The City Food & Drink Lecture is an annual, invitation-only high profile fixture in the City of London and international food industry calendars. The Lecture is delivered by a leading figure in the British food business who is invited to speak about the issues they regard as most important in shaping the way food is produced, distributed, marketed, sold and consumed. An expert panel then debates and explores the subject as well as wider questions from the audience   A buffet supper is then served in the Old Library.

The food sector contributes over £112 billion to the UK economy and evokes many areas of debate and never more now, including sustainability, its carbon footprint, exports and imports post Brexit, the key role it plays in the physical and mental health of our people, sourcing, diversification and custodianship and much more. The City Food & Drink Lecture provides an excellent opportunity for discussion and debate on current and future food issues and encourages innovative thinking.  

Held in the Great Hall at the prestigious Guildhall the hybrid event is attended live by 550 and a further 300 virtual audience from around the world. The City Food & Drink Lecture is organised by the eight  City livery companies whose roots are in the food industry – namely the Worshipful Companies of Bakers, Butchers, Cooks, Distillers, Farmers, Fishmongers, Fruiterers and Poulters

Due to refurbishment of Guildhall taking place between January and March 2023 we will be holding the 2023 Lecture on Monday the 15th May.

Key Note Speaker announced for 2023

We are delighted to announce that the Key Note Speaker for the City Food & Drink Lecture 2023 will be Sir Charles Godfray,  Director of the Oxford Martin School and its Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food. 

Sir Charles has chaired the Lead Expert Group of the UK Government’s Foresight Project on the Future of Food and Farming and has recently stepped down as chair of the Science Advisory Council of the UK’s Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and was knighted for services to scientific research and science advice to government in 2017. He is Director of the interdisciplinary Oxford Martin School at Oxford University, where his work examines how the global food system will need to change and adapt to the challenges facing humanity in the 21st century.

Further details to follow

Tickets are invitation only, however if you would like to express interest in attending the event, please contact Fiona Patrick,The Assistant Event Director and Sponsorship Director fiona@cityfoodlecture.com


The event has previously been organised by the seven City livery companies whose roots are in the food industry – namely the Worshipful Companies of Bakers, Butchers, Cooks, Farmers, Fishmongers, Fruiterers and Poulters.


The City Food Lecture becomes The City Food & Drink Lecture
as the
Wordshipful Company of Distillers join

Organisers of the City Food Lecture announced that the Worshipful Company of Distillers will become part of the leading food industry event in 2023. They join the seven existing City of London Livery companies involved in agriculture and food: the Worshipful Companies of Bakers, Butchers, Cooks, Farmers, Fishmongers, Fruiterers and Poulters.

Trevor Stirling, Chairman of the Industry and Membership Committee of the Worshipful Company of Distillers commented, “The Worshipful Company of Distillers is delighted to be joining The City Food and Drink Lecture.  Our aspiration is to be at the heart of the spirits industry.  We look forward to working with our seven fellow food liveries to raise the profile of the UK food and drink industry through this prestigious high-profile event.”

The Worshipful Company of Distillers was founded by Royal Charter in 1638, conferring powers and duties in the regulation of the trade of distillers – and those engaged in the preparation of artificial and strong waters – in the Cities of London and Westminster. Today, this vibrant Company is c.90% trade/trade-related, with an active livery of c.350. Recent initiatives include corporate sponsored freemen, the development of a mentoring programme and a series of charity auctions which have raised several millions.

Worshipful Company of

The Company is the City’s second-oldest recorded trade guild, being first mentioned in the ‘Pipe-Rolls’ of Henry II in 1155. Often blamed for the Great Fire of London, in which it lost its Hall, the Company has been in residence at Harp Lane since 1506. Its modern raison d’etre is its links to support the baking industry, particularly at the grassroots level of bakery education.

Worshipful Company of Butchers

The Butchers’ Company can trace its history as far back as 975 AD when, in the Ward of Farringdon Without, a Butchers’ Hall existed. Today, the Company is a vibrant organisation supporting an active trade by way of training, education and charitable work. Almost all its members are involved in the meat industry and thus share a common value in good fellowship.

Worshipful Company of Cooks

Receiving its first Royal Charter in 1482, the Cooks’ Company supports apprentice chefs training at Westminster Kingsway College and sponsors catering competitions across the industry and in the armed services. It also funds major charitable projects related to education and catering, through the ‘Adopt a Chef’ programme for schools and by making grants to charities such as Crisis UK, The Clink and the Treloar Trust.

Worshipful Company of Farmers

The Worshipful Company of Farmers is the City of London Livery Company dedicated to the positive promotion, better understanding, visibility, management and development of UK agriculture.

Its principal charitable purpose is agricultural education, delivered through its portfolio of highly respected courses and the provision of training, grants, bursaries and educational awards to inspire, drive and recognise excellence.

Worshipful Company of Fishmongers

One of the UK’s largest, environmental, philanthropic organisations, the Fishmongers’ Company works through its Fisheries Trust to build and safeguard a prosperous and sustainable fish and fisheries sector, thriving coastal communities and healthy marine and freshwater environments. It plays an active role, forging new collaboration with seafood businesses, government, scientists and third sector organisations, and delivering regional and national projects of benefit to the UK. In tandem, the Company’s Charitable Trust supports a range of programmes focused on health and nutrition, transforming lives through food.

Worshipful Company of Fruiterers

Over the 700 years of its history, the Company has assumed different roles. Today the Company promotes excellence across all sectors of the fruit industry, as well as supporting education and research. It is active in raising funds and giving to charity. Half of its members are involved in the fresh produce industry.

Worshipful Company of Poulters

The Poulters’ Company, in common with other livery companies, was founded in the Middle Ages to control the provision of services and the manufacture and the selling of goods and food. The Company’s charitable role is increasing and it is active in promoting research and education in the trade through its charitable trusts, with a strong nucleus of members from the various branches of the poultry industry.

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