A group of 35 food students and staff took part in the Future Generation Student Forum at the City Food Lecture 2019. This invaluable experience was enjoyed by students studying food or related studies at undergraduate or postgraduate level from the following institutions:
City University of London
Harper Adams University
IFSTAL (Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning co-ordinating body)
Kent University Business School
London South Bank University
Royal Agricultural University Cirencester
Writtle University College
The group started the day with a visit to the McDonald’s headquarters where they were introduced to key staff from all areas of the business, before taking part in a product sensory session. There was also the chance to ask questions about different careers within the business.
On arrival at the prestigious Guildhall, the venue of the City Food Lecture, the group were then hosted in the Chief Commoner’s Parlour where they were given a history of the event and the livery movement in London by the Chairman, John Giles. As sponsors of the Forum, MorePeople’s Andrew Fitzmaurice then gave a brief overview of recruitment in the industry, outlining the types of businesses and breadth of roles that students could aspire to.
He highlighted the range of opportunities that are available in supermarket supply chains where many suppliers are not branded household names. Part of MorePeople’s motivation for supporting the event was to raise awareness of these businesses as, in a generally low margin operating environment, they often don’t have the resources available to promote what the sector has to offer.
Andrew said afterwards: “MorePeople have always been closely involved with the next generation for the food industry, so we were thrilled to support this amazing City Food Lecture student initiative. It was really rewarding to see the students asking questions of the panel and seeking to make the most of the opportunity. One of them even had the confidence to ask a question of the panel after the main lecture!”
The students then had the chance to meet and question the three panelists involved in the evening lecture – Minette Batters (NFU), Professor Corinna Hawkes (City, University of London) and Rishi Sethi (representing Rabobank) – followed by a preview from the keynote speaker, Dominic Blakemore (Compass Group). The Q&A session raised some interesting discussions on topics such as Brexit, sustainability, food safety and flexitarianism.
Photo courtesy of City Food Lecture 2019