News article

16 May 2012

Secretary of State highlights importance of food security ahead of Rio +20 Summit

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The need for secure and sustainable food supplies – producing more, from less and with less environmental impact – is the key theme of a Food and Drink Federation event in London on 21 May ahead of the Rio + 20 summit in June.

The Defra Secretary of State, Caroline Spelman, will be giving the keynote address, outlining the UK Government's aims and ambitions for the Rio conference, at which food, water and energy security will feature heavily as world leaders meet to take stock of progress since the first Rio Earth Summit 20 years ago. They will consider what more needs to be done to promote sustainable development and green growth to deal with the increasing pressures of population growth and climate change over the next 20 years and beyond.

Other speakers at the FDF event include Professor Tim Benton, UK Champion for Global Food Security, David Norman from WWF, and Harriett Lamb, Executive Director of the Fairtrade Foundation. It will be chaired by Nick Bunker, President of Kraft Foods UK and Ireland and chair of the FDF's Sustainability Steering Group.

Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State of State for Defra said:

“Ensuring a secure, stable and sustainable food supply for a growing population is one of the most pressing issues of our time. The Rio+20 summit next month is an opportunity to get the world on the right path to more sustainable ways of growing and supplying food at less environmental cost."

“I am delighted that both the Food and Drink Federation and Forum for the Future are working with the Government to make sure the food industry is fully behind this ambition. We have some of the most progressive and forward thinking food suppliers in the world. I look forward to discussing how we can build on this and share our expertise with others at Rio.”

FDF Director of Sustainability, Andrew Kuyk said:

“We are looking forward to hearing from our distinguished panel of speakers about how the Rio summit will help address the growing demand for safe, secure, nutritious and affordable food while protecting and enhancing the vital natural resources on which production depends."

"Our event will also showcase what UK food and drink manufacturers have been doing to improve their own resource efficiency, establish more sustainable and resilient supply chains and to decouple growth from environmental impact through FDF's Five-fold Environmental Ambition and 20/20 Growth Strategy.”

Note to Editors:

  1. The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry – the UK's largest manufacturing sector. For more information about FDF and the industry we represent visit:
  2. The FDF “Secure and Sustainable – The Rio+20 Challenge” event will be held on 21 May, London.

More information

FDF press Team

Nicki Hunt on or 020 7420 7132 -
Rebecca Wilhelm or 020 7420 7140 -
Avni Raval or 020 7420 7131 -
Anna Taylor or 020 7420 7118 -

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