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'VITAL' FOOD CHAIN CONFERENCE TAKES PLACE IN APRIL

Posted 15 March 2002

A NATIONAL Food Chain Conference on 'Quality, Safety and the Future' will take place at Harper Adams University College, Shropshire, next month.

Organisers believe that the focus of the Harper Adams Food Chain Conference 2002 and its array of distinguished speakers will make the event vital to anyone who is concerned or involved with issues of quality and safety in the production, manufacturing and sale of food.

Mr Ralph Early, senior lecturer and food specialist at Harper Adams University College, the UK's largest specialist institution of Higher Education for the land and food based industries, summed up the importance of the conference.

"A significant feature of society today is the way people have become dependent on the food industry, supermarkets and caterers for their food," he said.

"As cooking in the home is being replaced by food preparation in factories and fast-food restaurants, concerns are being raised at official levels about the quality and safety of food. Such concerns are not without justification, as it was recently reported that more than five and a half million people suffer food poisoning each year.

"On the whole, the food industry is highly professional and works hard to provide food which is good quality and safe to eat, but the industry itself recognises there is always room for improvement. With the increasing industrialisation and globalisation of the food supply, and developments such as genetically modified food, new problems will arise in matters of food quality and safety.

"The Harper Adams Food Chain Conference 2002 on 'Quality, Safety and the Future' is being held to provide a forum at which an eminent panel of speakers, from the food industry and academia, will consider matters of food quality and safety and discuss how the industry can learn from the past to tackle more confidently the challenges of the future."

The eminent panel of speakers attending the conference includes Lord Whitty of Camberwell, Minister for Food, Farming and Waterways with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Geoffrey Podger, Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency.

Professor Janet Bainbridge, OBE, Chief Executive of the European Process Industries Competitiveness Centre at the University of Teeside and Chair of the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes and Professor Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy and Director of the Food Policy Unit at Thames Valley University, will also be on the panel.

Mr Early added: "The conference will be of benefit to food industry managers who understand that quality and safety are central to meeting consumer demands and who recognize their own management development in this field as part of their company's diligent approach to consumer protection."

The Harper Adams Food Chain Conference takes place at Harper Adams University College, Shropshire, on Tuesday, April 9, 2002. Places for the Conference cost £125 per person including lunch and refreshments. Overnight bed and breakfast places are also available on request.

For further information or to book, please contact Hannah Robinson on +44 (0) 1952 815 407 or E-mail: hlrobinson@harper-adams.ac.uk or visit the Harper Adams web-site at: http://www.harper-adams.ac.uk/v3/short/food/food.htm

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