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A three-day event including keynote presentations and expert speakers from around the globe, delivered in partnership with Seeds&Chips – The Global Food Innovation Summit.

2019 Keynote Addresses

Secretary John F. Kerry (USA)

Secretary John F. Kerry (USA)

John Kerry served as Secretary of State of the United States from 2013 to 2017. During this time, he was a key architect of the 2016 Paris Climate Accord to reduce carbon emissions and instrumental to the United States signing the historic agreement. A United States Senator since 1984, Kerry became Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2009, assuming a leadership role on key foreign policy and national security issues, including climate change.


The humanitarian threat posed by rising global temperatures is an issue Kerry has actively campaigned on since leaving public office. He is currently a Distinguished Fellow for Global Affairs at Yale University as well as the inaugural Visiting Distinguished Statesman for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Dr. Howard-Yana Shapiro (USA)

Dr. Howard-Yana Shapiro (USA)

Dr Shapiro has spent more than 50 years working in agricultural and agroforestry systems, systems biology, plant breeding, molecular biology and genetics. A highly regarded world leader in this space, Dr Shapiro speaks regularly on the need for innovation in agricultural production and uncommon collaborations. In his role at Mars, which he assumed in 2000, he is responsible for plant genetics, water and nutrient use efficiency in plants, yield, and resilient production models for agroecology, agroforestry and agro-economics of cacao and other crops.


Dr Shapiro’s lifetime of work in plant genetics and the food industry is reflected in his role as Senior Fellow, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Davis, as well as a Distinguished Fellow at the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi and a Scientific Advisor, MIT Media Lab in Cambridge.

Shama Sukul Lee (NZ)

Shama Sukul Lee (NZ)

Sunfed founder Shama Sukul Lee, a software engineer turned food technology entrepreneur, is reimagining the food system, starting with meat. Her breakthrough company, which started in New Zealand, uses clean technology to make delectable meat without the animal, with debut product Chicken Free Chicken becoming a runaway success.


Lee’s vision is to create a highly scalable regenerative protein company that can feed the world without doing damage. Lee is conscious that food is the largest market in the world, the foundation of human health and the largest form of energy we consume, with a massive footprint impacting the whole planet. She believes changes in the food system can significantly transform the world: the better the food system, the better the wellbeing of all life. Next up for Sunfed is developing new products, including beef and bacon, along with continuing its expansion out of Australasia to the rest of the world.

2019 themes and topics

The three-day conference will include more than 30 themes with hundreds of Australian and international speakers who will discuss their work and offer solutions to our world’s most pressing challenges. Topics will explore every aspect of the agribusiness chain from farm to fork, including precision agriculture, traceability, artificial intelligence, the circular economy, market insights, export environment, trade and investment and open innovation.

Over 150 speakers will come from institutions, accelerators, startups, restaurants and companies around the world to bring their cutting-edge ideas to a dynamic stage.

Rich Diversity

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Pioneering precision agriculture: innovative technologies for monitoring, sensing and reporting

Precision agriculture is rapidly advancing with new solutions and applications that benefit both the industry and the planet. From products to infrastructure to support those products, precision agriculture is changing the face of farming, especially for the next generation. But with so many new products available, how do primary producers know what will work for their needs?

Biodiversity 101: solutions and new approaches for restoring biodiversity and ecosystems

The stability of the planet depends on biodiversity. The health of ecosystems – along with their capacity to provide the food, air, water and medicine we all depend on – is intricately linked with the tremendous variety of life forms that inhabit them. Each species that’s lost adds to the likelihood of an unmanageable environmental crisis.

This session will explore the factors causing biodiversity loss and the innovative methods of sustainable agriculture that can reverse them.

Going forward by going back: how regenerative practices can help people and planet

Regenerative practices have been used for many centuries but recent studies have shown their potential for addressing climate change. Combined farming practices such as silvopasturing, composting and grazing can restore degraded soils and produce healthier foods while also boosting carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle. This panel will explore the many benefits that come from the use of such practices for both people and the planet.

High value: promoting indigenous & native biodiversity for resilient food systems

The stability of the planet depends on biodiversity: ecosystems are only as resilient as they are diverse. Compared to other threats to biodiversity, invasive introduced species rank second only to habitat destruction, such as forest clearing. Invasive species can even cause more damage than some pollutants.

This session will explore the opportunities to enhance biodiversity using methods of sustainable agriculture informed by indigenous practices that date back thousands of years.

How meat alternatives are impacting Australia’s economy

A changing food system means changing food sources and nowhere is this more evident than in the rise of alternative proteins. Whether plant-based, cellular, or drawn from non-traditional animals these new products are among the most disruptive, and most important, additions to the global food supply.

