University event highlights benefits of short food chains

Friday 05 July 2013

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The benefits of short food chains and local produce were the focus of an event on Wednesday 3 July organised by Coventry University’s Centre for Agroecology and Food Security (CAFS).

In the wake of the horsemeat scandal and renewed criticism around the length and complexity of contemporary food chains – which some claim threaten human health and environmental sustainability – the event brought together experts to debate the merits of shortening food chains across Europe.

Discussion revolved in particular around current European Union policy interest in short food chains, with Bank Tome from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development delivering the EU perspective on the debate.

Warwickshire-based entrepreneur Nicola Reece, founder of award-winning local food retailer Farmers Fayre, also spoke at the event and was joined by Sylvère Gonzalvez, founder of the French producer-consumer co-operative Terroir Direct.

Wine tasting was also on the agenda, with Coventry University’s Dr Steve Smith – an expert in wine – hosting a session on organic, ‘natural’ and biodynamic variants of the beverage from England and France.