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2020 Convention - Day 4: Food Security, Sustainability & Food Waste

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  • 2020 Convention - Day 4


Martin Cole

Head, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine @The University of Adelaide

Topic: Food Security 

The global pandemic of COVID-19 highlights both challenges and opportunities for innovation throughout the food supply chain, writes Professor Martin Cole.

Even before the outbreak of COVID-19 the state of global food security and nutrition was already alarming with an estimated average of 821 million people undernourished and poor nutrition causing nearly 45% of the deaths in children under five. 

The current COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented in its global scale and the situation is changing rapidly, with many unknowns. Beyond immediate health concerns, short-, medium- and long-term impacts are expected on food systems and on food security and nutrition.

Although there are many unknowns, it is likely that the most affected will be the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the population. To date, most of the impacts of the pandemic have been in countries that have a well-developed food supply chain and modern health service. 

One of the major concerns is how the spread of COVID-19 will impact less developed countries especially those that are already experiencing current food and health crises. 

As the pandemic has spread around the world the short-term impacts to the food supply have been an increase in demand due to panic buying and hoarding of food leading to shortages of some products. The measures put in place to ‘flatten the curve’ of COVID-19 cases have been successful in terms of controlling the spread of the disease but have also had significant economic impact and job losses pushing people into poverty and affecting their ability to purchase food. 

School closures have meant the loss of school meals for millions of children, which is an important safety net for child malnutrition in many parts of the world. Restricting the movement of people has also meant the loss of access to fresh food especially in countries that really on local markets for fruit and vegetables.

In the medium term, disruptions to the movement of farm labour and the supplies needed to grow food will start to impact the supply side of the food chain and if countries impose export restrictions this could disrupt global supply chains and cause an increase in food prices. 

In the medium to long-term, it is difficult to predict the extent and duration a global recession. The major concern here is that the global recession could push millions of people into extreme poverty and food insecurity. 

Without strong social protection measures, economic stimulus and global collaboration and trade the public health impact of food insecurity may, in the end, be far greater than the actual disease itself.

Dr Steven Lapidge

CEO, Fight Food Waste CRC

Topic: Fighting food waste for a sustainable food future


Dr Steven Lapidge is the inaugural CEO of the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre (CRC). He has spent much of his 20-year career working for or with agricultural and environmental CRC’s, with a strong focus on new product development, commercialisation, extension and adoption. Steven led the development of the Fight Food Waste CRC bid when working for the South Australian Research & Development Institute (SARDI). In recent years he has represented Australia at G20, OECD, Vatican and other international and national food waste forums. He is a member of the G20 Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) Food Loss/Waste Working Group, the FAO Conduct for Food Loss and Waste Reduction Working Group, and the National Food Waste Strategy Steering Committee.  Steve is a Professional Member and former Non-Executive Director of the AIFST whose qualifications include a PhD and an MBA. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fulbright Professional Business/Industry Fellow.

Presentation Overview 

Australia produces enough food to feed 75M people, three times our population, and yet 5 M people a year in Australia are still food insecure.  This occurs at a time when the FAO is reporting that 35% of the food grown in Australia is lost or wasted, which according to the National Food Waste Baseline amounts to 298 kg per person per year right along the supply chain. This makes Australian’s amongst the worst food wasters in the world. This presentation will outline the interventions required to achieve a more sustainable and equitable food future through fighting food loss and waste from farm to fork.

Professor Wendy Umberger

Executive Director, The Centre for Global Food & Resources, The University of Adelaide

Topic: Future food values: What will consumers want and why?


Professor Wendy Umberger is the Executive Director of the Centre for Global Food and Resources at the University of Adelaide, and a Professor of Agricultural and Food Economics. She has published extensively on topics including consumer food behaviour related to production and process (credence) attributes, and related health and marketing claims, food policy, food security and various food value system issues.  She is a Fellow of the Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society (AARES), an Honorary Fellow of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), on the Governance Board of the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and she is an Independent Director of Grain Producers South Australia (GPSA).

Presentation Overview 

Consumers are increasingly voicing concerns about social and environmental implications resulting from both food production and consumption (‘ethical food consumerism’).  Demand appears to be growing for food products marketed with claims related to ‘where’ and ‘how’ food is produced, processed and distributed. This presentation will provide insight on the relative value of ethical food attributes as compared to price and other quality attributes (e.g. taste, brand, safety and nutrition).  Wendy will discuss the how consumers’ perceptions, attitudes and knowledge of various food system issues (sustainability, environmentally friendly, animal welfare, organic) influence their food purchase motivations and actual purchasing behaviour.  Insight will be provided on how consumer values are likely to change and what this means for the food industry. 

