and opportunities are top of mind for experts dedicated to the continuous advancement of food safety in different parts of the world? How can we achieve the GFSI vision of safe food for consumers everywhere?
These are some of the questions the 2018 GFSC Programme Committee are asking as they build the next Global Food Safety Conference - from crafting the programme itself to designing the entire delegate experience.
Some of the words heard in the room over the past two days?
consumers • shifting food trends • millennials • new players • e-commerce • food delivery • artisan foods • capability building • FSMA • harmonisation • Tokyo Olympics 2020 • perceptions • misconceptions • innovation • changing roles for businesses and regulators • supply chain • retail • manufacturing • food service • chefs • governments • IGOs • consumer associations • media • academia • new science • whole genome sequencing • listeria control • emerging risks • ongoing challenges • food safety culture • Japan food culture • Asia • Global • leadership • CEOs • regulation • implementation tools • awards • recognition • raw foods • traceability • blockchain • Silicon Valley • AI • drones •holistic approach • sustainability • water supply • food security • collaboration • partnerships • abstracts • proposals • workshops • plenaries • breakouts • debate • high-level speakers • futurology • comedy • tech talks • streaming • GFSI TV • press conference • networking • parallel meetings • G30 of food safety • training • sector-specific streams • interpretation • games • panel • moderator • web series • must-attend • value proposition • take-aways • insights • case studies • success stories • business growth • best-practice sharing
Looking around the table (and via conference call), it was clear just how many diverse perspectives were coming together, both in terms of industry background - retail, manufacturing, food service, service providers, e-commerce and academia, and geographical and cultural backgrounds across the Americas, Asia and Europe.
We are delighted to be working with these dedicated individuals - who are kindly volunteering their time and expertise - and who are committed to making the 2018 conference the one must-attend food safety event of the year.
Now, over to the Committee members themselves!
Big thanks to all of you who submitted proposals for the 2018 GFSI conference! We are fortunate to have over 100 amazing abstracts to work with as we craft the programme.” - Gillian Kelleher, V.P. of Food Safety and Quality Assurance, Wegmans Food Markets, USA & Anita Scholte op Reimer, Sr. Director Quality Assurance & Product Sustainability, Ahold, Netherlands
This has been a wonderful opportunity for a face-to-face meeting ahead of the next few months of remote collaboration! We understand that traveling to Japan for the 2018 conference may represent a larger investment for many delegates – that’s why we’re working harder than ever this year to make sure it’s worth your trip!" - Naoki Shinoda, General Manager Food Safety, Cargill, Japan
One of the things we’re doing today is looking closely at feedback delegates have provided us in previous years. As we build the programme, we’re looking for unique and thought-provoking topics that will really add value. Two key factors are irrevocably changing the face of the food industry right now: 1) changing consumer demographics and 2) rapidly developing technology. This is creating an interesting polarity and the industry needs to be more attentive and nimble than ever before." - Sara Mortimore, Vice President Product Safety, Quality and Regulatory, Land O'Lakes, USA
The last two days have really been filled with passionate teamwork! We have a great committee here working together to develop an exciting programme for you next March. I believe GFSC 2018 in Tokyo will be a unique experience to explore different food (safety) cultures, as well as various consumer perspectives and trends! On top of that, we’ve added to the agenda new insights from the perspective of the fast-changing Food Service/HoReCa sector." -Daniela Fetecauova, Global Director Quality Assurance, Metro AG, Germany
Stay tuned for more messages from the Committee - and more teasers about the programme - with the hashtag #GFSi18
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The Consumer Goods Forum