The volatility in the economy in recent months has created new and fast-moving challenges to the food and drink industry. Now, more than ever, food manufacturers and retailers need to be efficient, agile and aware of their global food supply chains.

Food and Drink for Future Generations

Blas Cymru / Taste Wales 2021 conference aims to inspire delegates to take action in their organisations and their lives to address the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change.

This will be an opportunity to set the scene for future-proofing the Welsh food and drink industry and to continue to set our sights on global development.

By attending Blas Cymru/ Taste Wales 2021 conference, you will have the opportunity to hear from experts from across the food and drink industry; as well as prominent sustainability and climate change writers and presenters.

Adam Henson is the Key Note speaker on day one. A farmer and a regular presenter on Countryfile, Adam understands and communicates the diversity of farming business issues within Britain. He is an ambassador for British farming in general and has attended many major farming and countryside events to chair meetings or promote the farming industry to the public. Adam teamed up with chef Nigel Slater to co-present Nigel and Adam’s Farm Kitchen, a four-part series exploring how food gets from the farm to fork and how to make the most of seasonal produce.

Professor Mike Berners-Lee, will be speaking on the second day. He is a leading expert on sustainability and carbon footprinting and the author of three books including; There is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make of Break Years; and How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything.

The conference will be hosted by Sara Edwards.

Sara Edwards is one of Wales’ best known and much loved television presenters

Sara has been co-presenter of the highly acclaimed ‘Wales Today’ programme as well as contributor to regular items on BBC Radio 4.

She has presented live television coverage from the Royal Welsh Show; the Llangollen Eisteddfod and the National Eisteddfod.

Sara Edwards has also presented a number of programmes for BBC Radio Wales, including ‘Sara’s People’ and ‘Food Matters’.

Sara has acted as ‘host’ at many high profile events throughout the UK.

Sara also speaks passionately about environmental issues and the reality of climate change.

Day 1

***Timings are subject to change***

Morning Sessions


9:00 –Welcome from Host, Sara Edwards
 Andy Richardson: Chair, Food and Drink Wales Industry Board
 Lesley Griffiths MS: Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd
 David McDiarmid: Corporate Relations Director, Princes Group

The changing food consumer

9:45 –Sophie Colquhoun: Director, Category-Insight, Welsh Food and Drink Insight Programme
“Sustainability and Welshness: A shopper’s perspective
 Chris Hayward: Sales Director, Institute of Grocery Distribution
“Food and Drink for Future Generations’ – a changing retail environment and a requirement on manufacturers to adapt to meet these needs”

10:45 – Networking Break / Seminar Sessions

Strategic Perspective

11:30 –Ian Wright: CEO, Food and Drink Federation
Running on Empty? – As the UK navigates the shortages storm, how can
Wales food and drink thrive
 Julie Pierce: Director Openness, Data & Digital; Science; & Wales, Food Standards Agency
“Can data be a torch shining the light to guide us?”

12:30 – Lunch / Seminar Sessions

Afternoon Sessions

13:45 –Adam Henson: Countryfile presenter and farmer

How Wales is addressing the sustainability challenge

14:30 –Professor Keith Ridgway CBE: Chair, Industry Wales
“The Importance of Innovation to the Welsh economy”
 Jonathan Tench: International Partnerships, The Office for the Future Generations Commissioner
“Future-proofing the Welsh Food System: Business and the Well-being for Future Generations Act”

15:30 – Networking Break / Seminar Sessions

Trade’s response to sustainability challenges and opportunities

16:00 –Edward Morgan: Group Corporate Social Responsibility and Training Manager, Castell Howell
“Castell Howells journey towards sustainability“
 Michael Fletcher: Commercial Director, The Co-op

17:00 – Host Closes Day

  • Adam-Henson-Image-Credit-Cotswold-Farm-Park Adam Henson FARMER AND COUNTRYFILE PRESENTER Adam Henson is one of the UK’s best-known farmers and a presenter on BBC1’s Countryfile. He appears in Countryfile’s regular feature, Adam’s Farm, where he reports from his own farm on the topical, practical challenges he faces. Judges have praised his skilful explanation of a diversity of farming business issues and […]
  • Andy Richardson Chair, Food and Drink Wales Industry Board Andy has a passion for food and drink and for the opportunities it creates for businesses in both UK and export markets. He is an impactful industry leader with a reputation for strategic clarity, energetic drive and forging stakeholder collaboration. He currently works for the dairy nutrition business, […]
  • David McDiarmid Corporate Relations Director Princes Limited David held a number of commercial roles in the food industry before joining Princes in 2007 as a senior sales manager, responsible for branded and own label food and drink business with a number of major UK retailers. David moved to the Corporate Relations function in 2012 reflecting his personal […]
  • Sophie Colquhoun Director at Category-Insight Sophie is an experienced leader in food marketing and a category strategy specialist, having spent over 20 years in the food industry, training with Mars and working as Category Controller at Ginsters and Group Marketing Director at Tulip Foods. She works with Brookdale Consulting to deliver the current Insight Program for Welsh Government Food and […]
  • Chris Hayward Sales Director at IGD Chris is the Sales Director at IGD and has been working with FMCG manufacturers for over 20 years. He has a breadth of experience across Qual/Quant and continuous data and has worked with retailers, manufacturers, government bodies and trade associations, and particularly enjoys working with businesses looking to upscale in both […]
  • Ian Wright CEO at Food and Drink Federation Ian Wright leads the Food and Drink Federation, the representative voice for companies and trade associations across food and drink. Before joining FDF in March 2015 he spent 14 years with Diageo plc, the world’s largest drinks business, where he was a member of the executive committee responsible for […]
  • Julie Pierce Director of Openness, Data & Digital; Science; & Wales at Food Standards Agency Julie champions the use of modern digital approaches and technologies both within government and across the whole food system while also pushing for modern, data-enabled approaches to Food Standards Agency research. Julie is a member of the FSA Executive and is the […]
  • Professor Keith Ridgway CBE Keith is Executive Chairman at the Advanced Forming Research Centre (Strathclyde University) Keith worked in industry before moving to academia in 1980 at the University of Sheffield. He launched the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing in 2001 and in 2009 helped launch the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. In 2005 he was awarded an […]
  • Edward Morgan Born and raised on a farm in West Wales, Edward has experience of primary production, manufacturing and sales. Edward is currently Group Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Training Manager at Castell Howell Foods which encompasses the core requirements of CSR, to oversee the creation and implementation of ESG objectives. Edward also represents Castell Howell on […]
  • Michael Fletcher Chief Commercial Officer, Co-op Michael Fletcher joined the Co-op in 2013 and as the Chief Commercial Officer is responsible for the sourcing and trading strategies across Co-op and Nisa. Michael has been in Food Retail his entire career and has extensive operational experience in developing and leading commercial strategy, opening new markets and leading integration […]

