1-1.45pm Thursday 9 September 2021

Panel chairs: Dr David Bek and Dr Jill Timms, Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University

The use of logos and certifications to reassure consumers about the quality or sustainability standards of produce has become ‘standard’ practice in some industries and for some products. This is extended to more social and ethical dimensions by some brands, where buying your coffee could save a dog, your bottled water might provide clean water in a far off country, your chocolate could fight for endangered species, your sausages support foodbanks or your ready-meals be guaranteed to pay a living wage. But are consumers becoming overwhelmed by the number and range of logos and issues? How confident are they in what is being promised? And how much will these certifications matter within the many faceted future of food production and consumption?

In this panel we bring together industry, certification and academic experts to share their experience and thoughts on the use of private standards in food production for promoting sustainable consumption. Chaired by David Bek and Jill Timms of the Sustainable Production and Consumption Research Group at Coventry, in this session panellists will each present one challenge they recognise and one opportunity they can identify, based on the work of their organisation or research. We will then have space for discussion and questions from the floor.

We will also welcome questions submitted in advance. If you would like any further details, please contact Jill.Timms@Coventry.ac.uk or David.Bek@Coventry.ac.uk.


Dr David Bek and Dr Jill Timms, Sustainable Production and Consumption Cluster, Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University.


– Anna Barker, Head of Commercial Partnerships at the Fairtrade Foundation UK

– Professor Alex Hughes, Department of Geography, University of Newcastle, UK

– Richard Griffiths, Chief Executive of The British Poultry Council, UK

– Professor Valerie Nelson, Natural Resources Institute at University of Greenwich

– Kobus Pienaar, Technical Manager for Food Security at Woolworths, South Africa