The Agricultural Science Association (ASA) has announced the details of the 78th annual ASA conference which takes place on Friday, September 11, 2020.

The event, once again sponsored by FBD Insurance, will be live streamed from the Maryborough Hotel, Douglas, Co. Cork, from 10:30am and 12:30pm.

The opening address for the annual agri-industry forum will be delivered by Taoiseach Micheál Martin. In addition, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney will also speak about the latest trade developments, including Brexit.

Embracing disruption

The theme for this year’s event is “Embracing Disruption in Agri-Food” and the two-hour conference will explore the impact Covid-19, Brexit and climate change are having on the Irish agri-food industry.

Other Irish and international expert speakers will include:
  • Daniella Taveau, regulatory and global trade strategist and former international policy analyst with the US Food and Drug Administration;
  • Liam Condon, president of the Crop Science Division, Bayer;
  • Donal Dennehy, director, Danone Ireland;
  • Laura Burke, director general, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA);
  • Professor Thia Hennessy, dean of Business School, University College Cork (UCC);
  • Padraig Brennan, meat, food and beverages director, Bord Bia.

Conference organiser, Seamus O’Mahony, president of the ASA, said that this signature event in the Irish agri-calendar is “critical for the ASA and the evolving needs of its members”.

“In spite of all the current challenges, I truly believe that our industry has an opportunity to embrace the disruption we are now facing and continue to adapt and evolve.

Resilient food systems of the future need to prioritise sustainability in an attempt to reverse the clock on climate change.

“This can only be enabled with an innovation infrastructure across our sector, supported by good policy and investment in digital transformation.

“We must remain committed to sharing knowledge, mentoring our graduates and discussing and debating the best path forward.”

Event streamed online

Due to current restrictions, the physical event can only be attended by speakers and staff and strict social distancing guidelines will be adhered to.

Attendees are invited to stream the live event online and can do so by registering online.

This year’s event will be free of charge for pre-registered attendees.