Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit To Spotlight Sustainable Food Solutions Amid Covid-19 Crisis
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Returning for its third edition amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit will take place November 18-20 this year, focusing on the crucial collective response to food security threats and the need to build up the food system’s resilience to crises in the post-pandemic world. Connecting together regional and global leaders across the food value chain, from agribusinesses to food brands, innovators and policymakers, the three-day event will feature keynote speakers, panel discussions and fireside chats centred on the emerging sustainable solutions to tackle supply chain resilience, alternative proteins, local urban food production, nutrition and health.
As the pandemic continues to place unprecedented stress on our global food system, from slaughterhouse shutdowns as a result of viral outbreaks to labour shortages during crop harvest seasons, it has become clear that the world is in need of solutions to feed people on our planet healthily and sustainably. This year, organised by U.K.-based Rethink Events and supported by Singapore sovereign fund Temasek, Economic Development Board of Singapore (EDB), Enterprise Singapore and A*STAR, the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit aims to provide the platform to discuss these vital issues across our food value chain.
Held virtually between November 18-20, the event will see the participation of businesses, investors and government figures from Singapore, India, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, as well as international audiences from Europe, the U.S. and Australia. The format will offer delegates opportunities to network via one-to-one video meetings and smaller group chats, while formal panels, keynote speeches and sessions will be recorded and available on demand for up to one month after the event.
“With food security top of the agenda, the summit presents a timely platform for critical conversations focused on building resiliency in the Asia-Pacific agri-food system, drawing together experts from across the region and globally,” says Jennie Moss, managing director of Rethink. “There’s never been more urgent need to discuss how technology and investment can have the greatest impact on the agri-food value chain.”
There’s never been more urgent need to discuss how technology and investment can have the greatest impact on the agri-food value chain.Jennie Moss, Managing Director of Rethink Events
But beyond the immediate challenges the planet faces in the post-coronavirus world, the food system is also threatened by ongoing risks posed by the climate crisis and population growth – making the need for new sustainable food solutions even more vital than ever before. Among some of the key topics the Summit will highlight include empowering smallholder farmers through financing and online marketplaces and boosting supply chain transparency and resiliency to build a system that can withstand future crises.
Scaling urban farming systems such as vertical indoor farming solutions, developing plant-based, microbial and cell-based protein alternatives, and tackling health epidemics such as obesity and diabetes through affordable nutrition will also emerge as primary issues discussed throughout the three-day Summit.
Some of the major speeches set to take place include keynotes from Alvin Tan, the Singapore Minister of State for Trade & Industry, who will discuss agri-food resilience for the decade ahead; Florian Schattenmann, the CTO for R&D and Innovation at agribusiness giant Cargill on the food system changes that must be addressed in light of the disruption amid the coronavirus; and an address from former New Zealand prime minister Sir John Phillip Key.
We’re excited to bring our proven virtual format to this important summit, continuing to connect all the keystone influencers throughout the Asia-Pacific agri-food value chain.Jennie Moss, Managing Director of Rethink
Panels honing into specific topics include the rise of plant-based eating across Asia, starting off with a presentation from Christophe Barret, CEO of Hong Kong-based ingredient supplier Classic Fine Foods, followed by a discussion chaired by Good Food Institute Asia-Pacific (GFI APAC) managing director Elaine Siu and joined by Vikas Garg, the founder and CEO of Singapore-headquartered plant-based review app abillionveg among other speakers.
Separately, a cell-based and microbial protein panel will be held to explore development across the sector’s supply chain, from B2B infrastructure to R&D opportunities ahead, which will be led by Ahmed Khan, the founder and editor of industry insight and news platform CellAgri and joined by Australia cell-based food tech Vow Foods’ CEO and founder George Peppou, as well as Fengru Lin, the CEO of Singapore’s lab-grown milk startup TurtleTree Labs.
Beyond panels, the Summit promises exciting knowledge exchanges through a fireside chat featuring the head of Dole Ventures in Israel, Ilanit Kabessa Cohen, who will offer expertise on valorising food waste management, and a live cooking experience with novel alternative proteins, which will see participation from Hong Kong-based cultured seafood makers Avant Meats.
“We’re excited to bring our proven virtual format to this important summit, continuing to connect all the keystone influencers throughout the Asia-Pacific agri-food value chain,” says Moss. “The outcomes from the strategic partnerships and technology discoveries made during the summit will have global impact, and we’re honoured to be able to facilitate that process.”
All images courtesy of Rethink Events.
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