Past Lectures


Ash Amirahmadi, Managing Director of Arla Foods headlined the 21st City Food Lecture

Ash Amirahmadi

‘Food’s Defining Decade: Finding a way to feed the world while protecting the planet’

“Arla Foods is one of the biggest dairy companies in the world, with an annual turnover of some €10 billion. As a cooperatively owned business, they have some 9,200 farmers in Denmark, Sweden, Germany and the UK. The UK is their single biggest market, where they have over 2,000 farmer members. They are also highly active in the Middle East, West Africa, the US, China and SE Asia. 

 Arla has a very strong commitment to the sustainability of how their products are produced. They are involved in many product areas, ranging from liquid milk to branded consumer products and functional food ingredients. Ash has featured regularly on television and other forms of media in the recent 18 months commenting on  both Brexit and the COVID pandemic

Ash Amirahmadi said “I am honoured to be part of the City Food Lecture. It’s an incredibly well thought of event and one that I have admired for years. Having worked in the industry for over 20 years and having a passion for agriculture, food and sustainability.

After delivering his lecture, Ash then joined the panel discussion between James Lloyd -Jones Founder & CEO of Jones Food Co. Richard Clothier MD of Wyke Farms, Fraser McKevitt Head of Retail & Consumer Insight, Kantar and chaired by Charlotte Smith of BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today and BBC 1’s Countryfile.  

To view the full  2022 Lecture, click here:

To view the photographs, click here:

2022 Highlights Video

The City Food Lecture includes many components – from the networking amongst the invited guests, the excellent lecture and panel session and ensuing q and a’s, the tasty buffet supper, the Future Generation Forum involving students and lecturers from key food and agri colleges across the UK, appreciated support and participation from our sponsors and above all, the perceptive closing address from HRH The Princess Royal.. and all in the glorious setting of Guildhall in the City of London. 

Our highlights video encapsulates a flavour of the evening with comment from a cross section of attendees.


The 2021 City Food Lecture,to reflect the current times, was delivered virtually by Mel Smith CBE, CEO of Ocado Retail the world’s largest dedicated online supermarket.

‘The role of new technology in the future of UK food retailing’.

The City Food Lecture 2021 Pre Lecture Content

The 2021 City Food Lecture held virtually began with pre lecture footage featuring comment from industry thought leaders including Dr David Hughes, Minette Batters, Ian Wright, Nigel Barden and Prue Leith as well as from our seven food livery Masters and Clerks. Due to coronavirus restrictions, all are recorded from kitchens, offices, living rooms and … fields so do excuse the quality of sound or vision in some.
Paul Stockton, CEO of Rathbones, our Premium Sponsor then introduces the 2021 event.

Link to Video

The City Food Lecture 2021, Panel and HRH The Princess Royal  

Once the virtual event got underway, our virtual viewers were welcomed to the City Food Lecture 2021 by Alderman William Russell The Rt.Hon. The Lord Mayor of London. The keynote speaker, Mel Smith, CEO of Ocado Retail then delivered the 2021 City Food Lecture after which she joined the panel discussion between Charlie Bigham, Laura Winningham and James Walton chaired by Charlotte Smith. Then followed a q and a session with the audience. The event concluded with a closing address from HRH The Princess Royal – always the highlight of the City Food Lecture.

Link to Video.

2021 Highlights Video

The City Food Lecture 2021 Highlights

2021 Full Video

The City Food Lecture 2021 Full Version

For our picture gallery, please click here.


The City Food Lecture 2021 Full Version

Mel Smith

Chief Executive, Ocado Retail

Trust & Tech – Future of Food

See our short Highlights Video


The City Food Lecture 2020

Professor Fresco

President of the Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research,

Fish nor Flesh or Both? Foods for the future.

Professor Fresco, President of the Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research, Europe’s leading academic agri-food organisation and research and development centre.


The City Food Lecture 2019

Dominic Blakemore

Chief Executive, Compass Group

Trust & Tech – Future of Food

See our short Highlights Video


The City Food Lecture 2018

Dave Lewis

Chief Executive, Tesco

Supplier Partnerships & The Future of Food


The City Food Lecture 2017

Professor Chris Elliott

Queen’s University Belfast

Does it Matter Where Our Food Comes From?

Due to family circumstances, Professor Chris Elliot was sadly unable to deliver the Lecture. He was ably replaced by Michael Bell, Executive Director of NI Food & Drink Association who delivered it on his behalf.


The City Food Lecture 2016

Christophe Jouan

Chief Executive, The Future Food Foundation

What, when and how will we be eating in 2025?
2015Richard Evans
President, PepsiCo
The responsiblity of the food industry for improving the Nation’s health
2014Charles Wilson
Chief Executive, Booker
Growth outside the supermarkets
2013Paul Bulcke
Chief Executive Officer, Nestle
Water – the linchpin of food security
2012Justin King
Chief Executive Officer, Sainsbury’s
UK Grocery Retailing – back to the future
2011Paul Polman
Director and Chief Executive Officer, Unilever
Food security in a changing climate
2010Sir David King
Director, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford
Managing the earths resources to deliver food for nine billion
2009Sir Terry Leahy
Chief Executive, Tesco
Consumers, competition and a changing world
2008Lord Haskins
Government advisor on food and farming
Are the Malthusian chickens coming home to roost
2007Lord Peter Mechett
Policy Director, Soil Association
Food and values – the organic future
2005John Sunderland
Chairman of Cadbury Schweppes
The role of food in public health
2004Sir Francis Mackay
Chairman of the Compass Group
Changing the menu
2003Sir John Krebs
Chairman of the Food Standards Agency
Protecting consumers in the future world market
2002Niall Fitzgerald
Chariman of Unilever
Facing the future – the UK food industry in a changing world
2001Peter Blackburn
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Nestle
The UK food chain – making life better

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