Senior innovators from PepsiCo and Kellogg’s are joining technologists, landowners and growers at the REAP (Realising our Economic and Agricultural Potential) conference on 12th November in Cambridge. Organised by Agri-Tech East, the event addresses the big question “how can we improve alignment of R&D objectives at all stages of the supply chain from ‘lab to field to shelf’ in order to boost efficiency?”
Ian Noble, Senior R&D director at PepsiCo, will be giving a key note address, he is responsible for creating and delivering the company’s transformation innovation agenda in partnership with internal and external groups around the world, so he has a big picture view.
PepsiCo’s commitment to efficient production provides clear direction for their growers, according to Julius Joel, Director of Greens of Soham, part of Spearhead International Ltd Group, and chair of the Agri-Tech East’s multi-disciplinary Stakeholder Group. He says: “Boosting food quality and nutritional value remains an ongoing aspiration in food production. Progress needs to be built on clear statements of a desired end point and combined input from the supply chain partnerships channelled into delivery.
“Sustainability in food chains is generally synonymous with efficiency, as it involves maximising all of crop yield, input utilisation efficiency and saleable production, with the added elements of environmental impact and the social responsibility to deliver healthy food. These are all widely shared interests, representing fertile territory rich with opportunities for innovation.”
A Start-Up Showcase at REAP has attracted entrepreneurs from outside of the agricultural industry.
Dr Belinda Clarke, director of Agri-Tech East says this is encouraging. “We are looking to fast-track innovation within the industry. Already we have been successful in match-making entrepreneurs and scientists with potential partners and end-users and the conference will help to identify the sweet spots for future collaborations.”
REAP will be held 10:00-17:00 on 12 November 2014 NIAB Park Farm, Cambridge CB24 9NZ.