Trust focus at NZIFST Conference

Rob Archibald, Taranaki Bio Extracts.
Rob Archibald, coordinator of the 2018 NZIFST Conference meat-related sessions.

This year’s New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Techology (NZIFST) ‘In Food We Trust’ Conference has plenty on offer for red meat sector food scientists and technologists.

“Consumers have become heightened to fake news in recent times,” says Taranaki BioExtracts general manager Rob Archibald, convenor of four of the sessions. “For that reason, trust is a vitally important topic for food technologists to consider and why it was selected as this year’s theme.”

Archibald has been responsible for drawing together speakers for Trusting our Food Sources (Session B2), along with three other sessions: Meat (F2), the Meal Kit Market (H3) and Export to China (I1). In addition, there is a session on alternative protein sources (C2), “all part of the food industry, just never call non-meat sources meat,” he says.

The I1 session, with its focus on export to China, is likely to be of most interest to red meat sector delegates. Chaired by Meat Industry Association (MIA) chief executive Tim Ritchie on the afternoon of Wednesday 4 July, this will feature presentations from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade on the imminent upgrade of the China free trade agreement, while the Ministry for Primary Industries will update on market access issues to the market. Alliance Group’s Paul Stephens will also present one of two case-studies in the session, with Simon Heggarty of the Horticulture Export Authority delivering the second.

Premium brands will be the focus of Greenlea Premier Meats managing director Tony Egan’s presentation ‘Food – the evolving paradigm’ in B2, chaired by Catherine Beard of ExportNZ from 11.00 am on Tuesday 3 July. Other speakers in that session will look at how supply chains can erode consumer trust (Kiri McComb, University of Otago), how communications systems such as barcoding and block chain can engender trust through the food supply chain (Peter Stevens, GS1) and how to certify and guarantee where a product, in this case manuka honey, comes from (Terry Braggins, Analytica).

Alliance market development services manager Gary Maclennan will open the Meat morning session (F2) on Wednesday 4 July talking about the food co-operative’s experience with Omega Lamb. He will be followed later by presentations from the MIA’s Kevin Cresswell, looking at science versus access, Massey University’s Lovedeep Kaur and Scott Technology’s Andrew Arnold.

After lunch that day, speakers in H3 include Hamish Conway looking at Amazon Foods/Whole Foods and examine what the internet is doing for food delivery and AgResearch food technologist Mustafa Farouk talking about beef as a central ingredient in meals.

Other meat-related speakers appear throughout the programme. Other sessions that might be of interest are Waste Processing (H4) and I4 Packaging. H4 will include papers from Aladin Bekhit (University of Otago) looking at waste from meat processing, while Dr Santanu-Deb Choudhury (AgResearch) will talk about gaining greater value from lower value waste processing streams.

With over 100 speakers in total over the three days and plenty of networking opportunities, Archibald says there is plenty on offer for red meat sector food technologists to dive into.

The 2018 NZIFST Conference ‘In Food We Trust’ will take place from 3-5 July in Hamilton. Find out more at

This article appeared in Food NZ magazine (June/July 2018) and is reproduced here with permission.


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