The UK trade event for the food and drink processing, packaging and logistics industries, Foodex 2018 is set to welcome a host of the industry’s most foremost thought leaders at this year’s event, taking place from 16-18 April 2018 at the NEC, Birmingham. The 2018 seminar programme will provide visitors access to the latest insights into the factories of the future, tomorrow’s technological innovations and the top trends impacting today’s manufacturing industries.
Leading the discussion on how Industry 4.0 and digital technologies can empower the supply chain, Matthew Rayment, Technical Manager – Food and Beverage, FMCG, The Manufacturing Technologies Centre will be joined by David Parkinson, Senior Engineering Leader, Royal Haskoning DHV; John Darlington, Head of Department, University of Buckingham; Sam Payne, Local Segment Manager, Weidmuller and Andrew Aitkin, COO Lanner. The panel will advise attendees on how to transition their business to an exciting new reality where digital technology will empower manufacturers to respond to customers’ needs in real-time.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will also be under the spotlight in a session which will explore the opportunity presented by technology to super-charge supply chains in today’s hyper-connected world. Safety, traceability and authenticity will be topics explored by the panel as they assess the challenges and opportunities presented by the next generation of game-changing technologies. The session will be led by representatives from GE Digital Europe, Russia & CIS, Schneider Electric, Rockwell Automation Ltd, Stratus Technologies, Siemens and the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering.
The future of automation and robotics will also take the hot seat in the opening session at Foodex 2018 when Mike Wilson, UK & Ireland Business Development Manager, ABB Robotics and BARA President explores the role of robots in the ongoing skills crisis. He will be joined by Dr. Andrea Paoli, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader, School of Engineering, University of Lincoln; Simon Rune Sorensen, Chief Operating Officer, DAN-Palletiser; Alan Ellis, Engineering & Technology Director, Coca-Cola European Partners; Steve Barraclough, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors; and Terry Fennell, Chief Executive, Food and Drink Qualifications.
Groceries Code Adjudicator, Christine Tacon will also join the line-up to educate visitors on the code in a mission to make sure that all suppliers are treated fairly; while Danny Bayliss, New Technologies Specialist, Campden BRI Group will explore how new technologies are driving innovation and how businesses can harness it to create new products.
Addressing what matters most to the food and drink industry, Steph McGovern, BBC Business Broadcaster will return to Foodex for her second-year to address the pressing issues and key trends from across the industry. She will be joined by Chris Sturman, Chief Executive, Food Storage & Distribution Federation; Ian Wright, Director General, Food & Drink Federation; Gavin Partington, Director General, British Soft Drinks Association; Mike Berthet, Market Development Manager EU, Global Agriculture Alliance; and Nigel Jenney, CEO, Fresh Produce Consortium.
Two further sessions will delve into how reformulation offers manufacturers and brands the opportunity to meet consumer demands for healthier options. Rachel Gwinn, Food Product Development Scientist, Campden BRI will focus on why the industry needs to reformulate. She will review the current challenges and present case studies to demonstrate how innovation aids brand development and success. A panel of industry experts will also assess the progress made by the industry so far to reduce consumers’ calorie intake to combat obesity, including Dominic Watkins, Partner and Head of Food Group DWF; Kate Halliwell, Head of UK Diet and Health Policy, Food & Drink Federation; and Tam Fry FRSA, Patron, Child Growth Foundation Chairman and Spokesman, National Obesity Forum Expert Advisory Team member, Action on Sugar.
For attendees looking for more sector specific sessions, Andy Morling, Head of the Food Crime Unit, Food Standards Agency; Nick Allen, Chief Executive, British Meat Processors Association; Norman Bagley, Policy Director, Association of Independent Meat Suppliers; and Phil Brooke, Welfare and Development Manager, Compassion in World Farming, will take to the centre stage five years after horsegate, to discuss how industry and government can protect consumer confidence. The session will offer recommendations for change, debate the future for schemes like Red Tractor and assess how fresh FSA regulations will impact the industry.
The line-up for Foodex will also see sessions exploring food safety, supply chain performance, the latest global food safety rules on cleaning tools and how to mitigate cyber risks. Managing risks will also be the focus of sessions at the Foodex Engage Lounge, in partnership with Teknomek, which will see more than 30 sessions over three days. Topics set for discussion include how to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination; hygiene strategies to manage the ‘human factor’; how plastic is enhancing hygienic routines; and balancing occupational health with hygiene. The Foodex Engage Lounge is an interactive destination for visitors, with sessions covering all sectors of the industry. It offers visitors and exhibitors the chance to meet, interact and relax whilst hearing from industry experts.