Panel - Issues Related to the Ethics of Food

Anna Guenther



Anna Guenther is the co-founder and Chief Bubble Blower of PledgeMe. Since launching over 1,450 creative, community and entrepreneurial campaigns have raised almost $50 million through the crowdfunding platform. PledgeMe was the first licenced equity crowdfunding platform in New Zealand, and one of the first in Australia.  

PledgeMe helps people fund the things they care about, with a focus on the funding representing the countries in which they are based (eg. 50% female led, 30% in the regions). One of her favourite campaigns to date was for a local food hub in Salisbury, the Food Connect Shed, that raised $2.1million from their "Careholders" to purchase their warehouse. 

Anna has also worked for the New Zealand Government, MIT and Harvard, and completed her Masters in Entrepreneurship with a focus on crowdfunding. She is currently a fellow at Griffith University’s Yunus Centre.

Hope Bertram




A growing number of consumers are becoming more concerned about where their food comes from and how it’s been produced and as a result we’re likely to see the public’s interest in animal welfare increase over the coming decade. As RSPCA Australia’s Humane Food Manager, Hope Bertram works behind the scenes with some of Australia’s biggest brands in order to improve farm animal welfare through their supply chains. Hope manages the RSPCA’s Humane Food initiatives including the Approved Farming Scheme, Australia’s leading farm animal welfare certification program. Hope is passionate about giving farm animals a better quality of life by working with the farming sector and promoting consumer awareness and education about more humane farming systems.

Allison McGruddy

Eat My Berries



After seeing lots of berries being dumped over the fence to the cows next door because of some OTT supermarket specifications Allison realised it was time to do something about it. She started freezing these perfectly ripe flavoursome berries which was the start to My Berries. Since founding My Berries with her husband in 2013 her focus turned towards saving these berries and processing them to create healthy Aussie grown frozen berries and other value-added products. Holding a Master of Science in regulation, Allison is passionate about safe, ethically sourced, local Aussie grown produce, which is evident throughout her business. Not only has Allison seen first-hand the importance of sound nutrition, she lives by this and wants the best of the best when it comes to feeding her two young boys. With an entrepreneurial skill and a passion for ethical food growing and manufacturing practices, Allison has innovatively found a way of using the berries that would otherwise be wasted to create food security and employment in their local area. With a careful choice of farming and manufacturing partners, who share Allison’s ethics and values, My Berries is able to continuously offer fruit and fruit products that meet exceptionally high standards of nutrition, taste and sustainability.

Doug McNicholl

Program Manager - Sustainability and CN30-Meat & Livestock Australia   



Doug is a Sustainability Innovation Professional experienced in livestock production, research and development, infrastructure project development, and business administration.

Currently Sustainability Innovation Manager at Meat and Livestock Australia, overseeing AUD15M p.a. investment into innovation processes where sustainability considerations (environmental, social, economic) are integrated into the Australian red meat value chain from idea generation through to commercialisation. This applies to new technology, products and services, as well as new business models.

Partner in McNicholl Livestock & Veterinary Services, a beef production business in Queensland.

Former positions include R&D Program Manager at the Australian Meat Processor Corporation and various renewable energy project development roles in the UK.

Lisa Schubert



Lisa is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with a PhD in public health nutrition.  She worked for over 2 decades in Australian universities, as well as in hospitals and community organisations, and now runs a Brisbane-based nutrition consultancy service. Her work as a nutrition researcher has led her to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, new migrant communities, refugees being held in Immigration detention and other populations made vulnerable by social policies, social inequities, bias and stereotypes.

Lisa has published over 30 peer reviewed papers with a focus on examining the intersection of nutrition with real world factors, including climate change, culture, social disadvantage, food marketing and everyday life. Lisa’s doctoral thesis highlighted social constraints and normative values that act as barriers to families eating well, particularly when faced with constraints around time available for food provisioning. She has long argued for more socially engaged nutrition sciences, and advocates for actions to promote a healthier population diet that span self-care, community action and social justice.

Lisa is a member of Dietitians’ Australia, the National Eating Disorders Collaboration, the Association for Size Diversity and Health, the Australian Independent Dietitians and Nutritionists and Dietitians for Social Justice. 

