City Food Lecture 2021
MDS acquired access for all Trainees to attend the virtual 2021 City Food Lecture on the 10th February. The City Food Lecture is a staple in the food and fresh produce event calendar and offers valuable insights for the year ahead.
This year’s lecture was delivered by Ocado retail CEO Melanie Smith, who discussed retail technology’s future and how Ocado has adapted to changes in consumer habits. MDS Trainees were also able to participate in a Q&A session chaired by BBC Farming Today presenter Charlotte Smith, food entrepreneur Charlie Bigham, IGD Chief Economist James Walton and Chief Executive of London City Harvest Laura Winningham. This panel session allowed attendees the opportunity to pose questions and interact with panel experts. MDS Chair Christine Tacon was able to ask the panel how they would encourage young people to join the industry. The panel all agreed that the industry is crucial, exciting, and offers many different opportunities.
A valuable opportunity
The event offered MDS Trainees a crucial development opportunity and even gave them the chance to network with attendees. Group 46 Trainee Oliver Gilding said of the event, “I thoroughly enjoyed my first City Food Lecture.”
“It was fascinating to hear Ocado Retail Ltd CEO Mel Smith give her perspective on the last 12 months and how customers’ new shopping preferences won’t be changing anytime soon. I’d like to thank MDS Ltd for organising access for their Trainees. It was truly fascinating to hear about the future of retail technology.”
Group 48 Trainee Ruby Powell agreed, “It was great to have the opportunity to attend the first-ever virtual City Food Lecture.”
“Mel Smith spoke so passionately about Ocado retail and how automation within the business is driving efficiency. This technology is really exciting! I hope the food and farming industry continues to use innovative ways to improve efficiency and bring value to customers.”
Thank you CFL
Thank you to CFL Chair, John Giles, and organisers for creating a fantastic event and for inviting MDS.