Meat without the moo: are consumers buying it?

This session introduces alternative proteins, discusses the role Australia could play in this industry, and outlines the challenges and opportunities in the region. Consumer insights and examples and lessons from international markets will be provided. The world-first national economic assessment on meat alternatives, by Food Frontier and Deloitte, will also be launched.

Next gen protein: from cell to fork, plant to plate

This session explores the immediate and future challenges and opportunities for innovation across the value chain, including research and development, manufacturing scale-up, farming and ingredient processing, and sector-wide investment.

What should our protein supply look like in 30 years?

In this session, we will explore the future of our protein supply and discuss what’s needed to meet global meat demand. From the agricultural and sustainability systems that need to be put in place to the regulations and policies for both farmers and consumers alike. Furthermore, Deloitte Access Economics’s (DAE) 2030 research findings and DAE economic analysis of EAT-Lancet will also be presented.

Medicinal cannabis - opportunities in Australia

Medicinal cannabis is one of the fastest growing product markets worldwide with projections it will outstrip the beverages market by the mid-2030s. Cannabis comes with enormous expectations to cure many conditions, but community opinion outstrips the evidence of efficacy, which at present is largely anecdotal.

To further complicate the ecosystem, cannabis is listed as an illicit narcotic drug under the UN Narcotics Act, yet jurisdictions are legalising cannabis for recreational use, which creates significant challenges in the supply chain and for regulators. What are the opportunities and the challenges of medicinal cannabis for businesses in Australia?

The future of hemp: The broad range of hemp applications worldwide

Details forthcoming.

Genomics and gene editing

Details forthcoming.

Commitment to Wellbeing

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Beyond plastics: adapting to the plastic challenge through innovation

One garbage truck full of plastic enters our oceans every minute. And while plastic has become a necessity in our modern lives, we must find ways to ensure it does not end up in our water sources and affect our food system and climate.

In this session, we’ll meet innovators from around the world that have come up with sustainable solutions that can change the nature of our plastic consumption. See how these innovations can remedy the damage that has already been done to our planet and find out how to accelerate their implementation into our lives.

Aquaculture: The tide is changing

Details forthcoming

Water solutions across the value chain

Water conservation and management solutions are crucial to a sustainable food future. Freshwater resources face increasing demand due to population pressures and ongoing economic development. In Australia, however, the water market has increased water use efficiency and created significant economic opportunity. Efficient water use will be critical all over the world as population growth increases the need for food production.

This panel will explore innovations and challenges surrounding water in the food system and the measures that companies can take to increase water use efficiency.

Scaling the future for urban and indoor farming across the globe

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) has seen a prolific boom in interest and application, with urban gardens and farms, greenhouses in the desert and home devices that bring gardens to everyone becoming a reality. The applications of CEA to agriculture are many and will grow as the earth’s proportion of arable land declines. How can increasingly urban societies take advantage of the benefits of CEA to grow and distribute food in new ways?

Reducing global food waste

Food waste is more than what we don’t finish on our plate; it’s a problem that’s found at all levels of the supply chain, from growers to retailers. The cost to both the economy and the environment is profound, but a circular economy holds solutions. The first step towards transitioning food systems to a circular economy is understanding the scope of the food waste crisis, then action can be taken to implement new technologies that will support this shift.

Reducing Australia’s food waste

Understanding the regional crisis and working through immediate solutions and long term plans.

Let food be thy medicine!

Our health and wellbeing are fundamentally linked to the food we eat. New superfoods, nutrition-based technology and innovative forms of treatment have enabled a new era of nutrition that can drastically improve everyone’s health. This session will bring together thinkers, innovators and leaders who will discuss the changes the food system can make to better serve people’s health and wellbeing.

Health on a shelf: pioneering products and technologies for better nutrition

From tailor-made diets based on our genetic profile to complex machine-learning technologies that map nutritional food values, the growing demand for personalisation has implications for both the food system and health services. In this session, we will explore how innovation is changing the way we eat as well as the way we think about our wellbeing.

Is microbiome the answer to all our problems?

Details forthcoming

Technology, innovation and research and development

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AI and big data: the new era of food innovation

From early plant disease detection to efficient harvesting methods, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning algorithms are being felt in our food systems. Along with Big Data, which can assist decision-making in agriculture and along the supply chain, there’s a huge opportunity for food and agriculture businesses. Hear how innovative startups are leveraging these technologies to change the way we produce, distribute and consume food.

Paradigm shift: food experiences from the future

Food is more than just fuel: it’s an experience. From the sharing economy to new retail solutions to culinary tourism, this experience is undergoing significant change. By exploring the relationship between food and experience, we can better understand why we eat what we eat, and why food is such a powerful language in every culture.

