#BrumElliott: A brilliant group of people coming on 2nd April
There’ll be over 50 people at Aston Villa Conference Centre at the Elliott Review Birmingham workshop on 2nd April.
They’re from all over the food supply network in the city, plus (of course!) a sprinkling of New Optimist scientists. They’ll be exploring what Birmingham can do to tackle food crime, along with Professor Chris Elliott himself (see left) and his Elliott Review team.
Food crime presents a hugely complex challenge, one that needs the perspective of a wide range of people. Hence whose coming on Wednesday. They include Villa fan Darryl Thomson who’s responsible for 120M (yes,million) meals served by M&B every year and Aldi’s Quality Assurance Director David Roos.
People from smaller food companies in the city will be there as well. For example, Gabe Gabriel from The Crucial Sauce Company, Sinead Edom from the Handmade Burger Co, founder Wade Lyn and his colleague Simon Noble from Cleone Foods and Mark Stammers from Connolly’s Wines.
There’ll be chemists there: EHOs from the city including Head of Chemistry at Birmingham City Labs, Stewart Davis. Sajeela Naseer who’s Head of Trading Standards, will be along too (see here or below for an ITV interview with her) with Jacqui Kennedy OBE who’s Director of Enforcement and Regulation.
Consumers are represented, with a special emphasis on people who are on a very tight budget, or who represent them. For example, Jane Corbett from Cityserve, responsible for school meals, Jean-Luc Priez, the CEO of Lench’s Trust whose restaurant The Venue at William Lench Court serves their elderly residents and people in the neighbourhood of Quinton — a restaurant run by social enterprise Jericho Foundation whose catering manager Samantha Cartwright will putting her point of view into the mix too. St Basil’s CEO Jean Templeton will be there, as will Shemilee Gordon and Spike Orion.
Among university people, one of Aston’s brilliant molecular biology team Mo Ashraf will be there, both as a scientist and as the owner of the Haweli Restaurant in Bearwood — I can personally vouch that their food is excellent, their mutton curry particularly superb.
The researchers have less directly personal impact on the city’s food supplies, but their perspective and wide-reading will be invaluable on the day: Director of the Warwick Crop Centre Rosemary Collier, researcher into the politics of global food supplies, Ben Richardson, former Tesco exec now at UoB’s Business School Pamela Robinson, former EHO Madeleine Smith, now also at UoB, and Coventry University geographer, Moya Kneafsey. Plus, too, Martine Barons, a maths person — knowing where food crime is a-happening in a complex system is what mathematicians call an ‘intractable’ problem; nonetheless, there a loads of ways they can gauge the probability of it happening at particular points in the system by studying patterns in big, disconnected databases, the very stuff that drives food supply logistics.
By the by, I learned yesterday that Chris Elliott is a football “nut” (that was the word I heard used, accurately or not, I can’t say) and was rather hoping there’ll be a match at the Villa that evening. Alas, no, Prof, and please don’t mention the words Stoke and City in the same breath to Darryl.