What new technologies will feed the world in the future? What is the role of vertical farms in the next ten years and will we only eat 3D-printed meals in twenty years’ time? These are just a few questions that will be discussed at the Food for Future Symposium on 22 and 23 June. Registration for the symposium has now opened.
Food in the future is a theme that scientists around the world are engaged in. 'The societal challenges are clear, and we are inundated with information daily; how are we going to feed the world's population?' asks Gerco Angenent, professor of Plant Developmental Systems and one of the organisers of the symposium. ‘That question is about innovations and transitions for food production that might be implemented in practice in the near future. But food is also placed in another perspective: consumers are more than ever involved in what they eat and what nutrition does with their health. This is also being researched.’
According to Angenent, the symposium fits entirely with WUR, because Wageningen researchers cover the entire spectrum of food production and consumption. With the symposium, the organisation wants to bring together innovations in the food chain and the involvement of consumers. But that bridge is not the only reason for the symposium. ‘Placing our knowledge within a future perspective is especially interesting,' says Angenent. ‘Using the latest research, we are already responding to the food trends of the future. When developing new innovations, it takes a few years before they are implemented in practice. We are therefore currently working on knowledge that will be applied in five to ten years.’
The first day of the symposium is dedicated to our food’s production chain. The day is built around innovations in breeding to new technology in aquaculture, greenhouses, urban agriculture, robotics and precision agriculture. In a House of Commons debate at the end of the day, social and ethical dilemmas will be passionately discussed. The second day of the symposium is dedicated to consumers as key players in the production and consumption chain. The symposium ends on 23 June with a session by Anneke Ammerlaan, a trend watcher in the field of food innovation.