Victor Barichello


Topic: Identifying the true cost of food waste with DIRECT


Victor Barichello is the Managing Director of Empauer-Selerant, a global IT company, with expertise across Product Lifecycle Management, Regulatory & Compliance, Sustainability and Food Safety. 

Prior to joining Empauer-Selerant, Victor was the CEO of the Sustainable Packaging Alliance and held various senior management positions across packaging, consumer products, marketing and management consulting.

Empauer-Selerant is a member of the Fight Food Waste CRC and is partnership with RMIT for the development of DIRECT and its global commercialization. 

Presentation Overview

Presentation Overview to come 

Simon Lockrey

Project Lead, Fight Food Waste CRC and Senior Lecturer at RMIT


Dr Simon Lockrey is a leading sustainability, design and innovation researcher, having been based at RMIT since 2009. His research domains include life cycle assessment (LCA), co-design, design innovation, marketing, resource efficiency, and food waste. As a result, he has generated millions of dollars of ‘industry facing’ research, creating global impact through policy changes, commercial innovation outcomes, media coverage, intellectual property development and quality academic publications. He's worked with global and nationally significant companies, including CHEP, Visy, Nestl√©, Dyson, Grocon and Breville. Government and NGO projects have also ensued, with Sustainability Victoria, Environmental Protection Agency, Australian Food and Grocery Council, Australia Post, Australian Fresh Food Alliance, Australian Antarctic Division, Uniting AgeWell, and Meat and Livestock Australia. Simon has been published through international masthead newspapers, trade magazines, academic literature, and UN agency the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). His collaborations across industry and external universities have culminated in the successful Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) bid where national supply chain and technology projects will run over 10 years drawing on a pool of $210 million cash and in-kind funding. He is now a key leader in the funded Fight Food Waste CRC, worth $121 million over 10 years.

Presentation Overview

Australia currently wastes $20 billion of food each year, and addressing food waste is now seen as a major environmental and economic opportunity for industry. To take advantage of this opportunity, businesses need to understand where food loss and waste occurs, such at harvest, post-harvest, processing or distribution (food loss), or at retail, food service or by consumers (food waste). The development of a business-ready, digital, cloud-based food waste tool will assist industry in this task. The Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre is developing such a tool. The Dynamic Industry Resource Efficiency Calculation Tool (DIRECT) integrates with current business data, systems, processes, and operates in line with global standards, protocols and methods of assessing food loss and waste. This presentation will explain DIRECT, and demonstrate the value of the tool to businesses in helping them understand the true cost of waste,  resource efficiency the business value of reducing food loss and waste.

Sarah Pennell


Topic: Innovative approaches to reducing hunger in Australia


About coming soon. 

Presentation Overview 

Presentation overview coming soon. 

David Pearson

Fight Food Waste CRC

Topic: Benchmarking household food waste to design interventions


Professor David Pearson is an executive in the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre where he is the Engage Program Leader. This Program is responsible for educating over 40 future industry professionals with Phd or Master level qualifications, disseminating research outputs through an Industry Connection Hub, and encouraging behaviour changes amongst consumers and businesses to reduce the amount of food wasted. 

David’s expertise is in encouraging consumers to make considered choices, such as dietary options to improve personal health and contribute to a more environmentally sustainable global food system. In addition, he has considerable leadership achievements in tertiary education as well as significant engagements with industry, government and charity sectors. He is a Professor of Social Marketing in the School of Business and Law at Central Queensland University. 

Presentation Overview

It is widely accepted households cause a large amount of food waste– with the recent National base line report estimating this to be just over 30% of all food waste occurring in Australia.  Whilst ideas abound for why this is so there is very little empirical evidence to support such hunches. Select evidence from the first National survey of household attitudes and behaviours associated with food waste will be presented.  This will explore food provisioning in households across planning, purchasing, storage, preparation and disposal to identify behaviours, and potential interventions, that support reducing food waste. 

Mark Barthel

Special Advisor, Fight Food Waste CRC and Food Innovation Australia Limited

Topic: The Roadmap to halving food waste by 2030


Mark joined the Fight Food Waste CRC team as a Special Advisor in July 2019 having moved from the UK to Australia. In addition to his CRC role, where he is leading the development of a Food Waste Reduction Roadmap with Woolworths, he is supporting FIAL and the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment in the implementation of Australia’s National Food Waste Strategy, which includes a target to halve food waste by 2030.

