Two of the megatrends in the food industry will be featured in the upcoming European Sustainable Foods Summit. Industry experts will discuss developments in sustainable proteins and clean labels in Amsterdam on June 5 and 6.
A proteins crisis is looming over the food industry. The expanding population and dietary changes in developing countries are accelerating demand for meat and seafood products. Apart from putting strain on supply, rising demand is bringing ecological and social repercussions. Overfishing has disrupted marine ecosystems, livestock farming is releasing greenhouse gases, whilst rising demand for animal feed is contributing to food inflation and social unrest in various parts of the world. The summit will explore sustainable meat and seafood production methods, as well as alternative sources of proteins.
A leading European food company will discuss the growing use of plant-based proteins, such as soya, peas and legumes. Another paper by Professor Dr. Arnold Van Huis of Wageningen University will highlight the potential of edible insects to meet the “proteins gap.” A number of studies are encouraging the use of insects in human food and animal feed because of their low environmental impact. Other papers cover meat analogues, reducing impacts of meat production, sustainable seafood, and improving traceability in protein supply chains.
The summit will also cast the spotlight on clean labels in the food industry. Recent years have seen an explosion in free-from claims, covering gluten, wheat, dairy, nuts, etc. Michelle Berrie-Dale Johnson of Food Matters will state the factors behind the phenomenal growth in free-from products, as well as give future growth projections. An ingredients firm will highlight contentious ingredients and approaches to re-formulate food and beverages with ‘clean ingredients’. Katia Merten-Lentz, partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse, will outline the regulatory landscape for free-from marketing claims and product labelling. Another paper by MMR Research will give some insights into consumer behavior towards free-from food products; are existing products meeting consumer expectations?
The impact of new technologies on sustainable food production and marketing will also be discussed at the summit. With growing competition for agricultural land, new sustainable production methods are coming to the fore. IBR will highlight the use of plant cell technology to cultivate food ingredients. Another paper by Selerant will state the environmental footprint of food products. Other speakers will discuss the influence of mobile technology on consumer behavior and marketing of green brands.
By featuring sustainable proteins and clean label developments, the summit aims to address some of the major sustainability challenges faced by the food industry. In light of growing demand for proteins, how can food companies diversify their protein sources? How can existing meat and seafood production methods become more sustainable? With growing consumer interest in clean labels, how can food and beverage companies reformulate popular products? Such questions will be addressed at the 6th European edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit.