City Food & Drink Lecture to explore UK food system and global challenges

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

The lecture will take place on 11 March 2024 at London's Guildhall. Credit: Guildhall
The lecture will take place on 11 March 2024 at London's Guildhall. Credit: Guildhall

Related tags Food security

The 2024 City Food & Drink Lecture features keynote speaker Simon Roberts, CEO of Sainsbury’s, who will discuss why good food is the result of a great food system.

Roberts will also explore differing perspectives on the environmental, social, and technological challenges facing the UK food system, the need to build resilience in order to manage risks, the importance of collaboration and how technology can be utilised to build a better food system.

After joining Sainsbury’s in July 2027, Roberts was named CEO in June 2020 and boasts more than 30 years of experience in retail.

At the lecture, he will be joined on a panel that includes NFU president Tom Bradshaw, The Food Federation executive director Anna Taylor OBE, New England Seafood International CEO Dan Aherne and the presenter of Countryfile and Farming Today Charlotte Smith.

The City Food & Drink Lecture has been held for past 22 years at London’s Guildhall, with its 23rd edition taking place on 11 March 2024. Organisers expects around 600 guests to attend, which will include 

It is organised jointly by eight of the City of London livery companies involved in the agriculture, food and drink sectors.

Looking ahead to the event, chair Allan Wilkinson said: “This year’s lecture is set to be a thought-provoking exploration of the challenges and opportunities facing the UK food system.

“Simon Roberts, is in a great position as the leader of one of the largest supermarket chains in the UK to comment on ways the industry can collaboratively address challenges of the UK’s food system and drive positive change.”

In other news, Food Standards Agency (FSA) chair Professor Susan Jebb will step down from the role at the end of June.

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