London—The Sustainable Foods Summit is returning to San Francisco on January 25-26, 2023, after a three-year absence. The event will focus on approaches to encourage regenerative agriculture and upcycling in the food industry.
In the opening keynote, Professor David R. Montgomery of the University of Washington will call for operators to adopt regenerative agriculture, which is known to improve soil fertility, enhance biodiversity, sequestrate carbon, and deliver socio-economic benefits. Montgomery, author of What Your Food Ate, will highlight the link between healthy soil, nutritious foods, and personal wellness.
Also on tap: Elizabeth Whitlow of the Regenerative Organic Alliance will give an update on the Regenerative Organic Standard, which has been adopted by 106 farms and 33,181 smallholder farms. And Regrow's Manal Elarab will give guidance to operators looking at implementing regenerative agriculture solutions. Additional topics include regenerative agriculture standards and marketing claims.
Upcycling helps the industry make the transition to a circular economy. Angie Crone, Interim CEO of Upcycled Food Association (UFA), will give an update on the Upcycled Certification Standard, which has been adopted by more than 200 ingredients and products. Ecovia Intelligence will present research on the upcycled food market, including market trends, new product launches, and future growth projections. Firms involved in upcycling, including Re-Grained and Alvinesa Natural Ingredients, will share their experiences in product development and marketing, and featured speakers will debate innovations. Topics up for debate include how to encourage innovation.
Experts will discuss new and emerging ingredients that add sustainable value to food and beverages. Sonali Dalvi of OFI will discuss the growing ingredient needs for plant-based foods. Tessa Peters of The Land Institute and Peter Miller of Sustain-A-Grain will discuss how they created the Kernza grain from intermediate wheatgrass. Ayana Bio and MeliBio will discuss the role of new technologies in creating botanical ingredients and bee-free honey, respectively.
A growing number of operators are using precision fermentation to create animal-free and cultured foods. While proponents champion the sustainability benefits, critics are calling for tighter regulations and transparency when using synthetic biology. At the summit, experts will debate the place of fermentation techniques in the sustainable food industry, labeling issues, and transparency.