Background

The Government Chemist 2021 Conference “Safe food for tomorrow’s world” took place online on 23 and 24 June. The conference included talks from 20 national and international speakers on topics from regulatory perspective, how food science can impact health outcomes and novel solutions for food authenticity and sustainability. The talks were well received by the 240+ participants who attended the conference for at least one talk.

This event had originally been planned for June 2020, then postponed to June 2021 and finally delivered as an online event. The transition to the online platform did present technical challenges and limited the interaction between participants. However, it also presented an opportunity to engage a greater number of stakeholders at UK and international level.

Event impact

Attendance

The Government Chemist Conferences in 2018 and 2016 attracted approximately 100 participants, whilst the best attended event in 2014 attracted approximately 130 people. Since the 2021 conference was advertised as a free event, a large number (480) registered their interest. Approximately 240 participants joined the conference for at least one session.

This attendance level is in line with experience from similar events. Additionally, with the event being accessible from anywhere, participants were able to join for some of the talks or for the whole event, with many joining and leaving the event at different points

Participants

A significant proportion of participants (approx 50%) represented UK government departments and local authorities from all the nations.

There were also participants from trade associations, industry, consultants, consumer advocacy groups, press and independent attendants.

The vast majority of attendants joined from the UK. However, people joined from Turkey, Slovakia, Latvia, Uruguay and Hong Kong.

Feedback

In feedback received from a selection of participants approximately 42.5% of respondents felt it was better than expected, 9% said it was much better than expected and 48.5% said that the conference met their expectations.

Presentations from the conference are available.

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    Report on the Government Chemist Conference 2021

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