Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

Food security - UK priorities, supporting domestic production and driving innovation

Morning, Monday, 30th November 2020

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will examine key issues for food security and UK supply chain.

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials due to attend from Defra; DIT; the FSA; the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office; DHSC; the NAO; the National Food Crime Unit; the CMA; the Crown Commercial Service; the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, ROI; the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, NI; and the Welsh Government.

The discussion at a glance:

  • legislation - proposals in the Agriculture Bill and the Environment Bill, including moving towards payment for public goods and the introduction of an Office for Environmental Protection (OEP)
  • UK transition - latest developments in the trade negotiations with the EU and their potential implications
  • COVID-19 - including the impact of the pandemic on supply chains and those working in them, and on global food security
  • net-zero - the Government’s commitment on emissions with its 2050 target

Relevant developments:

  • Brexit Transition negations as the end-of-year deadline approaches
  • the EFRA Committee on COVID-19 and food supply report:
    • with recommendations - on consulting on legislation for a Right to Food after the Food Strategy’s publication, and appointing a Minister for Food Security
    • the Government response - on support for suppliers, vulnerable groups’ access to food, reducing food waste, working with charities and local government, and monitoring food insecurity
  • legislation - the Agriculture Bill and the Environment Bill continuing their passage through Parliament
  • £1m to support transition to future farming system - Defra’s consultation on the future Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme and the Future Farming Resilience Funding scheme
  • £25m available to help farmers boost productivity - the final round of the Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme
  • the Trade and Agriculture Commission - created to advise government on trade competitiveness that supports animal welfare and environmental standards, consumer interests, and export and other opportunities for the UK food sector
  • Farming for the future Policy and progress update - the Future for food, farming and the environment policy statement outlining further information about England’s agricultural policy
  • A vision for future farming - outlined in a ministerial speech to farmers, focusing on increasing sustainable productivity and rolling out new technology in agriculture
  • UK-wide consultation into dairy sector to tackle supply chain issues launched - looking at fairness in contract conditions and examining the market power of buyers
  • Land use: Policies for a Net Zero UK - the CCC report to Parliament which found that national plans affecting sectors such as agriculture are not taking sufficient account of climate change

Key discussion areas:

  • EU trade negotiations:
    • fishing rights, food and drink tariffs and reducing the risk of food shortages from January
    • market access, supply chain resilience and food standards
    • new trading relationships, the future relationship with the EU, and its impact on food standards, the food and farming workforce, and access to markets for UK businesses
    • regulatory systems - including the OEP, implications of divergence at the end of the EU Exit Transition Period on domestic food production
  • ELM - shaping an Environmental Land Management scheme to support sector productivity and meet environmental targets, as Defra launches a consultation on what any future scheme will look like
  • the obesity and sustainability policy agendas - how the sector is adapting to moves to sustainable diets and net-zero targets, and its impact on food security
  • innovation - new developments in crop science, agri-food and land use and assessing their potential in supporting industry to meet productivity and net zero emissions targets
  • agricultural land use, sustainable diets and the pathway to net zero

The agenda:

  • Food security - the global context and the impact of the pandemic
  • Key issues for food security and UK supply chain - developing an Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme that supports domestic food production, maintains standards and aids sector recovery from the pandemic
  • Stakeholder perspectives on UK food security - the impact of Brexit, meeting environmental targets, and developing funding and regulatory mechanisms to support production
  • Ethical questions: where and how should we grow our food on the road to net zero
  • The effect of moves towards sustainable diets on UK food security and climate targets - managing the transition, adapting to consumer trends, and opportunities for novel foods
  • Improving productivity and impact of regulatory divergence - opportunities and evolving issues for agri-food and crop science
  • The Trade and Agriculture Commission and UK trade policy - developing markets, delivering for consumers, and supporting international development

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from both Houses of Parliament, and officials from Defra; the Department for International Trade; the Food Standards Agency; the FCDO; the DHSC; the National Audit Office; the National Food Crime Unit; the CMA; the Crown Commercial Service; the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, ROI; the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, NI; and the Welsh Government.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from representatives of the agriculture, and food and drink industry - including associations, manufacturers, retailers, and suppliers, environmental and scientific groups, regulators, local government officials, representatives of the agritech and crop science industries, academics, international attendees, charities and consumer groups, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Rupert Daniels

Director, Creative, Lifestyle and Learning, International Trade and Investment, Department for International Trade

Guest of Honour

John Ingram

Food Systems Transformation Programme Leader, Environmental Change Institute

Keynote Speakers

Rupert Daniels

Director, Creative, Lifestyle and Learning, International Trade and Investment, Department for International Trade

Dan Crossley

Executive Director, Food Ethics Council

Dr Shamal Mohammed

Chief Technical Officer, Agri-EPI Centre

Minette Batters

President, NFU

Christian Reynolds

Senior Lecturer, Centre for Food Policy, City, University of London

Mark Buckingham

Corporate Engagement Lead, Bayer Crop Science, and Chair, Agricultural Biotechnology Council


David Linden MP

Co-Vice Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Food and Drink

Baroness Osamor

Member, Food, Poverty, Health and Environment Committee


Sarah Blanford

Crop, Organic and Agriculture Data Manager, Sainsbury’s

Anna Taylor

Executive Director, The Food Foundation and Chief Independent Adviser, National Food Strategy

Jack Ward

Chief Executive, British Growers Association

Vicki Hird

Sustainable Farming Campaign Coordinator, Sustain

Neil Shand

Interim Chief Executive, National Beef Association