Adelaide hosts international agrifood conference

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The impact of Free Trade Agreements, food security, nutrition, culture and policy are among the many topics to be covered at an international agrifood conference being held in Adelaide this week (7-10 December).

Hosted by the University of Adelaide's Centre for Global Food and Resources, the conference – AGRIFOOD XXIII – brings about 100 delegates to Adelaide from across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, China, Canada, the US and the UK.

"As a leader in agrifood and agribusiness study, we are excited to be hosting this international conference," says Professor Wendy Umberger, Executive Director of the Centre for Global Food and Resources at the University, and current President of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society (AARES).

"Our conference will address the issue of Food and the Asian Century: Opportunities and Challenges in the 'Neighbourhood', with a focus on local food production, export to Asia and technological innovation," Professor Umberger says.

The keynote speakers are: Steve Marafiote, Managing Director of Sundrop Farms; Professor Klaus Grunert, from the Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus (Denmark); and Professor Ellen Goddard, Cooperative Chair in Agricultural Marketing and Business, University of Alberta (Canada).

"Sundrop Farms – a local company that has become a global leader in sustainable agriculture – is an inspirational story of success," Professor Umberger says. "The conference will hear how in South Australia’s arid Far North, technology, innovation and ingenuity have come together to produce commercial quantities of tomatoes using little more than seawater and sunlight."

Professor Grunert has undertaken extensive research in the area of food and drink consumer behaviour, and will present insights that are of interest to consumers and food producers alike.

"Research of this nature is particularly important in the way it can inform public acceptance of biotechnology and especially genetic modification. Understanding consumer behaviour can inform product development processes and marketing strategies," Professor Umberger says.

Professor Goddard’s current research includes aspects of food marketing, consumer response to food safety incidents, consumer interest in food labels, and demand for food attributes related to production and processing, traceability and certification. Professor Goddard's work is also identifying genes related to animal disease resilience, feed efficiency and the enhancement of health characteristics for animals and potentially consumers.

The conference brings together members of two major groups in agrifood: the Australia and New Zealand Agrifood Research Network and AARES.

For more information about the conference, including the full program of speakers, visit:


Contact Details

Professor Wendy Umberger
Executive Director, Centre for Global Food and Resources
Faculty of the Professions
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 7263
Mobile: 0405 990 465

Dr Jennifer Cleary
Adjunct Associate Professor
Centre for Global Food and Resources
The University of Adelaide
Mobile: +61 (0)429 699 387

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762