THE speaker line-up has been confirmed for Foodex 2018, which takes place at the NEC, Birmingham from April 16-18.
The trade event for the food and drink processing, packaging and logistics industries will welcome a host of speakers over the three days.
Matthew Rayment (technical manager – food and beverage, FMCG, at The Manufacturing Technologies Centre) will lead a discussion on how Industry 4.0 and digital technologies can “empower the supply chain”. He will be joined by David Parkinson (senior engineering leader, Royal Haskoning DHV), John Darlington (head of department, University of Buckingham), Sam Payne (local segment manager, Weidmuller), and Andrew Aitkin (COO Lanner).
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will also be highlighted during a session exploring the opportunities presented by technology to “super-charge supply chains in today’s hyper-connected world”. Safety, traceability and authenticity will be discussed by a panel led by representatives from GE Digital Europe, Russia & CIS, Schneider Electric, Rockwell Automation Ltd, Stratus Technologies, Siemens and the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering.
The future of automation and robotics will be debated when Mike Wilson (UK & Ireland business development manager, ABB Robotics and BARA President) explores the role of robots in the skills crisis. He will be joined by Dr Andrea Paoli (senior lecturer and programme leader, School of Engineering, University of Lincoln), Simon Rune Sorensen (chief operating officer, DAN-Palletiser), Alan Ellis (engineering & technology director, Coca-Cola European Partners), Steve Barraclough (chief executive, Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors), and Terry Fennell (chief executive, Food and Drink Qualifications).
BBC business broadcaster Steph McGovern will return to Foodex to address the key issues and trends affecting the food and drink sectors. She will be joined by Chris Sturman (chief executive, Food Storage & Distribution Federation), Ian Wright (director general, Food & Drink Federation), Gavin Partington (director general, British Soft Drinks Association), Mike Berthet (market development manager EU, Global Agriculture Alliance), and Nigel Jenney (CEO, Fresh Produce Consortium).
Further sessions will include how reformulation can offer manufacturers and brands the opportunity to meet consumer demands for healthier options, and a discussion on how industry and government can protect consumer confidence.