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First Speaker Announced for 2018 Oxford Farming Conference

The Oxford Farming Conference has confirmed the first speaker in a line-up of inspirational sessions for the conference in January 2018.

In line with the theme ‘Embracing Change’, thought-leader on youth culture and the food system Eve Turow Paul will be talking about changing food values and how farmers and supply chains can adapt to embrace the trends of the millennial generation.

Her attendance is thanks to the sponsorship of the Frank Parkinson Agricultural Trust, a charity with a strategy centered on supporting the improvement and welfare of British agriculture.

Mrs Paul, who is an author and brand adviser to major food companies became interested in transformative attitudes to food while at college where she saw friends ‘Instagramming’ almost every meal. She has spent the past six years researching and writing about food culture and how technology and innovation has changed the food experience, particularly among those born since 1980. She now advises Fortune 500 companies, start-ups and independent entrepreneurs on how to understand and better respond to the changing wants and needs of this generation and the food trends of the future.

“Millennials have a strong need to experience food, understand their food, connect with the world through food and use food to identify with a particular social status,” she said. “Studies show that all around the world, Millennials — who make up a quarter of the global population — are spending more money and time on food than any other generations. I am delighted to be invited to speak at the Oxford Farming Conference and am really looking forward to pushing the audience of farmers, food producers, and food retailers to view their target consumer through a new lens.”

Mrs Paul has recently published a book, A Taste of Generation Yum, on how the millennial generation’s attitude will make or break the future of food. The demands of this generation will require both farmers and supply chains to adapt, according to Mrs Paul.

“We live in a new food reality now, and it’s time to consider the role of the supply chain,” she said. “What is the responsibility of the farmer to this new population of the world that is ready and eager and clamoring for healthy, transparent, storied foods? Is the supply chain ready for this future? New technologies are putting pressure on the old supply chain mindset of focusing on yield and production, over flavour and health. For example, we are not far off from having nutrient-density scanners in stores for shoppers to check products as they shop. On an environmental level, the idea that we could be using farming as a way to address climate change instead of just considering it the culprit is going to be a big shift as well.”

OFC Chairman, Caroline Millar said: “We are very excited to have Eve speaking at the conference, bringing a fascinating and essential viewpoint to an audience that is heavily invested in food production and influenced by the ultimate consumer. It fits perfectly with our theme for 2018 of embracing change, and I have no doubt those attending the conference will take away some important messages for their own businesses.”

The Oxford Farming Conference will be held at Oxford University from 3-5 January 2018 and will include a vibrant programme of speakers, panel sessions, politics sessions and easy networking. Further speakers will be announced in the run up to the conference.

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