FoodCon 2017 opened with a keynote address from Ms. Meghan Shea, co-founder of The Soulfull Project, a Public Benefit Corporation created to promote community engagement and offer healthier food choices to the public while assisting others. For every purchase of their 4-grain hot cereal, The Soulfull Project donates a serving to a local food bank. The afternoon session featured Mr. Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms, “American’s premier non-industrial food production oasis,” which was featured in The New York Times bestseller The Omnivore’s Dilemma and the award-winning documentary “Food, Inc.”
At the Food Technology session, Dr. Dellinger was joined on the panel by Mr. David Swintosky, vice president of Finance at Improved Nature; Dr. Kelly Smith, director of Microbials Development at AgBiome; and Mr. Andrew Kennedy, co-founder of FoodlogiQ. Moderated by Dr. Albert H. Segars, PNC Distinguished Professor and Chair of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at UNC Chapel Hill, the panel focused on the current trends in food tech start-ups and the relationship between technology and its influence on what and how people eat. With clear alignment between the FoodCon 2017 theme, “Good for All: Sustainable. Profitable. Accessible.” and the company vision on the future of farming, fishing and food, Dr. Dellinger represented a commitment to advancing sustainable food solutions at KBI. As he began his remarks, he noted an overarching challenge: “The question we all must be thinking about is, ‘how we can feed 9.8 billion people with growing incomes by 2050?’”
An amalgam of evolving developments was discussed at this unique one-day conference, including: Food deserts, needed policy changes, producer and distribution financing, and soda tax legislation. Industry stakeholders, future attendees and participants are urged to follow the conference on Twitter, Facebook and at http://mbafoodcon.com.
FoodCon 2017 was a one-day conference at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School focused on the business of sustainable food. The FoodCon goal is to bring together a diverse audience of students, community members, and business professionals to increase awareness and understanding of the sustainable food industry, as well as support and grow it in North Carolina and throughout the country. FoodCon 2017 was hosted by the UNC Center for Sustainable Enterprise and the UNC Kenan-Flagler Net Impact Club in collaboration with NC State Net Impact and Duke’s Fuqua Food and Agriculture Club.
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Kepley BioSystems is a North Carolina biotech founded in 2013 and focused on disruptive innovation and global solutions, including: sustainable, synthetic crustacean and pelagic fish bait; redefining aquaculture feeds; developing enriched feed for migrating shorebirds; ranching horseshoe crabs to sustainably harvest LAL, vital to ensuring the safety of pharmaceuticals and medical devices; bringing laboratory quality to bedside testing; and introducing an autologous therapy for breast cancer as an alternative to chemotherapy. KBI originated at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN), North Carolina A&T State University and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Now located at the Gateway University Research Park proximal to JSNN, KBI is led by Professor Christopher Kepley and Dr. Anthony Dellinger, working in collaboration with lead inventor Terry E. Brady, located on the Caribbean island of Anguilla, British West Indies.