IFE 2019 addresses sector demand with insight-driven speaker line-up and pioneering exhibitor portfolio
Over half of food & drink companies believe that reducing their reliance on single-use plastic and making packaging more sustainable are the biggest sustainability challenges facing their business today, according to new research by The International Food & Drink Event (IFE).
The UK’s leading and largest food & Drink event surveyed its network ahead of its 21st edition, taking place at ExCeL London next week (17-20 March). IFE 2019 will tackle head on the most pressing sustainability issues facing the sector, with prominent experts from the likes of Defra, WRAP and City Harvest taking to the stage at its Talking Trends and The Hub features to share their experiences, opinions and predictions.
No trash talk
Key discussions around sustainability will include:
- Talking Trends: Unwrapping the Future of Sustainable Packaging
Sanjay Patel, Packaging Collective and Philip Chadwick, Packaging News, will share insight and innovation on the new approaches to packaging we should all be taking seriously.
- The Big Debate at The Hub: Packaging Waste & Sustainability
Helen Bird, The UK Plastics Pact / WRAP, James Winpenny, Defra, Andri Constandinou, Advance London, Sanjay Patel, Packaging Collective and Philip Chadwick, Packaging News, debate the ins and outs of packaging waste and how we can make the food and beverages world more sustainable and eco-friendly.
- Talking Trends: Waste Not, Want Not
Mark Varney, Fareshare, Sam Cox, Rootlabs, Sally Wake, Company Shop, Carra Santos, creative futurist and brand consultant, and John Hyman, British Frozen Food Federation, will tackle the ever-growing issue that is food waste head on.
- The Big Debate at The Hub: Food Waste & Sustainability
Lee Holdstock, Soil Association, Laura Winningham, City Harvest London, Jamie Crummie, Too Good To Go, Paul Holland, Grant Thornton, John Hyman, British Frozen Food Federation and Jean Billant, Advance London, consider the role producers, foodservice and retailers have in reducing the 1.3 billion tons of food waste produced each year.
Soraya Gadelrab, Event Director for IFE, said: “The importance of sustainability has never been more keenly felt, and not least by the food & drink industry. At IFE 2019, we will cover all elements of the sustainability debate, offering buyers access to the latest insight from experts in the field through our packed schedule of talks and events. We are also proud to be welcoming a fantastic array of exhibitors who are bringing new sustainably-rooted products to the market, making this a must attend event for anyone wanting to explore eco opportunities.”
Listed by its members as one of the top four challenges facing the food & drink sector, lowering food waste is also high on the agenda at IFE 2019. In addition to discussion and debate opportunity, for the third edition running, IFE will be partnering with City Harvest to collect and immediately redistribute food surplus from the event to around 150 community projects. With more than 25% of the population in London facing food insecurity,the partnership has to date ensured that almost eight tonnes of nutritious surplus food has been donated to community food programmes that feed the homeless, individuals and families in transition, women in crises, refugees, children and the elderly.
Defra is also sponsoring water fountains throughout the event to encourage visitors to refill their water bottles and help to cut down on the amount of single-use plastic waste. This ties into ExCeL London’s No Plastic campaign, aimed at reducing the level of waste generated at the iconic venue.
IFE 2019 will feature 1,350 exhibitors and promises to be a celebration of global and cutting-edge food & drink manufacturers; many of whom will be showcasing the latest innovations and setting the next big trends in the industry. Here is just a selection of the inspiring brands which have kept sustainability front of mind:
EauLab is a hot new challenger brand aiming to disrupt and re-shape the bottled water category. With its Intelligent Drinks Systems™, EauLab extracts and utilises the botanical power of plant-based ingredients to offer a more natural, truer, purer way to drink water. This next generation water also comes in recyclable aluminium cans to help reduce the amount of plastic entering the ocean.
PLAYin CHOC is a multi award-winning organic chocolate brand founded on the principles of joy, health and the planet. Winner of a Great Taste Award 2018, its new Smooth + Creamy diary free chocolates not only deliver fantastic flavour but this wonderfully smooth and luxurious chocolate is vegan, avoids potential allergens such as soy, gluten and dairy, contains no refined sugar, is environmentally responsible and is packaged in only recycled, recyclable and compostable materials. In fact, each individual chocolate is wrapped in a clear film that is 100% plant-based and completely home compostable!
Land & Tide
Makers of delicious ready to drink iced coffees, Land & Tide are passionate about coffee and sustainability. Harmonising cold brew coffee with oat milk, they aim to create bold yet proudly simple flavours with minimal plant-based ingredients and no added sugar. The products are 100% vegan, free of dairy, soya, nuts, GMO and artificial ingredients, and come in fully recyclable cartons with no plastic straws!
Two-pronged war against waste
Co-located with Pro2Pac, the complete processing & packaging event for the food & drink industry, the joint festival will provide a comprehensive snapshot of the food & drink industry, making it a calendar highlight for all forward-thinking companies. Pro2Pac will be adding extra insight to the eco debate with speakers including Benjamin Punchard, Global Packaging Insights Director at Mintel, who will lead discussion around packaging sustainability and whether brands can align with consumer needs and expectations.
For more information on IFE 2019 and to register for free, please visit: www.ife.co.uk
 Survey of 293 members of the IFE network, February 2019
 Survey of 293 members of the IFE network, February 2019
 NPI and Trust for London report “London’s Poverty Profile”