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FPC Future Conference Sessions

The conference programme is an extensive one with seven conference sessions plus a Careers Theatre and an Exhibitor Presentation Theatre. The content will cover robotics and automation, data driven technologies, plastics and packaging, supply chain waste, carbon supply chains, vertical farming and a careers theatre.

Session 1 - Robots and Automation Pre-Farm Gate (Morning Session)

Safeguarding the future of growers around the UK means embracing a new era of innovation in pre-farm gate technology. Covid-19 saw huge changes in the industry and this brought many challenges and opportunities. These opportunities should be built upon.

In this session FPC Future will explore the potential of a new generation of smart, interconnected robotic and autonomous systems that work seamlessly alongside their human co-workers.

We’ll demonstrate how it’s all about maximising the potential of existing systems by evolving them into self-organising solutions that will support the sustainable intensification of agriculture, drive manufacturing productivity and underpin future food security.

What you’ll learn:

  • How the latest technology can improve crop planning and soil preparation
  • How robotic applications can minimise waste by augmenting worker productivity
  • How to maximise your return on agritech investment
  • How technology can tackle key issues of farm safety
  • Steps to getting started and finding out more

See the agenda

Session 2 - Robots and Automation Post-Farm Gate (Afternoon Session)

Beyond the farm gate, agricultural robotics can also facilitate earlier labelling and tracking of food products throughout the manufacturing supply chain, bringing numerous benefits, such as improved information for consumers on where their ‘food comes from’ and faster action to mitigate food safety issues.

We’ll explore how common challenges that span the post-farm gate supply chain can be effectively tackled through human-robot collaboration.

The theatre will open up to various discussions, centring around the automation of intra-logistics; from in-field transportation through to warehouse operations and beyond. We’ll explain how to increase levels of safety while ensuring quality is maintained along every step of the journey from farm to fork.

What you’ll learn:

  • How automated systems are able to operate safely 24/7 in challenging field and factory environments, ensuring supply chain reliability
  • How post-farm gate processes can be accelerated through agricultural robotics
  • How technology can maximise ‘food knowledge’ for consumers, allowing them to understand the ‘farm to fork journey’ their produce has taken
  • How robotics can assist in warehouse and intra-logistic operations
  • How to maximise your return on investment
  • Steps to getting started and finding out more

See the agenda

Session 3 - Data Driven Technologies (Morning Session)

Maximising performance has never been so critical to profitability for today’s horticultural sector and this theatre will reveal how, with instant access to real-time data and expert advice, your business can benefit from increased efficiencies and reap the associated rewards.

We will be looking at AI and block chain solutions and you will learn about the huge benefits of using technology to collate, manage and analyse farm data. You will also get the chance to discuss the various technology platforms available and how these can be effectively employed within the fresh produce supply chain.

What you’ll learn:

  • How data driven technologies work to bring you the information you need when you need it
  • The science behind maximising data performance
  • How to make huge savings by incorporating data driven technology into your business
  • How data management systems, can guarantee your legislative compliance
  • Steps to getting started and finding out more

See the agenda

Session 4 - Plastics and Packaging. What Next? (Afternoon Session)

In this FPC Future theatre, we’ll look at the environmental impact of the materials used to package and protect fresh produce and discuss how the industry is embracing technology to innovate packaging and improve production in line with the Courtauld Commitment.

We’ll discuss alternative forms of packaging and will lift the lid on the potential health issues associated with unprotected loose produce sales, along with how these can be mitigated. We’ll also address the challenges of increased fresh produce waste in plastic packaging reduction.

What you’ll learn:

  • How the fresh produce industry is responding to the plastics challenge
  • The alternative forms of packaging employed by the industry
  • The cost implications of removing plastic packaging
  • How technology can help to maintain eco and ethical sustainability in a changing world
  • Steps forward for the industry
  • Consumer’s view

See the agenda

Session 5 - Supply Chain Waste (Morning Session)

From game-changing apps to edible labels and new technology advances, there are a wealth of innovations that are continually changing the food waste landscape.

FPC Future will look at the ways that technology is assisting in the reduction of food waste across every part of the supply chain and explore how simple changes can make a huge difference to business outcomes.

What you’ll learn:

  • How life-extending technologies are helping to positively impact upon fresh produce waste
  • How growers are incorporating ripe-inhibiting technology to minimise waste in the fields
  • How the industry is using AI to effectively predict consumer trends, maximising demand for goods delivered
  • How effective implementation of data technology can cut food waste in half

See the agenda

Session 6 - Carbon Supply Chains (Afternoon Session)

See the agenda

Session 7 – The Future of Protected Crops (Afternoon Session)

Vertical farming and glasshouse production both grow crops indoors but that’s where the similarity ends. Are we looking at a scenario where traditional horticulture will be overtaken by this new and developing way of growing and if so is the industry taking the opportunities arising seriously?

What you’ll learn

  • What are the pros and cons of vertical farming v glasshouse?
  • Is protected cropping a separate channel within horticulture?
  • The latest developments in protected cropping

See the agenda

Session 8 Sustainability (Morning Session)

Like every other industry, the fresh produce industry is under pressure to become more sustainable. Businesses must adapt to a changing landscape and by using innovative solutions to increase sustainability, it’s possible to become not only more sustainable but also more profitable.

For many years now there has been a drive towards systems that meet today’s needs and tomorrow’s challenges. In this session we will be looking at how data, data connectivity and digital tools offer sustainability solutions, the ability to survive in the face of shifting markets, rising competition and the need for sustainable food production.

What you’ll learn:

  • How alternative energy options and make you more profitable
  • How you can cut you water usage
  • How sustainability can lead to higher yields and longer shelf life for your produce