The future of sustainable supply chains

New and emerging technologies are introducing faster, safer and more intelligent ways to design, optimise and manage the food supply chain. In this session, you will learn about innovations used throughout the supply chain that enable companies to tackle important issues such as food waste and cold chain management while ensuring a healthier and safer product.

Reinventing the shelf: emerging solutions in the retail market

Take a deep dive into the state of retail markets. What are the trends and challenges from both the retail and consumer perspective? How can retailers fulfil an increasing desire for information on provenance and production methods? What future innovations can place retailers ahead of the competition? This session looks at solutions for every link in the supply chain.

Globally connected

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Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: how is Australia tracking?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the world’s roadmap towards achieving a reduction in poverty by 2030, without costing the earth. There are 17 goals addressing global challenges such as eliminating hunger to ensuring the health of our oceans.

But achieving the goals is not just about government initiatives and activity: the efforts of the business sector, civil society, academia, communities and individuals are just as important. How are Australians contributing to achieving the SDGs? And, more importantly, are we on track?

Disrupting climate change

As the world comes to grips with the reality of climate change, we must adapt our food systems to healthily feed our world. Regenerative agriculture holds great potential because of its ability to generate carbon drawdown and improve the water cycle. Transitioning just 10 to 20 per cent of traditional agriculture systems to best practice regenerative ones could reverse climate change and restore the global climate, making agriculture a major solution to climate change rather than a major contributor.

In this panel, we will hear from a group of exceptional individuals who put have put this idea into practice, along with other promising agricultural approaches.

Rocket launch: accelerating entrepreneurship and food innovation across the globe

How can accelerators and incubators provide the best support to food companies and startups? Different strategies and approaches, along with factors such as location, market trends and the broader cultural context, can vastly change the trajectory of a company.

This panel brings together the experts and founding partners of major food accelerators to understand best practices and emerging trends that will foster collaboration for the food system of tomorrow.

Investments in next gen agriculture

This session is dedicated to exploring solutions and investments in a global context, from the US to China to Africa. Participants will discuss trends in food and agriculture, look at the prevalence of new companies and launches in the past five years, and look forward to the opportunities and best practices that will maintain momentum.

Does government policy drive food innovation?

Implementing new ways of growing, producing, distributing and eating food has a huge impact on the development of infrastructure around the world. But while technology continues to advance, policies have a difficult time keeping up. How can we support governments and institutions to facilitate innovation? What is the role of investment in shaping policy?

This panel will address the importance of the policy context in the advancement of food innovation.

Riding the tide of ethical investment: investing in the future of food

This session is dedicated to exploring solutions and investments with the primary intent to have a positive impact on the world. Investment in businesses that balance purpose and profit whilst at the same time contribute to society. This panel will discuss the growing opportunities in the market place.

Artisan spirit

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Appetite for change: revolutionising the restaurant experience

The next generation of dining is closer than we think, with new technologies like Artificial Intelligence, robots and the Internet of Things moving past the testing phase, ready to help restaurants work smarter.

From online reservations and customising orders at the ingredient level to dynamic pricing and user-friendly customer feedback mechanisms, this session will explore the technologies and trends that could shape the restaurant experience of the future.

On the heels of innovation: the women leading the global food revolution

Women are experiencing one of the most profound periods of collective action and meaningful change across the world, as the quest for equality and recognition coalesces into a global social movement to reclaim their rights and dignity. The food system is not exempt from this groundswell, and women continue to push the debate for a better food system forward through their words and actions.

This panel brings together some of the most influential figures in the food tech world to talk about how women are leading the way and occupying a central role in more sustainable food systems.


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Made in Australia: products you can’t find anywhere else

Australia’s food and beverage industry is a melting pot of cultural, agricultural and geographical influences that results in unique products of exceptional quality, made by companies that are ambitious and innovative.

Global Table is proud to showcase the breadth and depth of Australian produce, welcoming the international trade and investment community to Australia to provide new business opportunities with local companies, discuss the latest market trends and insights, and celebrate the future of food.

Changing values and behaviours: the top five trends set to shape the food industry

From ageing populations to plastic-free petitions, the international consumer landscape is shifting at a rapid rate with a number of major changes sending ripple effects across key food and beverage markets.

Market research firm Euromonitor will provide an informed and practical insight into the top five global consumer trends that are expected to continue to shape the food industry and what you need to know to help prepare your business.

Better-for-you foods: innovations in the health and wellness sector from farm to fork

Across the world, including here in the Asia-Pacific, consumers, governments, policymakers and companies are looking for innovative approaches that create not only healthier food products but healthier lifestyles.

