Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum

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Next steps for novel foods in the UK - Regulatory Framework Review | Industry support & priorities | Food safety & innovation | Food security & sustainability | Global trends & approaches to regulation

May 2024

Price: £150 PLUS VAT

This conference examined the future of novel foods in the UK.

Stakeholders and policymakers discussed the next steps for novel food regulation and innovation following the FSA-commissioned Novel Foods Regulatory Framework Review last year, which offered new ideas for future models, drawn from the latest international and sectoral approaches to better align regulatory processes with emerging food technologies. Overall, the review concluded that the FSA could benefit from investing more resources into foresight and horizon-scanning functions to better anticipate future food innovations.

Delegates assessed the way forward for accelerating FSA novel food approval processes, and opportunities for innovative advances, including alternative proteins, which were supported by the Government in its response to recommendations in Professor Dame Angela McLean’s Pro-Innovation Regulation of Technologies Review for life sciences.

Those attending considered options for improvement and reform to regulation alongside addressing barriers to food innovation in the UK.

We are pleased to have been able to include a contribution on Singapore’s approaches to novel food authorisation, including lab-grown meat, with Teng Yong Low, Director, Risk Assessment and Communications Department, Singapore Food Agency.

Further keynote sessions included: Peter Quigley, Deputy Director of Regulatory Services, FSA; Dr Adrian Charlton, Principal Scientist in Protein Biochemistry and Food Safety, Fera Science; and Professor Louise Manning, Professor of Sustainable Agri-Food Systems, University of Lincoln.

With discussion on regulation, delegates considered approaches to improving efficiency in the system and the risk management process, and increasing regulatory resources and infrastructure to accommodate the rising demand for novel food products.

In the context of emerging trends in consumer preferences, the agenda also brought out latest thinking on new food options, supporting developments in food technologies, helping businesses bring products to market, food safety and nutrition, key considerations for food labelling, and the role of novel foods in sustainable diversification of diets.

Further discussion looked at opportunities for the UK to create market conditions that foster novel food innovation, utilising novel foods to enhance food security, and a regulatory framework that supports international leadership in maintaining high standards of food safety.

Sessions in the agenda included:

  • novel foods in the UK: examining the future regulatory approach - opportunities for reform - support for industry innovation alongside safety
  • Novel Foods Regulatory Framework Review: assessing recommendations made in the review - options for addressing barriers to innovation - next steps moving forward
  • regulation: options and priorities for standards - improving application processes - enabling innovation whilst ensuring safety - learning from international regulatory approaches
  • food security: opportunities for the sector to support food security and mitigate supply chain disruptions - improving food system sustainability and adaptation to climate change
  • assessing key developments: emerging consumer trends - technological innovations - learning from international regulatory frameworks to enhance safe approaches towards novel foods in the UK
  • UK market growth: priorities for policy and the sector - aligning innovation and regulation to bring product launches to the UK - support and guidance for product approval - investment priorities
  • consumer trends: alternative proteins and cultivated meat - edible insects - CBD - genetic modification - next steps for labelling, transparency and health claims
  • policy priorities: support for investment - resources and infrastructure to support research and entrepreneurship into novel foods and the future food system

The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from Defra; CCC; FSA; FSS; DAERA, NI; DBT; Department for the Economy, NI; Department of Health, ROI; HM Treasury; The Scottish Government; and the Welsh Government.

This on-demand pack includes

  • A full video recording of the conference as it took place, with all presentations, Q&A sessions, and remarks from chairs
  • An automated transcript of the conference
  • Copies of the slides used to accompany speaker presentations (subject to permission
  • Access to on-the-day materialfs, including speaker biographies, attendee lists and the agenda