Amarjit Ecovia

Amarjit Sahota: Food production is intricately linked to social issues

The social impact of food, eco-labels and marketing best practices are some of the topics up for discussion at the upcoming ninth edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit.

Held in Amsterdam on 1-2 June, the conference will host speakers from smoothie giant Innocent; social enterprise True Price; trade bodies Fair Trade Original and Organic Trade Association; and UN agency International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

It will address questions such as how can food producers and suppliers go beyond incremental reductions in environmental footprints and create positive impacts, and how can the social impact of food be improved, as well as sessions on marketing, food ingredients and certification.

Amarjit Sahota, of conference organiser and sustainability research firm Ecovia Intelligence, said: “The food industry has invested considerably to reduce its greenhouse houses, improve water and resource efficiency and waste management.

“However, food production is also intricately linked to social issues, such as food poverty, security, employment, as well as our general health and wellbeing. We want to highlight the importance of such issues at this summit.”

Environmentalist Professor Michael Braungart will deliver the keynote opening address on rethinking traditional approaches to sustainability, and encouraging ‘closed loop’ food systems with materials and nutrients being recycled.

Notable speakers include Adrien de Groot Ruiz, executive director of True Price, who will make the case for a true cost accounting approach by factoring in externalities of food production, and Jessica Sansom from Innocent Drinks, who will share the company’s sustainability journey.