Cologne: 23.–26.02.2027 #AnugaFoodTec2027

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Keynote speech for the opening of Anuga FoodTec 2024

Stepping Into the Future with Responsibility: Chances on the way to climate neutrality

Keynote speech recording

Kick-off with Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President Club of Rome, at Anuga FoodTec 2024

In order to address the polycrises we currently face, Sandrine Dixson-Declève stresses the need for a systems approach. We cannot combat climate change without considering the energy sector, resource consumption and food production. These areas, which are causing the lion's share of the problems, need to shift investments into low-CO2 production methods.

"When we advance in these areas, we can reduce their massive effects on climate and biodiversity", comments the co-president of The Club of Rome. Over 50 years ago, 'The Limits to Growth', a report to The Club of Rome, was a wake-up call, but we have seen the world continue to conduct business as usual. Now, Dixson-Declève, together with leading scientists and economic thinkers, has published an update titled ‘Earth for All: A Survival Guide for Humanity’, which details how we can upgrade our economic systems and ensure wellbeing for all within the limits of our planet. This is achieved through five extraordinary turnarounds – inequality, poverty, empowerment, energy and food. At Anuga FoodTec 2024, the internationally renowned expert for energy policy and sustainability reflects on what the sustainable transformation in the food industry means.


In 2050, between nine and ten billion people will live on the Earth, most of them in urban spaces. Around 80 percent of food will be consumed in the cities, which will cause pressure on limited resources of land, water and energy to increase. Global food systems must change fundamentally to avoid further advancing climate change. "This requires new growth indicators that take the protection of our foundations for life into account. The food industry must adapt to this", says Dixson-Declève.

The keyword of the hour: Responsibility

Describing the future role of a climate-neutral food system in all its facets is a central concern of this year's Anuga FoodTec. With its main theme of 'Responsibility', the international information and business platform from 19 to 22 March in Cologne was placing the spotlight on the many energy and resource-efficient approaches to solutions and measures, and this along the entire supply chain.

The four core messages of the trade fair:

– Setting the right course for tomorrow.
– On the way to climate neutrality: Where do the biggest challenges lie?
– Value creation in the F&B industries: How can we make a positive contribution together?
– For worldwide food security: What possibilities do technical innovations offer?

The industry meeting in this way adequately addresses the ambition of the global food industry for more commitment to environmental themes and the conservation of resources. The companies work together with their suppliers on concepts and strategies for responsible handling of resources. Conversion to renewable energy, reduction of energy requirements, for example, through improved process control and systems with greater efficiency rates, minimised energetic losses as well as the reduction of the quality or process-related waste of raw materials and food are only a few of the themes at the top of the industry agenda. Also linked closely is climate-neutral production with comprehensively improved recycling or packaging systems and conversion to more resource-efficient alternative sources of protein.

The transformation is accelerated in that consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the connections between food and aspects of sustainability. The latest successes on the way to the "Green Zero" also become visible on the Main Stage Responsibility in the Cologne exhibition halls. As part of the congress and event programme organised by the DLG (German Agriculture Society), the most important concerns of the industry were discussed, innovations presented and many opportunities for networking offered on all four days of the trade fair. Following upon these interactive events, the International FoodTec Award, initiated by the DLG and its partners since 1994, were presenting another highlight on 19 March 2024: it honoured exceptional innovations, sustainability and increases in efficiency in food technology. An international jury of experts from research, teaching and practice selected the most innovative concepts to be considered for the award. All this shows that "The initial conditions in the food industry are very good for making a contribution to decarbonisation of great importance with intelligent technology and efficient processes”, Sandrine Dixson-Declève is convinced.

Sandrine Dixson-Declève impressions at Anuga FoodTec

Our Earth4All data shows that a Food System Turnaround including shifts in consumption patterns is fundamental if we are to ensure access to healthy food for more people whilst staying within the planetary boundaries this century! In this respect the AnugaTec conference was definitely an eye opener. What I appreciated most from my conversations with different exhibitors and the organisers was their openness to address today’s key environmental, economic and social challenges including.

Sandrine Dixson-Declève
Co-President of The Club of Rome

About Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President of the Club of Rome

Sandrine Justine, @Justin Jin

Sandrine Dixson-Declève is an environmental scientist and an international climate change, sustainable development, sustainable finance, and complex system thought leader. She is Co-President of the Club of Rome and divides her time between leading the Club of Rome, advising on non-Executive corporate and academic Boards, lecturing, and facilitating difficult conversations.

She is a TED global speaker and was recognised most recently by Reuters as one of 25 global female trailblazers and by GreenBiz as one of the 30 most influential women across the globe driving change in the low carbon economy and promoting green business.

A highlight you shouldn't miss

Sandrine Justine, @Justin Jin

Sandrine Dixson-Declève

Co-President of the Club of Rome

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Event details
Club of Rome

About The Club of Rome

The Club of Rome is a platform of diverse thought leaders who identify holistic solutions to complex global issues and promote policy initiatives and action to enable humanity to emerge from multiple planetary emergencies.

The organisation has prioritised five key areas of impact: Emerging New Civilisations; Planetary Emergency; Reframing Economics; Rethinking Finance; and Youth Leadership and Intergenerational Dialogues.

The Club of Rome members are notable scientists, economists, business leaders and former politicians from around the world. An international Secretariat in Winterthur (Switzerland), a satellite office in Brussels (Belgium) and National Associations in more than 35 countries support the Club of Rome members.

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