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Sustainable Foods Summit receives positive reception

The first Sustainable Foods Summit drew to a successful close at the end of June in Amsterdam, with the organisers and delegates satisfied with the inaugural event. The 2nd Sustainable Foods Summit will take place again in Amsterdam, in June 2010.

Amarjit Sahota

Amarjit Sahota, Director of Organic Monitor


In spite of the economic recession, the summit brought together about 100 key executives involved in sustainability in the food industry. A post-summit survey shows that 86 percents  of the participants were satisfied or very satisfied with the summit.

The summit kicked off by an opening address by Dr. Nadia El-Hage Scialabba from the Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. Titled ‘Inconvenient Truths for the Food Industry’, the address set the tone of the summit by stressing the importance of sustainability in agriculture and food production: Climate change, water scarcity, oil dependence and urbanisation are putting a strain on the planet’s capacity to feed itself.

Eco-labelling schemes for sustainable food products

The first session of the summit looked at the various eco-labelling schemes for sustainable food products. Amarjit Sahota, Director of Organic Monitor, the summit organisers, showed that the global market for eco-labelled foods was valued in the region of 70 billion US Dollars; the bulk of sales generated from organic foods. The proceeding papers were from leading ecolabelling organisations. The panel discussion looked at how convergence was occurring between some of these standards. For instance, a growing number of organic standards are incorporating social and biodiversity principles.

Investing in Sustainability

Investing in Sustainability was the focus of the second session, with presentations given by financers and recipients of ethical investments. Koert Jansen from Triodos Bank highlighted the importance of sustainable investment, especially in today’s capital  markets. Canaan Fair Trade shared its experiences on how ethical investment has had a major impact on the lives and welfare of Palestinian people.

Sustainability from Farm to Fork

Pascal Grévarath, Chairman of the CIAA Environment Committee, opened the second day of the summit with his opening remarks on ‘Sustainability from Farm to Fork’. He expressed the need for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of food products, setting the scene for the session on Sustainable Supply Chains. Sustainable initiatives at various levels of the food supply chain were then highlighted in the proceeding presentations.

Volkert Engelsmann from EOSTA showed how organic food companies are meeting rising consumer expectations by becoming carbon neutral and implementing traceability schemes.

The Marketing & Industry Issues

The Marketing & Industry Issues session rounded off the two-day summit. The session started with Innocent Drinks, which shared its sustainable initiatives that involve offsetting carbon emissions, ethical sourcing and reducing packaging.

Source: Organic Monitor press release of July 9, 2009 (85.1 KB)

Further Information



Ms. Jasmine Narang
Sustainable Foods Summit / Organic Monitor
Tel.  +44 20 8567 0788
Fax 44 20 8567 7164
Email: jasmine(at)organicmonitor.com


Conference proceedings are available for a small fee from Organic Monitor (See address above).

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About Organic Monitor

Organic Monitor is a specialist research & consulting company that focuses on the global organic & related product industries. Since its formation in 2001, it has been providing a range of business services to operators in high-growth ethical & sustainable industries. Services include market research publications, business & technical consulting, summits, seminars & workshops. http://www.organicmonitor.com/

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