Food 4 Future – Expo Foodtech will address the potential of exponential technologies, such as AI or Blockchain, in order to maximize efficiency, yield and quality in the production of animal protein.

The event, which will take place from April 16 to 18 in Bilbao, Spain, will bring together executives from Campofrío, Better Balance, Angulas Aguinaga, Noel, Albacora or Grupo Jorge, who will explain how the sector is becoming digitalized.

The meat and fish industries, like the food sector as a whole, are immersed in a constant transformation towards processes and innovations aimed at greater efficiency and sustainability. At the same time, the challenges they face are also numerous, including the improvement of water resource management, the decarbonization of production lines and the appearance of new demands in a rapidly changing market. To examine the state of these sectors and learn about the latest technologies that apply throughout its value chain Food 4 Future – Expo Foodtech 2024, which will take place from 16 to 18 April at the BEC in Bilbao, will feature in its fifth edition with two exclusive forums focused on the field of meat, on the one hand, and fisheries, on the other.

In the case of the meat industry, the summit will provide an exhaustive analysis of the key factors and techniques used in the conscious and sustainable production of animal protein. Luis Calvo, Head of R&D&I at Incarlopsa, a company that produces pork products and is one of Mercadona’s main suppliers in Spain; Birthe Steenberg, Secretary General of the Association of Poultry Processors and Poultry Trade in EU countries; and Antonio González, Head of Biotechnology at the well-known Jorge Group, the fifth largest pork producer in Europe, will delve into the path the sector must follow to become more sustainable at the climatic and business levels.  To this end, they will explain how feed is treated efficiently, how livestock is handled responsibly and which are the innovative technologies designed to minimize the environmental impact of the industry. 

One of the challenges facing the sector is undoubtedly to break down the barriers that hinder increased efficiency and productivity in the production of animal protein. These barriers include technological limitations, resources and regulatory challenges. In this regard, the Corporate Director of R+D+i of Noel Alimentaria, Jaume Planella, and the Director of R+D of Grupo Alimentario Cárnico Friselva, Xavier Rubies, will be some of the leaders who will bring this issue to the table. 

Fishing is ‘smart’ too

Within the fishing industry, Food 4 Future will put the spotlight on smart fishing and how exponential technologies, with artificial intelligence leading the way, are being used to optimize its practices, resource management and sustainability. Alfonso Menoyo, Fleet Coordinator of the tuna company Albacora, among many other experts, will expose the possibilities of data analysis and predictive modeling, which improve the decision making of fishermen and the management of fishmongers. In turn, the improvement of safety, control and traceability in the value chain will come at the event from the hand of the General Director of Fedepesca, María Luísa Álvarez, who will study advances such as blockchain and RFID, which contribute to monitoring and traceability in real time. This ensures transparency and accountability, which is crucial to safeguard consumer health, address regulatory compliance and strengthen the overall integrity of the fishing industry.

Concern for good animal health and sustainable aquaculture will be addressed at the event through technological developments and digitalization, which are able to improve welfare standards and promote positive practices in the aquaculture sphere. Manuel Yúfera, Research Professor in the Department of Marine Biology and Aquaculture at the Institute of Marine Sciences of Andalusia of CSIC, along with more professionals, will share practical and successful cases of the use of sensors, monitoring systems and data analysis in order to optimize farming conditions, ensure the comfort of aquatic species and minimize environmental impact.

Likewise, the Food 4 Future – Expo Foodtech 2024 stages will be visited by leaders from the meat and fish sector such as Javier Dueñas, CEO of Campofrío; Rodolfo Brajcich, Nutrition & Sustainability Director of Sigma Alimentos; Florencio García, Principal Chief Executive Officer Europe of Better Balance; Oscar Vicente, CEO of Angulas Aguinaga and Patxi Arrtutia, General Manager of Delicass, who will guide entrepreneurs on their path towards technological innovation and decarbonization.