Mark has a successful 25-year track record of driving sustainable innovation and circular thinking in agri-food; and over 15 years’ experience in quantifying and preventing food loss and waste and leading product and packaging innovation projects in the UK, Europe, North and South America, Africa and Australia. He has worked with the senior teams of some of the largest food and grocery businesses in the world, including Tesco, M&S, Walmart, Cooperative Food, Woolworths, Nestle and Danone

Presentation Overview

Since Australia’s National Food Waste Strategy was published in November 2017, Food Innovation Australian Limited (FIAL) has been working with a ministerially appointed National Steering Committee, State and Territory Governments, and others to develop  A Roadmap for reducing Australia’s food waste by half by 2030, which includes the following critical building blocks to deliver the objectives of the Strategy:

  • A voluntary commitment program with the agri-food sector, State and Local Government and others.
  • A nationwide behaviour change effort to reduce food waste in Australian homes and businesses.
  • A series of Sector Action Plans, starting with the food rescue and relief sector and the food cold chain.
  • A Feasibility Study to improve food waste data, identify food waste hotspots and find solutions to them.
  • An investment strategy to ensure the delivery of the Roadmap and the target is adequately resourced.

This presentation will provide an overview of the Strategy and the Roadmap and the implications and opportunities for policymakers and agri-food businesses.

Session 4.2 The impact of COVID-19 on Food Security


COVID-19 has had a major impact on global food systems and supply chains and as a result many people around the world will be affected. Whilst some people in wealthy countries may not be able to access the variety of food that they used to enjoy because of disruptions to supply chains, many people in poorer countries and in some communities in wealthy countries will be food insecure because they will not have access to food, or will not be able to afford to purchase food because of loss of income as a result of illness or unemployment. This is likely to have severe adverse social, economic and nutritional outcomes in many countries and communities.

In this session, local and international experts will discuss this current and emerging humanitarian problem and the role of food science and technology in ensuring that vulnerable communities around the world are food secure.

Dr Florence Egal

Food security and nutrition expert, Italy

Topic: COVID-19 crisis and food systems: a European perspective


Florence Egal is a Medical Doctor with a Masters in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She worked for NGOs in humanitarian contexts in Africa, Asia, the near East and Central America until 1990 when she joined the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and has pursued  work on food security, nutrition and sustainable livelihoods in both emergency and development. She has been actively involved in the development of the Sustainable Development agenda and inter-agency collaboration for nutrition, with a focus on agriculture and health linkages. Since her retirement in 2013, she has pursued the promotion of sustainable diets and food systems through a variety of networks and initiatives and is engaged in inter-institutional efforts to promote sustainable territorial development and functional urban-rural linkages. Dr. Egal is a member of the FLEdGE research and knowledge sharing partnership, which is committed to fostering sustainable food systems Since 2017, she has also been a member of the AIFST-anchored Humanitarian Food Science and Technology Group.

Presentation Overview

As Europe moves into a post-COVID phase, lessons can start to be drawn on the implications of, and response to, the pandemic with a view to deal with the looming socio-economic crisis and prepare for similar emergencies in the future. While it is clearly too early to expect scientific evidence from an extremely fluid and complex situation, the multiplication of inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional webinars since the start of the lockdown has generated a growing consensus on the need of sustainable food systems for resilience and the relevance of local response,  and the need to revisit policies and shape research programmes accordingly. Food science and technology has clearly a key role to play, but this will require a shift in perspective and the involvement of new actors. 

Dominique Bounie

Professor in Food Engineering at the University of Lille, France

Topic: Humanitarian impact of COVID-19


Dominique Bounie is teaching Food Science and Technology (FST) at Master level (MSc, MEng) at the University of Lille, France. He is one of the initiators of the international HFST (Humanitarian Food Science and Technology) working group.

His main interest lies in Humanitarian Food Engineering (HFE), an emerging and cross-disciplinary area of research and teaching. HFE intends to identify and answer food-related technical challenges that have to be addressed when tackling food security issues raised before, during and after humanitarian interventions. Prof. Bounie’s approach aims at using unified science-based concepts and solutions that FST might bring to common problems occurring in both disaster-prone and traditionally underdeveloped countries, and in developed countries being newly faced to shocks and crises (for example in urban areas).

