Keynote speakers John F. Kerry (former US Secretary of State), Dr Howard-Yana Shapiro (Mars Inc. Chief Agricultural Officer) and Shama Sukul Lee (Sunfed Founder and CEO) confirmed for the inaugural Global Table event on the future of food to be held in Melbourne, 3-6 September 2019.
The inaugural Global Table event will take place 3-6 September in Melbourne with a focus on finding solutions to the challenges facing food systems worldwide.
The largest B2B event in food innovation to ever take place in Australasia, Global Table will bring together global leaders in the agriculture, food and beverage industries for four days of conference sessions, exhibitions, immersive installations, site visits, pitch competitions and more.
“The world is on the cusp of a revolution in food and agriculture,” said Mr Kerry. “We have to make radical changes to ensure the prosperity of future generations. That’s not a bad thing. It’s an exciting time to be part of these industries.”
Global food systems are undergoing a period of disruption, with climate change, population growth, emerging middle-class markets and shifting consumer preferences creating immense challenges throughout the entire supply chain.
“Animal proteins are the fossil fuels of the food world,” said Shama Sukul Lee, Founder and CEO of Sunfed. “We need to move towards cleaner ways of getting our protein. Food is the largest market in the world with the biggest footprint.”
Global Table will connect the Asia-Pacific region to the global ideas, investment and technology that can transform local food and agribusiness industries.
“Australian agtech needs to engage all of the food supply value chain. Global Table is the first Australian meeting to bring all of these groups together with an impressive list of international participants,” said Professor Paul Wood AO FTSE, Chair of the AusBiotech AusAg and Foodtech Advisory Committee.
“I encourage all of the Australian agtech and food tech industry to attend this event and showcase our innovative solutions to the challenges we face.”
Initiated by the Victorian Government, through Food + Wine Victoria, Global Table has partnered with one of the world’s most dynamic events, Seeds&Chips – The Global Food Innovation Summit, to deliver something unprecedented in the Asia-Pacific region. Since it was established in Milan four years ago, Seeds&Chips has grown into an international meeting point for innovators, policy makers and global leaders to develop solutions for the common good.
“The gathering of the best minds in the world to discuss our future food systems is the hallmark of Seeds&Chips – The Global Food Innovation Summit,” said Dr Shapiro. “It allows a unique group of individuals, from farmers to supply chain experts to manufacturers to chefs and consumers, to think about making food systems resilient for future generations.”
The Global Table program combines the talents of over 150 world-class leaders including:
- John F. Kerry (USA) served as Secretary of State of the United States from 2013 to 2017. During this time, he was a key architect of the 2016 Paris Climate Accord to reduce carbon emissions and instrumental to the United States signing the historic agreement. A United States Senator since 1984, Kerry became Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2009, assuming a leadership role on key foreign policy and national security issues, including climate change.
The humanitarian threat posed by rising global temperatures is an issue Kerry has actively campaigned on since leaving public office. Heis currently a Distinguished Fellow for Global Affairs at Yale University as well as the inaugural Visiting Distinguished Statesman for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
- Dr Howard-Yana Shapiro (USA), the Chief Agricultural Officer of Mars Incorporated, has spent more than 50 years working in agricultural and agroforestry systems, systems biology, plant breeding, molecular biology and genetics. A highly regarded world leader in this space, Dr Shapiro speaks regularly on the need for innovation in agricultural production and uncommon collaborations. In his role at Mars, which he assumed in 2000, he is responsible for plant genetics, water and nutrient use efficiency in plants, yield, and resilient production models for agroecology, agroforestry and agroeconomics of cacao and other crops.
Dr Shapiro’s lifetime of work in plant genetics and the food industry is reflected in his role as Senior Fellow, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Davis, as well as a Distinguished Fellow at the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi and a Scientific Advisor, MIT Media Lab in Cambridge.
- Shama Sukul Lee (NZ), Founder and CEO of Sunfed, a world-leading New Zealand food tech startup specialising in clean protein. A software engineer turned food technology entrepreneur, Shama Sukul Lee is reimagining the food system, starting with meat. Her breakthrough company Sunfed uses clean technology to make delectable meat without the animal, with debut product Chicken Free Chicken becoming a runaway success.
Lee's vision is to create a highly scalable regenerative protein company that can feed the world without doing damage. Lee is conscious that food is the largest market in the world, the foundation of human health and the largest form of energy we consume, with a massive footprint impacting the whole planet. She believes changes in the food system can significantly transform the world: the better the food system, the better the wellbeing of all life. Next up for Sunfed is developing new products, including beef and bacon, along with continuing its expansion out of Australasia to the rest of the world.
Conference topics will explore every aspect of the agribusiness chain from farm to fork, including biodiversity, precision agriculture, food waste, plant-based protein, artificial intelligence, open innovation and food as medicine. More speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.
Delegates will range from internationally recognised leaders to primary producers, futurists to policy makers and respected Government figures, who will come together to collaborate on solutions that can reshape the food industry and create a more sustainable future.
Food + Wine Victoria CEO Anthea Loucas Bosha says that partnerships and collaboration are critical to the spread of groundbreaking new ideas.
“Global Table provides a unique opportunity for global leaders everywhere to come together and explore what the future of our food systems looks like, making the most of innovative technology that’s now available.”
“We’re delighted to be able to provide the platform for the entire agrifood supply chain to collaborate on solutions for lasting growth,” said Ms Loucas Bosha.
“Rarely does such a diverse group of thinkers, women and men, gather together to solve the pressing problems we face today,” said Dr Shapiro. “The present issues are understood, and the future is showcased. For those in attendance this is the clarion call to action.”
Victorian Minister for Agriculture, Jaclyn Symes, says the event will showcase Victoria’s thriving agriculture and food industry.
“Victoria is renowned for its fresh, seasonal produce, committed growers and producers, food innovation and award-winning restaurants, and I look forward to Global Table showcasing our vibrant industry to the world.”