Day 2

***Timings are subject to change***

Morning Sessions


9:30 –Welcome from Host, Sara Edwards
 Maggie Ogunbanwo: Food and Drink Wales Industry Board

How sustainability can be at the heart of a brand

9:45 –Mike Wilson: Business Director, Safefood360
“It start’s with me!”
 Andrew Carlin: Director of Strategic Programmes, EIT Food
“Brands working together for Sustainability – Reflections on the experience of building cross-industry consensus on front-of-pack labelling through Foundation Earth.”

10:45 – Networking Break / Seminar Sessions

Investing in the Future  

11:30 –Chris Stott: Partner, Head of Food and Drink, KPMG
“Why the sustainability agenda is not only the right thing to do it is the sensible thing to do.”
 Rob Keegan: Regional Manager Scotland, North of England & Wales, Triodos Bank.
Gwyn Rhodes: Head of Business Banking, Triodos Bank.
“Sustainability and the Finance Sector”

12:30 – Lunch / Seminar Sessions

13:45 –Professor Mike Berners-Lee: Author and leading expert in sustainability and carbon footprinting.
“Rethinking Food”

Making food manufacturing more sustainable

14:30 –Emma Piercy: Head of Climate Change & Energy Policy, Food and Drink Federation
“The road to Net Zero for food and drink”
 Gill Higgins: Head of Sustainability, Dawn Meats Group

15:30 – Host Closes Day

  • Professor Mike Berners-Lee Founder of Small World Consulting and Professor at Lancaster University Mike Berners-Lee is an expert speaker on sustainability and how we can address this overarching 21st-century challenge, as well as the founder of Small World Consulting, an associate company of Lancaster University, a world leader in the field of supply chain carbon metrics and management. […]
  • Maggie Ogunbanwo Maggie Ogunbanwo CEO and sometimes bottle washer of Maggie’s: An African Twist to your Everyday Dish, an award winning African Food brand based near the Snowdon mountains. She is a mother of two, a wife of one, an author, a food lover, a mentor, an entrepreneur who is passionate about helping untie women’s hand and […]
  • Mike Wilson Business Director at Safefood360 Mike is a seasoned assurance and risk mitigation specialist with over 20 years of experience working with the world’s leading brands, manufacturers and retailers, helping them measure, understand and effectively manage risk within their own business and their extended supply chain. Along with expertise in food safety management, Mike has also […]
  • Andrew Carlin Andrew Carlin is Director of Strategic Programmes at EIT Food, Europe’s leading agri-food innovation network. EIT Food’s goals are to build trust in the food system, to improve health outcomes from our diet, improve the food system’s impact on the environment and enable transition to a circular, sustainable food economy. Andrew is also a co-founding […]
  • Chris Stott Partner, Head of Food and Drink at KPMG  Chris leads KPMG’s Food and Drink business in the UK as well as KPMG’s Deal Advisory business in the North of England, having advised clients on their strategic agendas for over 25 years, including acquisitions, disposals, private equity, debt fund raisings, and flotations.  Chris’s FMCG clients are […]
  • Rob Keegan Regional Manager of Scotland, North of England & Wales at Triodos Bank One of the world’s most sustainable banks, Triodos believes that finance can be a powerful catalyst for achieving positive and lasting change. Following a 29-year career leading teams in business, commercial and corporate banking at NatWest and RBS, Rob joined Triodos over 3 […]
  • Gwyn Rhodes Head of Business Banking at Triodos Bank UK Triodos is a financial institution that only lends to customers who fulfil a positive environmental, cultural or social need. Gwyn has a passion for sustainability and D&I as well as over 20 years of experience in banking, having worked at several financial institutions in a range of […]
  • Emma Piercy Head of Climate Change & Energy Policy at FDF Emma joined the Food and Drink Federation in October 2019 and is currently focused on a Roadmap to Net Zero for the sector while also spending time working with stakeholders across the supply chain and in other sectors to help food and drink manufacturing in the […]
  • Gill Higgins Group Head of Sustainability at Dawn Meats Gill has been Head of Sustainability at Dawn Meats Group for 2 years. Prior to this she completed the Origin Green Ambassador Programme, a 2-year MSc. in Business Sustainability, during which time she worked with McDonald’s Global Sustainability Team and M&S’ Plan A Team. Before embarking on her […]