OrchardWorld’s consumer facing brand was proud to sponsor The 23rd City Food and Drink Lecture that was held in The Guildhall, London, on Monday 11th March. Our 4th year of sponsorship, this is a highlight in the food industry calendar, with unrivalled debate and networking opportunities that span the whole industry. An enjoyable evening was had by all.

Simon Roberts says close, longer-term partnerships are needed in the supply chain to build a more resilient food system

The UK food system is a force for good, but the way it works together and is supported by government has to improve.

This was the central message of the 23rd annual City Food & Drink Lecture, which took place at London’s Guildhall on Monday 11 March.

The keynote speech was delivered by CEO of Sainsbury’s Simon Roberts who emphasised the need to bridge the divide been retailers on one side of the food system, and suppliers, processors and growers on the other.

He acknowledged that, in the past, supermarkets’ relationship with growers, farmers and the supply chain has “too often been short-term in outlook” and “not always as collaborative as any of us would have liked”.

He said a new culture of collaboration and longer-term partnerships was needed to drive change “at a system level” and create a more sustainable and resilient food system.

Roberts also spoke of the significant threats to food security, as well as the risks posed by climate change, nature loss, pressure on resources, and health risks for consumers.