South West Excellence debate on sustainable food supplies

An impressive line up of speakers has been confirmed for the 2007 South West Excellence Debate, part of the 2007 Exeter Festival of South West England Food and Drink.

The debate is entitled 'A Sustainable Food Supply: Do you have an appetite for saving the planet or for cheap food?'

Speakers include: McDonalds UK senior vice-president chief support officer, Matthew Howe; Tesco head of local sourcing, Emily Shamma; parliamentary secretary for Defra, Ben Bradshaw MP; shadow secretary of state for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Peter Ainsworth MP; NFU director of communications, Anthony Gibson and Liberal Democrat chief spokesperson in the Lords for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Baroness Sue Miller.

David Fursdon, president of the Country Land and Business Association, will chair the debate.

The half day event is organised by Taste of the West on Thursday 29 March at the Sandy Park Conference Centre, Exeter.

Focusing on one of the most challenging issues facing consumers, farmers, processors, retailers, food service and the public procurement sector in the South West, the event will take the form of short presentations by each of the speakers, followed by the chance for debate.

John Sheaves, chief executive of Taste of the West, which organises the debate, said: "Food production and consumption of food brings environmental cost to the planet. This is a complex matter with many different viewpoints.

"We anticipate the afternoon debate will open up challenging ideas and a platform on which to move forward with solutions."

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