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Time is running short to register for The Grocer’s exclusive webinar on squaring the circle between food security and the environment

Due to broadcast on Wednesday 27 October at 11am, the 60-minute webinar will seek to answer whether the UK can feed the nation without resorting to damaging farming practices. 

The UK is at a once-in-a-lifetime juncture in its agricultural history. Brexit and Covid-19 have exposed the vulnerability of the nation’s food supply and led to new-found calls for greater self-sufficiency, while the escalating climate crisis is necessitating a fundamental rethink in order to reduce food and farming’s impact on the planet.

To balance these forces, the UK must somehow produce more food from less land and without resorting to the type of farming practices that have inflicted so much damage already, says the UK’s new National Food Strategy. 

Our panel of top experts from across retail, supply chain and policy will explore whether this is possible, delving into questions such as what farming methods should be embraced, whether livestock farming has a role in a sustainable future and what role imports could play in helping protect UK food security while minimising the environmental impact of our diets.

Meet the panel:

Harry Holmes, Features Editor, The Grocer – Host

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Harry has written extensively about the UK’s international food supply from Brexit to Brazilian soy, reporting regularly on issues surrounding food security, supply chains, and sustainability from around the world.

 

Tara McCarthy, Chief Executive, Bord Bia

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Tara McCarthy is the Chief Executive of Bord Bia. She was previously Chief Executive for Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Ireland’s seafood development agency. Tara has over 20 years’ experience in the wider food industry. She has operated in overseas markets for 10 years in Germany, France and Belgium and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with an MBS in Marketing from Smurfit Business School.

 

Sophie Throup, Head of Agriculture, Fisheries and Sustainable Sourcing, Morrison’s

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Sophie joined Morrison’s in November 2017, following 10 years in the veterinary sector running research and training programmes. She is a non-exec director for AFS (Red Tractor), a steering committee member for the Food Industry Initiative on Antimicrobials and part of Defra’s Animal Health and Welfare Pathway sub-group on legislation.

Professor Tim Benton, Research Director of Environment and Society Programme, Chatham House

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From 2011-2016 he was the ‘champion’ of the UK’s Global Food Security programme which was a multi-agency partnership of the UK’s public bodies with an interest in the challenges around food. He has worked with UK governments, the EU, G20 and as a global agenda steward of the World Economic Forum.

 

Patrick Holden, Chief Executive, Sustainable Food Trust

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Patrick Holden is the founder and Chief Executive of the Sustainable Food Trust. Prior to this he was director of the Soil Association (until 2010). His farming experience spans nearly 50 years. Holden Farm Dairy, now the longest established organic dairy farm in West Wales, produces Hafod cheese from the milk of 80 Ayrshire cows.

 

Marci Baranski, Manager, UN Environment Programme

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Marci manages climate smart rice projects in Myanmar, Pakistan, and Thailand for UNEP’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. She previously served as a Presidential Management Fellow and Climate Change Specialist at the U.S.

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