Rebranded event will take place in London on 15 May

Sir Charles Godfray

Sir Charles Godfray

The issue of how to create a just, healthy and sustainable food system will be the focus of the 2023 City Food & Drink Lecture.

Sir Charles Godfray has been announced as the keynote speaker at the annual event, which takes place this year on 15 May at London’s Guildhall. 

The lecture is expected to cover topics including the resilience of the food system and what has been learned from the pandemic and Ukraine war shocks; the net-zero challenge and the scale of transformation it requires in the food supply chain; the creative and disruptive potential of new technologies; the epidemic of diet-related disease and what might be done about it; whether food poverty is a food sector or a wider societal problem; and the critical role of the private sector in achieving these goals.

Sir Charles is director of Oxford University’s Oxford Martin School and its Future of Food programme. He has chaired the Lead Expert Group of the UK government’s Foresight Project on the Future of Food and Farming, and has recently stepped down as chair of the Science Advisory Council of the UK’s Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

He is also a fellow of the Royal Society and was knighted for services to scientific research and science advice to the government in 2017.

For its 22nd lecture and first year rebranded as the City Food & Drink Lecture, following the  addition of The Worshipful Company of Distillers, around 600 livery and VIP guests are expected to attend alongside industry experts to discuss the prevalent issue of food sustainability throughout the supply chain.

Following his lecture, Sir Charles will join a panel discussion, details of which will be announced later.

He said: “It is a great honour to be giving this lecture in May, especially considering the illustrious people who have spoken in the past. Issues around the national and global food system are hugely salient at the moment and I much look forward to taking part in the lecture.”

Chair of the City Food & Drink Lecture, John Giles, added: “There is so much happening in the world of agriculture, food and drink at the moment, in the UK and around global food security issues: how we go about feeding a global population of nine billion, the impact of the war in the Ukraine, mitigating against climate change and of course the challenges all of these have on our diet and nutrition. Sir Charles has a global reputation for his views on all these subjects and his work has been cited on more than 40,000 occasions.

”One of our key objectives of the event is to engage with the thought leadership process and with a keynote speaker of this calibre, anyone who attends will go away being much better informed on these massive forces for change in our respective sectors.”