The BFFF Technical team were delighted to finally be able to meet members and non-members in person at their annual Technical Conference, held on 12th May at The British Motor Museum in Warwickshire.
Whilst we’ve all become accustomed to a different way of working over the last few years, I think we were all in agreement that nothing quite replaces being able to listen to live speakers and network with such a diverse range of industry representatives. Running alongside the BFFF Health and Safety Conference also meant that, with double the number of people, it provided the ideal opportunity for networking.
For the first time ever at this event, delegates had the opportunity to visit exhibition stands, many of whom were also presenting throughout the day. Initial conversations have shown they were a great success, with a number of delegates saying they had provided very useful information with which to go back to their businesses with. Several of the exhibitors have also thanked us saying that they had made valuable new connections. Win-win!
Working with the theme of ‘Building a Better Future’ and splitting the day into 3 sessions and 3 discussion panels, delegates from across the industry came together to explore how together we can create a sustainable, safe and healthy future.
With so many highlights, it’s difficult to decide which to shine a spotlight on. However, special thanks must go to our event sponsors BOC who opened the day with a very informative talk on decarbonisation. This was nicely complimented by Foundation Earth who explored the very topical area of environmental labelling. WRAP then updated the room on the progress of the UK Food Waste Reduction Roadmap and really opened our eyes on the phenomenal amount of food that is wasted in the UK. The good news is that businesses signed up to the Roadmap saved 26,000 tonnes more food in 2020 alone. To put this into context this equates to over 60 million meals!
We always try and include something innovative at our conferences and the presentation on innovative solutions to single use plastics from Xampla didn’t disappoint! With the ambition of being the world leader in replacements for plastic, they have developed a unique technology based on breakthrough science from the University of Cambridge to produce 100% plant based and vegan alternatives. Really exciting stuff! – if you missed the event but want to know more then please let us know.
And it didn’t stop there…with Roy Betts from Campden BRI on pathogens versus science, Claire Florey from Greggs sharing the learnings and challenges on prepacked for direct sale (PPDS), Juliet King from our Primary Authority telling us what the life of an Environmental Health Officer is really like and the NCSC and COOK offering fantastic advice on how to protect your business from the threat of cybercrime, there were so many take outs from the day.
We were also very privileged to be joined by Tim McLachlan of the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation (NARF) who gave us an update in the advancements in the fight against food allergies. Do you realise there are 2-3 million people in the UK living with a with food allergy? And worryingly there has been a 600% increase in A&E Hospital Admissions since 2005!
The Foundations vision is “To prevent and eradicate allergic disease, starting with food allergy, creating a world that is safe for all people with allergies”. It is the only charity in the UK dedicated to funding allergy medical research. You may have seen the exciting announcement in the media this week about the launch of The Natasha Clinical Trial. Costing £2.2million, involving 5 universities the aim is to make food allergy immunotherapy available on the NHS. If you haven’t heard about it, you really must take a look here
All that remains to say is a big thank you to all those who attended and supported our event this year. We are already planning our 2023 Conference so any thoughts/suggestions would as always be more than welcome, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. An event feedback questionnaire will also be distributed in the coming days, so we would really appreciate you spending 5 minutes to complete it. Your input is really valued!
In the meantime, if you would like to receive the speaker slides, from those who have given us permission to share, please contact Holly Jones