Writtle prepares for the future of food and farming

October 2019

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Climate change, population growth, Brexit and technological innovation are all making an impact on land-based industries. On October 24th, prominent voices within the sector will visit Writtle University College to discuss the rapidly-changing future of food and farming.

The ‘Future of Food' Seminar and Networking event is a free event that will take place from 5.30pm to 8pm. Three expert speakers will share their views on upcoming issues and opportunities:

• Belinda Clarke, Director of Agri-Tech East
• Roxanne Martin Agri-Tech Innovation Lead for Barclays
• Kirstie Cochrane, Director of EIRA

Recent predictions make the seminars particularly relevant. The World Economic Forum (WEF) believes that by 2050 we can expect a global population of around 9.7bn people. The farming sector has just 30 years to find sustainable methods supply 2 billion more people with a nutritionally balanced diet.

Dr Robin Gowers, a senior lecturer at Writtle University College, says: “Food and drink is by far the biggest sector in UK manufacturing. This should not be surprising as these are the two products that everyone has to consume. We are on the verge of a revolution in how we produce, distribute and consume food and drink which will be driven by the technologies from the Fourth Industrial Revolution - artificial intelligence, big data, the internet of things, biotech, robotics and blockchain to name but a few. For those involved in the sector it is vital to understand the key issues of today and the monumental opportunities that exist to make a real difference and transform this sector into a fully sustainable one.”

Attendees will learn about possibilities and potential rewards created by newly emerging systems. The day will be of special use to Writtle University College students who will also benefit from a specialised careers fair between 1pm and 4.30pm. Companies within agriculture, horticulture, crop production and postharvest technology will build links with industry-ready students and graduates.

For more information, or to book your free place on the ‘Future of Food' Seminar, visit