With so many illnesses and deaths linked to food safety it’s critical manufacturers are at the forefront of research and information helping to drive up standards across the industry.

Global experts from academia and industry will gather for the first International Food Safety Culture Conference, providing organisations, from the sole trader to multi-national businesses, with in-depth knowledge, theories, values and beliefs that impact on food safety culture within an organisation.

Taking place on September 4, at the University of Sunderland, which is leading academic research in this area, the one-day conference will include case studies from academics, accreditation organisations, retailers and manufacturers that have researched, supported and implemented food safety culture programmes covering the hurdles they faced as well as the benefits.

Guest speakers includes representatives from Greggs, Asda, Northumbrian Water and the British Retail Consortium. The keynote speech will be delivered by Dr Chris Griffiths who has been involved in food safety research and training for over 40 years. He has been awarded numerous international awards including the International Food Safety Leadership award.

The conference has been organised as a joint collaboration between totrain, a North East based training business specialising in food safety, and Sunderland’s Dr Derek Watson.

Dr Watson has been investigating how food industry manufacturers can develop a positive food safety culture by adopting his globally recognised food safety business model ‘Enlighten’; which puts their own business practices under the microscope and lays the foundations to run more effectively and efficiently.

The senior lecturer in the University of Sunderland’s Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism said: “We will be debating the importance of food safety culture and the impact on manufacturers, the supply chain and the end users, from the sole traders to the multi-national companies.  We will offer commercial insights and live impact research in this first conference to take place at Sunderland, which has gained the attention of truly global international players.”

Dr Watson added: “There are many illnesses and deaths linked to food safety, therefore it’s critical from a moral standpoint that organisations ensure, as far as is reasonably practical, that they develop a positive food safety culture, so there is compliance. And while there are tight legislative regulations currently in place, they are the bare minimum required, if you fail to achieve that, you are in line for judicial action or prosecution. What our model does is to look at clear information and data that demonstrates an organisation has buy-in from its own workforce and how effective are those systems running in the organisation in order to achieve continuous improvement.”

Totrain CEO John Husband commented: ”With new and emerging threats to our food chain and the supply of manufactured ingredients becoming global our approach to Food Safety Culture is more important than ever. We are used to the more tangible elements of food safety, process control, hazard analysis, food safety standards but a manufactures approach to food safety, the behavioural aspects and creating a culture of responsibility is now an important aspect of any food manufactures responsibilities.”

The International Food Safety Culture Conference takes place Prospect Building at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus, at St Peter’s. There will be a question-and-answer session where attendees will be able to query speakers on points of interest.

To book your place and find out more click here