Food Safety Innovation Conference 2024 - back by popular demand. Dynamic industry event secures glowing reviews for the second year in a row.

Following the huge success of last year’s Food Safety Innovation Conference, the event made its triumphant return to the University of Lincoln on Thursday 13th June.

With even more delegates than the year before, a dedicated group of industry sponsors, and a line-up of expert speakers featuring both new and familiar faces, the 2024 Conference didn’t just recreate the success of the inaugural event, but took things one step further.

In fact, co-hosts Klipspringer and FoodClean spent the last year learning from the key takeaways of the 2023 Conference and identifying areas for improvement. The result? A more insightful, inspirational, and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

© Phil Crow

Opening Remarks

To ensure the event got off to a strong start, delegates were greeted with a selection of hot drinks and pastries. This was followed by a warm welcome from Chair of the event: Alec Kyriakides.

As the former Head of Product Quality, Safety, and Supplier Performance for Sainsbury’s, Alec was the perfect person to introduce the expert speakers, run through the agenda for the day, and provide a comprehensive overview of Food Safety in the Last Year. 

With Alec’s contribution a highlight of the 2023 event, his return was greatly anticipated and he didn’t disappoint – sharing trend analysis and poignant statistics, not to mention a fascinating revelation about the most unusual product recall of the past year.

The Presentations

Attendees were then treated to a series of presentations from four of the leading voices in the food production industry:

First to present was Madeleine Wilson, Director of Own Brand at Waitrose & Partners. Speaking on Climate Change and the Impact on Food Safety, Maddy challenged delegates to think about what their business could be doing to drive sustainability – sharing invaluable insights from her own work at Waitrose & Partners.

Next to speak was Lalaina Randriamanantsoa​, Senior Technical Manager at the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). After walking delegates through a detailed description of what the GFSI does and how it functions, Lalaina discussed the organisation’s plans for the year ahead. 

Director of Policy for the Food Standards Agency (FSA), Rebecca Sudworth followed Lalaina with a presentation on Innovation in Incident Prevention: Root Cause Analysis and Industry Learnings. 

Rebecca explained how the FSA works and how it is structured. She also covered the most notable trends in terms of Food Safety Incidents.

Finally, Rob Artley, QEHS Director for Arla Foods spoke on Innovation in Food Safety Culture. He highlighted the importance of maintaining a broad perspective on culture and discussed the potential to innovate the growth of Food Safety Culture through the Modern People Agenda. 

The Workshops

Networking has always been a key focus of the Food Safety Innovation Conference. As a result, the event is populated with plenty of networking opportunities. This includes a Morning Break that saw delegates treated to canapés and a return performance from the Klipspringer band. 

This sense of communication and collaboration continued into the first two workshops of the day, with delegates encouraged to share questions and real-life examples throughout the process.

Entitled Innovation in Hygiene, Workshop One was led by Lars Turner, FoodClean Director, along with Katie Satterthwaite and Laura Luque-Carey, Directors of Food Safety Excellence Ltd. The expert trio unpacked advances in hygienic design and allergen changeover cleaning. 

Running alongside this discussion was Workshop Two, led by Mick West, Global Director of Quality Systems for Kerry and Debbie Barnes, Director of Central Technical Operations at Sainsbury’s. This session took participants on a digital journey, with Mick and Debbie sharing real-life examples of how digitalisation could help to enhance food safety and quality management control. 

Delegates then made their way into their choice of Workshops Three and Four.

Led by Dr Stephan Speidel, Scientific Advisor for HyServe GmbH and Gabriel Linder, Managing Director of HyServe GmbH, Workshop Three centred on Analytical Advancements, or more specifically, innovation in environmental hygiene testing.

Finally, Workshop Four was all about Root Cause Analysis. In this session John Figgins, Senior Technical Manager for BRCGS and Hugh Mowat, Technical & Compliance Director at Morrisons, outlined a hands-on approach to establishing a root cause.

The Panel

Once everyone had enjoyed the delicious buffet lunch, delegates returned to the main theatre for an Interactive Panel session.

Chaired by Denis Treacy, the Former Chief Officer for Safety & Quality at Pladis Global, the panel was made up of the following industry experts:

In addition to discussing the key learnings of the day and identifying the best way to tackle future food safety challenges, the panel addressed a wide range of delegate questions. The experts covered topics including climate change, auditing, collaboration across different sites and retailers, culture, and AI technology.

Closing words

Once the panel session had ended and the key questions had been answered, it was time for Alec to close the conference – thanking Klipspringer and FoodClean for arranging the event, the industry speakers for their informative presentations and workshops, along with the delegates for their unwavering energy and enthusiasm. 

The Conference closed with some final words from Murray Carlyon, Managing Director of Klipspringer and Ben Turner, Managing Director of FoodClean. Again, they thanked everyone involved in the event, but they also shared the exciting news that the Food Safety Innovation Conference will be returning for 2025.

Feedback from the 2024 event

A brilliant and truly insightful day. The FSI Conference offered a unique opportunity to collaborate with peers in the industry; through knowledge sharing we can advance food safety standards. Interactive workshops, panel discussions and individual presentations have provided inspiration which will further help on our mission to protect the magic of the Marks and Spencer food business through delivering safety as a service.”  

Bethany Gammon, Compliance Manager at Marks and Spencer 

“Slick and professionally organised from start to finish: amazing location, sharp and content rich presentations, expert-fuelled workshops, plus an unscripted, honest and insightful panel discussion. This is what the Food Industry has been missing for years. There is only one Food Safety Conference. Roll on FSI 2025!”  

Denis Treacy, Chief Executive Officer of Culture Compass

“Great conference! A pleasure to co-lead the digital session with Debbie Barnes to an audience that was definitely up for the Human Intelligence vs Machine Intelligence exercise.” 

Mick West, Global Director of Quality Systems at Kerry

“What an amazing day to learn from incredible professionals from various areas of the Food Industry about topics such as sustainability, climate change, AI, hygiene testing, and – of course – food safety.” 

Sofia Carneiro, Food Quality Manager for WildBran, LDA

“An excellent event, so good to be in the presence of so many like minded professionals with such a wealth of experience across the industry. Also, so nice to catch up with some former colleagues from the previous sites I’ve worked with.” 

John Burkitt, Hygiene Manager for 2 Sisters Food Group

“I had the opportunity to delve into the world of Food Safety with George Fiotakis, exploring how retailers, manufacturers, and suppliers all contribute to ensuring safe food reaches our homes. Discussions on climate change, AI, and innovation also shed light on the exciting future trajectories of the industry. 

Chris Martin, Business Development Manager UK&I Food and Beverage at Ecolab

“A well organised and executed event, enhancing many key topics and practices to benefit the industry. 

Myles Godden, Director of HVDS Ltd.

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