Join us for our next event in the 2021 Innovation Series. The Innovation Series is the longest running series in CFBN's programming - originated in partnership with Fifty Gazelles as our opening offering via the "Innovation Breakfasts" originally hosted at Blue Dog in the West Loop. Today, this virtual series tackles a series of innovation topics of interest to all of us in the food and beverage industry. Our attendees join us every other month on the second Thursday to explore where food is headed, what companies are making a true impact in the market, and who is helping to change the way we all do business!
Now, more than ever, consumers want to be assured that the food they are buying is more sustainable and that the companies in our industry are tackling the important questions around sustainable sourcing, human health, and environmental health impacts! Join us at our first Sustainability Conference to explore several industry-led conversations addressing how food & beverage companies are increasingly committing to greater sustainability efforts across their businesses.
11:00 AM: General Welcome (Alan Reed, CFBN)
11:05 AM - 11:45 AM: Opening Conversation, Moderated by Erica Kuhlmann, BMO Harris Bank
11:45 AM - 12:30 PM: Breakout Presentations 1&2 (40-45 mins each - run concurrently)
12:30 PM - 1:15 PM: Breakout Presentations 3&4 (40-45 mins each - run concurrently)
1:15 PM - 2:00 PM: Breakout Presentations 5&6 (40-45 mins each - run concurrently)
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Expo/Networking Spaces Open
2:00 PM - EVENT CLOSES
Sustainability has evolved from an expected part of good corporate citizenship to a driver of business strategy and a key decision-making consideration for consumers. The financial benefits of operating sustainably can be considerable—ranging from increased revenue and market value to an improved bottom line*. One industry making significant commitments to changing their image and impact in terms of sustainability is animal agriculture. While this may be a surprise to some, companies and organizations are taking the industry in a progressive and impactful direction. Join us for an insider’s conversation around sustainability in animal agriculture and dairy with leadership from DMI and The National Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. This opening conversation is moderated by and supported by BMO.
*Excerpted from a great article on sustainability in our industry by Margaret Malocheb, read more here.
Our opening panel features:
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria are an increasingly popular way for investors to evaluate companies in which they might want to invest. Consumers increasingly see (ESG) investing as a strategy they can use to put their money to work with companies that strive to make the world a better place. Join us for an exploration of why ESG is important to the food and beverage industry in particular and how your company can approach ESG to incorporate it as a critical business element.
One of the consumers’ focuses in terms of sustainable impact is in practices, operations, and products that help contribute to a healthier planet (environmental impact). Companies across food and beverage are evaluating how their day-to-day operations and facilities can incorporate better practices, greener technologies, and a reduced environmental impact. Join us to explore how food and beverage companies are “greening” their operations and how green technologies are impacting future business strategies and operations.
Karleen Kordas, Senior Sustainability Analyst at Synergy Flavors
Alaina Harkness (Moderator), Executive Director at Current
Reducing food waste is crucial to addressing food insecurity and mitigating climate change. According to the UN Environment Program, roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year – approximately 1.3 billion tons – becomes lost or wasted. As a result, many brands are finding new, innovative ways to address food loss and waste, in an attempt to foster a zero-waste supply chain. A trend set to hit the mainstream market, in an effort to reduce food waste, includes the practice of upcycling foods. Upcycling allows food producers to add value to by-products or surplus ingredients that might otherwise have been wasted. Join us to explore upcycling in the food and beverage industry - where sustainability and innovation meet!
Is your brand ethically sourced? Carbon neutral? Fair to workers? Once consigned to corporate PR, sustainability stories like these now provide a foundation for contemporizing brands. Consumers want them. Most brands have them. And stories about values and purpose are far more compelling advertising than another LTO announcement. This evolved consumer mindset drives new food and beverages, impacts their packaging and shapes their messaging. Join us to hear and discuss first-hand stories from food marketers on how they have embraced this reality to increase their brands’ relevance.
According to research by Forbes, 60% of consumers buy products and services from companies that are socially and/or environmentally responsible. A key way for businesses to take action – and reassure consumers – is by managing their supply chain sustainably. To do this, many brands are now adopting better sourcing strategies throughout their supply chains that will give them transparency and traceability. Join us to examine how green your supply chain might be and how you can push forward to improvement!
One trend set to develop into 2021 and beyond includes incroporating eco-friendly and sustainable packaging, including the use of compostable, recycled or biodegradable materials. In addition to meeting environmental goals, sustainable packaging enhances a brand’s image as consumers become as concerned about the packaging of products as much as the product itself. As we move into 2021, we expect to see this trend continue and see companies incorporate more packaging made from plant-based materials. Join us to explore how these “green” packaging innovations are pushing sustainability commitments and helping to shape the next generation of packaging for food and beverage.
We also offer the opportunity for 1:1 networking with your peers - choose this feature to be able to be randomly paired with another attendee for a 10 minute engagement session!
We appreciate the support and collaboration of our sponsors for this event:
We also appreciate the support and collaboration of our partners for this event:
We also appreciate the support and collaboration of participating companies and sponsors:
Don't worry! All previous events in the Innovation Series are available for viewing in our Virtual Content Library - FREE to all CFBN Members!
Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network
802 Wesley Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60304
Tel (312) 525-9653