Prof. Bounie has been engaged in many short term consultancies for WFP, FAO, NGOs and private companies. His field of humanitarian expertise concerns the implementation of quality management systems, the development of new nutritious products and the design of low cost processes dedicated to the local production of humanitarian foods. He strongly believes in networking capacities that enable innovative cross-collaborations between academia, private companies and humanitarian stakeholders for tackling food insecurity at community level, both in developed and underdeveloped countries.

Presentation Overview

The impact of external shocks such as natural disasters, political unrest and internal conflict on millions of people mainly from developing countries is generally well known. These events have an enormous humanitarian impact on the world’s most vulnerable people who often don’t have access to basic requirements such as water, shelter and food. Pandemics such as COVID-19 and migration of refugees are emerging shocks that could result in significant social and economic turmoil to some people not only in developing countries, but in developed countries as well. Access to safe, nutritious, good quality and affordable food to those affected in pandemics is a real challenge because of lockdowns and disruptions to supply chains that affect so many people in the whole food system. This presentation will introduce humanitarian food systems, highlight some of the challenges that stakeholders face in the value chain as a result of pandemics and discuss whether the learnings from COVID-19 could help raise awareness and promote action on humanitarian issues.

Dr Sinead  Boylan

Executive Director of the Sydney Food and Nutrition Network and Founder of Food Legacy

Topic: An opportunity to build resilient and healthy food systems in Australia


Dr Boylan has a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition from the University of Ulster and a PhD in nutritional epidemiology from the University of Leeds. She has studied the dietary patterns of populations across Western and Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia and East Africa. Sinead's passion for inter-disciplinary research at the intersection of food systems, health and the environment is reflected in her current roles at The University of Sydney: Executive Officer for the Climate Change, Human Health and Social Impacts Node at The University of Sydney and Executive Director of the Sydney Food and Nutrition Network. Sinead also co-ordinates the 'Population and Health' unit of the Masters of Sustainability. Her research aims to identify strategies to promote a healthy and sustainable diet. She strives for equitable, healthy food access for all. Dr Boylan has recently founded Food Legacy which aims to work with business, government, education and the community to develop credible and tangible solutions to our food crises.

Presentation Overview

This presentation will provide a broad overview of food insecurity in Australia including the key challenges, but also opportunities which exist in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adolphe Nyakasane

Doctor at the Bukavu hospital in DRC 

Topic: Striving to tackle malnutrition in a post conflict region


Adolphe Nyakasane is a Medical Doctor, working in pediatrics at the Provincial Hospital of Bukavu and Ciriri General Hospital.

He is Founder and CEO of Kesho Congo, a local nonprofit organization that focuses on health, education, agriculture and livestock farming.

Dr Nyakasane has a Master’s degree in pediatrics from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and a specialized training in pediatric endocrinology, diabetology and nutrition in Paris, France.

For his work and leadership in his community in the Congo, he earned, in 2016, a grant from the US Department of State and was sent to the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs/Syracuse University, New York where he learned public management focused on health and development. He was awarded a special certificate by the US Government as a Mandela Washington Fellow.

Presentation Overview

Many countries in Africa are severely affected by malnutrition and lasting epidemics like measles, cholera, etc. In South Kivu, Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, after 20 years of wars and rebellions, the health system was weakened. As the country is striving to improve its health system and its economy, the Covid-19 global pandemic has had a major adverse impact. In this context, local non profitable organizations like Kesho Congo are committed to building healthy and resilient communities by fighting malnutrition and empowering youth and rural women. Food Science and Technology plays a key role in developing healthy foods using locally grown raw materials and we believe that international professional organizations such as AIFST could facilitate local organizations like Kesho Congo to collaborate with the international Food Science and Technology community to address malnutrition in rural African communities.

Anne Goldman 

ACCE International, Canada.

Topic: "Sustainability across the food chain demands consumer liking!"


A food science graduate of the Universities of London and Leeds Anne began her professional career in the UK food industry, followed by research positions with DSIR, Fonterra and Massey University in New Zealand and an Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph, Canada. She is most proud of the fact that she habeen a principle of ACCE International, a consumer sensory research company that she helped found over 30 years ago. Her company helps businesses chart their way to finding the most appealing products for their target consumers. Anne is an IFT Fellow, a Certified Food Scientist and she was honoured with IFT’s2016 Sensory and Consumer Sciences Achievement Award for her life long contribution of actively supporting and advancing the sensory and consumer research field.She is also a Fellow of CIFST, IFST, IAFoST and MRIA and a recipient of the Honorary David R. Peryam Award for applied sensory science.

