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GFSI Conference 2019

Themed ‘Emerging challenges and the future of food safety’, the 18th edition of the annual GFSI Conference took place in Nice, France from 25th to 28th February 2019.

The Global Food Safety Initiative provides thought leadership and guidance on food safety management across the entire supply chain. Every year, experts from retail, manufacturing, food service industries, governments and service providers meet at the GFSI Conference to share knowledge on changing demographics, evolving consumer demand and developments in science and technology.

Key insights and takeaways from the GFSI Conference 2019 has been released in an executive summary.

Driving global food safety

The food industry is at a critical juncture, with new regulatory demands being placed on businesses managing food safety across increasingly complex global supply chains. This shift marks a move towards a more data-driven approach to food safety, propelled by new technology and continuous innovation.

At Rentokil, we believe it is important for the industry to come together to discuss how we can all contribute to the GFSI vision to achieve global food safety. It is for this reason we are proud to be a Diamond sponsor of the GFSI Conference for the 4th consecutive year.

Special session: The critical macroeconomic and key trends that will most impact food safety

At the GFSI Conference this year, Rentokil was joined by one of the world’s leading economists - Dr. Linda Yueh - in a unique presentation and discussion exploring both the critical macroeconomic trends, and the increasing threats posed by pest growth that will have the biggest impact on food safety.

As well as advising the World Bank, the European Commission and the World Economic Forum in Davos, Professor Yueh was a former Chief Business Correspondent for BBC News and an award-winning author. She provided insights on the key macroeconomic trends affecting the global food supply chain, including the digitalisation of trade, increasing consumer demands and the emergence of a new global middle class.

Savvas Othon, Group Science and Innovation Director at Rentokil Initial, biologist and leading global expert on pests joined the discussion to explore the increasing risks posed to food safety from the continued growth of pest populations and demonstrated how Rentokil employed data and technology to combat emerging threats.

The session was chaired by Gary Booker, Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer at Rentokil Initial who unravelled unique insights from the two leading pest experts, discussed the biggest imminent challenges they foresee for the future of food safety - and how to best prepare for them.

Linda Yueh
Economist, broadcaster, writer

Dr. Yueh is Fellow in Economics at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University and Adjunct Professor of Economics at London Business School. She is Visiting Professor at LSE IDEAS, London School of Economics and Political Science’s foreign policy centre, Associate Fellow (Global Economy and Finance Department & U.S. and the Americas Programme) at Chatham House, and was Visiting Professor of Economics at Peking University.

She is a TV and radio presenter, including for BBC Radio 4 and the World Service, as well as having fronted BBC TV series, such as The New Middle Class, Next Billionaires, and Working Lives.

Savvas Othon
Director of Innovation and Technical Operations, Rentokil Initial

Savvas has held various positions in the public and private sector including Birmingham City Councils Environmental Health Department and subsequently as UK Operations Manager at MITIE. In 2007, Savvas re-joined Rentokil Initial as Technical Director for the UK where he designed and wrote the Technical Training program, now adopted on a global basis.

As well as giving the business technical leadership and innovation, he actively managed Rentokil’s largest multi-site food retail contract with 2973 sites across the UK putting in place innovative solutions and contract specifications.

Pest control powered by data

At Rentokil, we’ve been gathering data for decades - from thousands of technicians who service businesses, assess infestations and record pest control recommendations.

Advancements in technology and the way we gather data is now opening up new opportunities.

Our technicians are still visiting businesses and recording information, but that information is now stored in myRentokil: our digital pest management reporting and analysis platform.

We are also generating data in a whole host of new ways. Our PestConnect solution is an ecosystem of connected devices that detect, capture or eliminate pests and alert our technicians when any such activity occurs. This pest activity is too recorded on myRentokil servers.

And that’s not all. From drones fitted with thermal imaging technology, to predictive data modeling for the evaluation of pest risks, we are harnessing huge volumes of actionable data across more than 70,000 devices worldwide for unrivaled expertise and insight.

Download the report

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