In a minute we will hear form Catherine Brown, Chief Exec of the Food Standards Agency, but first some opening words (minus the bit about fire alarms and where the loos are, from Mark Rogers, Chief Executive at Birmingham City Council and Kate Cooper, of the Birmingham Food Council.
David Young Partner and head of food and drink sector at Eversheds says welcome (thanks for hosting this first annual meeting for us).
Kate Cooper explains that the Birmingham Food Council was set up about 20 months ago with initial funding form public health in the city.
Please look at the website and if you think you can contribute to what the council is doing please talk to us.
She says she goes on about what it takes to feed a city 2.2 billion calories a day to feed Birmingham. Cities are not about growing food, they are about growing minds.
So two things about food, the scale of it and what it takes to keep it safe. There are scoundrels and criminals who want to adulterate our food, and then their are tiny organisms that want to use food to get into our guts. This is what the FSA is about – among other things.
Birmingham made a major contribution to the Elliot Review – the city case study of how a major city can tackle food crime. And the food council has started a project to raise food standards in care homes, nurseries and schools, communicating with those with food rating of 0, 1 or 2.
We were going to include hospitals, but you’ll be glad to know that all our hospitals have either the highest or nearly highest rating.
There will be music tonight – because some mad woman (Kate Cooper) thought it would be a good idea to create and opera about food crime! We will get a tasting of the song cycle later this evening. Bonkers.
I was slightly thrown thinking the FSA does financial services, but no pension advice here.
Catherine Brown has had a varied career, including the NHS, worked for Unilever, then a change of direction into the civil service. There will be a q and a —- Now Catherine…