Horsemeat: protecting the UK food chain

A national conference for food manufacturers, processors and retailers will examine how to protect the UK food chain to restore consumer trust in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.

The conference, entitled Assuring The Integrity of the Food Chain, will be looking into the recent contamination scandal and will examine how to include verification to assure product integrity.

Hosted by York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the issues explored are seen as important to regain consumer confidence and trust in the sector.

This applies particularly to the meat sector, and is an important issue as the UK food and drink industry is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK, with a turnover of 72.8bn,

Professor Rob Edwards, chief scientist at Fera, said: "Science has a significant role to play in helping companies rebuild trust with their customers. The aim of this conference is to bring together industry specialists and scientists to look at what can be done now and what may need to be developed for the future."

LEP board member David Kerfoot said: "Yorkshire and Humber is an ideal venue for this conference as it has extensive, mature supply chains, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and one of the largest concentrations of distributors in the UK.

"Drawing together industry experts and scientists from the UK and wider Europe will facilitate a debate about how best we address food integrity and assure the food supply chain."

The conference will be held at the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) at Sand Hutton in York on 24 April.