Which Food Safety Conferences Should You Attend in 2015?


Contributed by Nicola Colombo, Selerant Corporation, highlighting a number of key food safety events and conferences that are taking place this year. 

There certainly is no lack of food safety conferences. There seem to be food safety events all around the world at all times of the year. It can be very helpful to attend a conference for obtaining latest insights in research, knowledge about coming regulation and standards as well as about new technologies. Of course, interesting contacts can be made as well. Only it should be the right conference. The variety is great and there is considerable risk to not attend the most suitable one. Some events are more research driven others take a more practical perspective. Likewise, they address different issues ranging from food science, to regulation and even ethical topics.

There is little more frustrating than spending time and money on an event which turns out to be just not what you expected. So which are the good food safety events 2015? This obviously depends on your specific interest. Here, we put together a number of key events for industry representatives, scholars and public officials who are based in China. A short description should give an additional idea whether or not it matches your interest.

Global Food Safety Conference 2015, 3-5 March, Kuala Lumpur

Organised by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), the Global Food Safety Conference is strongly dedicated to the industry organisation’s purpose, namely collaboration within the industry to improve food safety.

The conference thus is less about governmental food safety standards and regulation. However, one session is dedicated to collaboration between government and industry. It also takes on a management perspective in contrast with many other food safety events which focus strongly on technical aspects. Speakers are expected to be especially from those companies that are heavily involved in the GFSI. Besides, participants of the conference will mainly have a business background.

14th ASEAN Food Conference 2015, 24-25 June, Manila

Being held since 1982 every two to three years, the conference aims at fostering exchange and collaboration within ASEAN countries.

This year’s conference will be hosted by the Philippine Association of Food Technologists together with a number of ASEAN organisations.

The perspective is food science and technology. However, food standards, regulation, risk assessment strategies and food safety policies are included in the list of 18 core topics of the conference. Moreover, regulatory harmonisation, another topic of the conference, is highly relevant to industry governments.

Food scientists and respective experts from industry as well as governments from the ASEAN countries are expected to constitute the majority of participants. Participation fees for the conference have not published on the website yet.

Public Health Conference 2015, 11-13 July, Bangkok

Go there if you want to get the broad view. The organisers, the Tomorrow People Organization – a non-profit organisation from Belgrade - ask for contributions covering not less than 60 different topics, ranging from “accessibility to healthcare” to “ethical issues”. Food safety is just one of them.

As the call for papers is still running, it is not sure how many will be on food safety. The conference is recommended to practitioners and academics alike, however, it seems to have more a research approach. It can be useful, however, networking with stakeholders coming from civil society organisations.

The participation fee ranges between 220 and 390 USD.

International Association for Food Protection Annual Meeting 2015, 25-28 July, Portland

It is important to be aware that this conference is huge. Around 2800 participants from all areas make this conference one of if not the biggest food safety conference worldwide.

The content is pre-dominantly technical and scientific. The objective is to discuss the latest findings and developments in food safety. It also is comparably long (Sunday to Wednesday), so prepare for an overload of information.

Although international, traditionally a very large share of the presenters are from the US, which might be due to the fact that the conference is always held in North America.

Participation fee is from 500 to 700 USD.

XIII International Conference on Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health, 29-30 July, Zurich

The World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology (WASET), the company behind this conference, is specialised in organising conferences with a strongly scientific character on a wide range of topics.

The event thus follows scientific procedures, including peer reviewed conference proceedings. So head there if you want to be up to date with (or might even want to contribute to) the scientific discourse and findings. Also, it might be interesting for a long term monitoring of food safety trends as scientific conferences might give some ideas about future regulatory challenges.

Participation fee: between 250 Euros and 450 Euros (about 290 USD to 520 USD).

International Conference on Food Safety and Regulatory Measures, 17-19 August, Birmingham

The focus of this conference remains somewhat vague. While the organizing agency, OMICS International Conferences, is specialised in scientific conferences, it presents the conference as applicable to a wide range of experts.

Under the claim “Revolutionising the Food Safety for a Safe and Secure Future” scientists, NGO professionals, food agronomists, policy makers and regulators are all invited to this gathering. The website stresses both discussion of practical issues of implementation as well as establishing a scientific network between academia and industry. A scientific programme is announced but not specified yet. You might want to think of this conference as a mixture of scientific conference and business event.

Participation fees are from 300 USD to 1099 USD.

China International Food Safety and Quality Conference, 4-5 November, Beijing

Again organised by a commercial conference organizer, this conference has become one of the most important food safety expert meetings in China.

It alternates between Shanghai and Beijing. It gathers speakers from China as well as other countries around the world. Government representative from Beijing, the US and Europa repeatedly held speeches. Also, frequently, representatives of international organisations are present.

The range of topics is wide from technical to regulatory and political. Due to the somewhat eclectic approach, a lot is squeezed into the two days and you can expect sessions with quite a mixture of different presentations. The conference addresses practitioners from industry and governmental organisations rather than scientists.

Participation fee ranges between 500 and 700 USD.

Please click here to read the article originally published on LinkedIn

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