In this exclusive video interview, filmed at Campden BRI’s open day last week, Walker expressed his appreciation of the calibre of entries at this year’s competition and the opportunities it presented.
“As an ex-food science student, I wish I had had this experience,” said Walker. “I was taught basic science and not about business, or how to make a profit.”
‘Intimidating judging panel’
“The quality of the student presentations has increased enormously over the past five years – I’m totally impressed by the students, their attitude and their ability to present their ideas in front of what could be perceived as an intimidating judging panel.”
Walker also spoke of the priorities facing Campden BRI in the immediate future, including the growing need for manufacturers to reformulate their products and the issues surrounding plastic packaging.
“Clearly, as an organisation that’s aligned to the needs of industry, we need to respond quickly and rapidly to the issues,” he said.
Walker will also be chairing next week’s Food Manufacture Food Safety Conference at etc.Venues in Birmingham, featuring speakers from across the industry.
‘Food safety is non-negotiable’
Commenting on his role at next week’s conference, he said: “I’m delighted to be chairing it. I was at last year’s one and I found it was fascinating. I encourage people to come along – food safety is non-negotiable for the food and drink industry.”
Meanwhile, RICH Pickings and its innovative BBQ snack product Pom Puffs took home the gold prize in this year’s UK leg of Ecotrophelia.