Presentation Overview

In optimistic times of market expansion, companies must design winning products that resonate with consumers. When times are tough, more than ever companies need to protect their market share. 

The research that underpins the product decisions that companies must make in order to move forward is under pressure. Researchers need to provide consumer insights faster to meet reduced budgets and timelines. 

Traditional sensory and consumer research methods are described as slow and expensive. What can companies do to manage their product-based risks? 

Sensory and consumer research methods can be adapted to be agile and efficient whilst retaining the validity and robustness of the end results with time and cost savings. 

Hon. Niall Blair

Professor of Food Sustainability

Topic: Corporate Social Responsibility - companies vs government


The Hon. Niall Blair is a highly skilled professional with more than twenty years’ experience in Government and key private sectors, including risk management and agribusiness and is currently working with Charles Sturt University as a Professor of Food Sustainability, Chairman of Elf Farm Supplies Pty Ltd and Non-Executive Director of White Prince Mushrooms Pty Ltd.

He served in the NSW Parliament for nearly nine years and during his tenure he was appointed Deputy Leader of the Government as well as Minister for Primary Industries, Water, Lands and Trade and Industry.

He is a passionate advocate for the food and fibre production sectors and has demonstrated not only leadership, but courage and resilience to inspire and drive change in order to achieve long-term results.

Mr Blair is a strategic, innovative thinker and adopter of new technology and production systems. He has been recognised for having a strong ability to understand industry and consumer sentiments in important areas such as waste, animal welfare, social license, climate change and global markets.

Mr Blair holds a Masters in Occupational Health and Safety and a Bachelor of Horticultural Science. He is graduate of the Australian Institute of Company of Directors.

Presentation Overview

Where is the push and pull coming from when it comes to food sustainability in Australia and are companies and Governments meeting their social responsibility?

This presentation will discuss who is behind the change to move towards are more sustainable food supply chain and what is their motivations.

Dr. Brad Ridoutt 

Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO 

Topic: Life cycle sustainability assessment in the agriculture and food sectors


Dr Ridoutt is a Principal Research Scientist with Australia’s national science agency – The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). His expertise is in life cycle sustainability assessment in the agriculture and food sectors which is used to address strategic challenges in relation to climate change, water scarcity, sustainable food systems, and sustainable diets. Dr Ridoutt is engaged in a range of international processes relating to the standardisation of sustainability assessment and environmental labelling. His research is developing the main evidence base for healthy sustainable diets in Australia covering GHG emissions, radiative forcing footprints, water-scarcity footprints, cropland and biodiversity footprints. 

Presentation Overview

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a technique that can be used to quantify the environmental impacts of food, taking into account resource use and emissions across the various stages of production. The approach can be used to inform strategic action intended to reduce environmental impacts, as well as support various forms of reporting and environmental claims. This presentation will summarize recent developments in international standards relevant to LCA. In particular, the extension of LCA standards to cover footprints and footprint claims, as well as new projects relating to greenhouse gas management and accounting and claims of carbon neutrality.

Robert Henry 

Professor of Innovation in Agriculture and Foundation Director of the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI)

Topic: Climate Change and the role of indigenous agriculture 


Robert Henry conducts research on the development of new products from plants. He is Professor of Innovation in Agriculture and Foundation Director of the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), a Research Institute of the University of Queensland established in collaboration with the Queensland Government.  His current research targets plant genome sequencing for the capture of novel genetic resources for diversification of food crops to deliver improved food products.  His research seeks to improve food and energy security by applying biochemical and molecular tools to the development of improved crop varieties. This research involves analysis of domesticated crops, wild relatives of crop species and potential new crop species. His research aims to define the basis of human selection for quality in food and non-food crops.  These traits are critical to satisfying food security because new plant varieties that have higher yields may not be accepted for production by farmers if they fail to meet consumer expectations of quality and as a result are not marketable. Current research focuses on the major global food crops, such as rice and wheat.

Presentation Overview

Climate change is challenging the production of traditional crops, indicating the need to consider new options better adapted to future climates for many regions.  Many lines of evidence suggest the need for a re-evaluation of Australian indigenous food production systems and may reveal a history that can inform the selection of new plants for agricultural use. Australian crop wild relatives including many with potential to contribute to agriculture will be described. 

Professor of Innovation in Agriculture and Foundation Director of the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI)

Topic: Climate Change and the role of indigenous agriculture 


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