A panel of representatives will discuss whether the concepts of health and wellness in the food industry have changed in recent years and what we can learn from the organisations who are developing better-for-you foods about where the health food industry is heading next.

Sustainable packaging: the latest innovations and potential benefits for exporters

The rise of the conscious consumer has forced the food industry to demonstrate how it’s innovating across all key elements of the supply chain. But a challenge that continues to plague food and beverage producers of all sizes around the world is how to package products in a way that’s both financially viable and sustainable.

This session investigates what’s happening right now in the food industry to develop effective sustainable packaging options for exporters that are ready to go to market.

The future of international retail: evolutions in-store and online

What does the supermarket of the future look like? How are international retailers shaping and responding to the way individuals, companies and restaurants purchase food?

Hear from key players across the international retail landscape, from online to in-store and those connecting the dots in between, as they discuss the evolution and diversification of retail with a focus on the key trends and opportunities for Australian companies looking to enter competitive overseas markets.

China beyond 2020: the future of the largest marketplace in the world

With 30 per cent of Australian food export currently going to China, this market will continue to be a vital part of trade and investment for local growers, producers and suppliers. But the Chinese market moves quickly and success requires in-depth knowledge and planning.

In this session, industry leaders of export into China will provide an overview of the Chinese marketplace and key considerations for exporters on the changes in China that are set to come.

Brand protection and IP: what every company needs to know before entering the Chinese market

Many consider a brand and its unique intellectual property as the most important form of currency for a business, especially when entering a competitive market. What are the real, tangible benefits of protecting your IP? And what is the greatest risk if you don’t?

If you’re planning on exporting to China or want to learn more about brand protection from experts in this field, this session will be your guide to the latest developments.

Succeeding in China: how to build an Australian brand that stands out

With a market of over a billion people, China can pose unique challenges to companies looking to stand out. How can Australian companies make an impact with the largest population of purchasers in the world?

Some of the industry’s leading consultants, incubators and successful business owners will talk about brand-building for the Chinese market, as they reveal key insights and great stories of companies that prove it can be done

E-commerce in China: learning customer behaviour to access Chinese consumers

China has the largest and fastest growing e-commerce market in the world, with over 600 million internet users and counting. To navigate this network, businesses need to understand the way Chinese consumers research, discuss, compare and purchase products.

In this session, you’ll learn the latest from a leading e-commerce retailer in China, and where you should focus your business efforts right now.

Competitor analysis: an essential tool for tackling new markets

Join this step-by-step workshop on developing and effectively leveraging a competitor analysis to build your company strategy and minimise competition before entering a new market.

Through a case study of a company looking to enter the Chinese market, our presenters will show you how to prepare your business, with learnings applicable to other markets of interest.

Global markets: why ASEAN is an increasing powerhouse in global trade

A growing marketplace right on Australia’s doorstep, ASEAN continues to provide opportunities for food and beverage exporters looking for new business.

This session provides an overview of the ‘need to know’ aspects of the ASEAN marketplace from key industry insiders as well as case studies on companies who have found success in the region.

Global markets: the Middle East and building relationships

The Middle East is a modern and innovative market, but one where nurturing business relationships and understanding the landscape is critical.

Hear from representatives and companies on the unique aspects of doing business in the Gulf region, what’s imperative to success for Australian exporters and what opportunities lie ahead for SMEs looking to engage the rising middle class in the region.

Global markets: New Zealand as an enduring trade and investment partner for Australia

Australia and New Zealand continue to demonstrate the benefits of a complimentary trade and investment relationship. In partnership with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, we explore what’s next for export into New Zealand and who the latest Australian success stories are.

Global markets: the USA’s position in international trade

The USA continues to maintain its position as an economic leader and one of Australia’s key trade and investment allies. But what do the changing dynamics of global trade mean for Australian companies looking to do business in our second biggest export market?

Find out what lessons can be learned from Australian companies currently leveraging the US market, as well as the opportunities that are on the horizon.

The new frontier: where to next for Australian producers?

Many Australian exporters are aware of current growth markets, but where should they be looking for their next business opportunity? Demand for premium products goes hand-in-hand with key indicators such as an emerging middle class and health-conscious consumers, so pinpointing these markets is vital for Australian food and beverage businesses to stay ahead of the competition.

Representatives from across the globe will join this panel to discuss the key emerging markets to keep an eye on and strategies for Australian businesses.

Teenovators & Young Pioneers

Every session will be opened by a Teenovator (a teenager aged 13-19 years) and include, as a panel speaker, a Young Pioneer (aged 30 or under) who will share their thoughts on how agrifood innovation will shape future generations.

Image courtesy of Seeds&Chips