City Food Lecture 2021

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

Wednesday 10th February 2021

To reflect the current climate, the 2021 City Food Lecture will be presented as a virtual event – how will this look?


The City Food Lecture will be live streamed in the early evening of Wednesday 10th February to an invited virtual audience presenting a variety of interactive tools to comment, share views, ask questions, network and feel fully part of this unique event. Further information will follow on the exact details.

We are delighted to announce though that our Key Note Speaker for the City Food Lecture 2021 will be Mel Smith, the Chief Executive of Ocado Retail, the world’s largest dedicated online supermarket. Formed in February 2019, Ocado Retail is a 50-50 joint venture between M&S and Ocado Group. It is responsible for, online pet store Fetch and Ocado Zoom, a one-hour grocery service. It has a quarter-of-a-million active customers and a 15% share of the UK online grocery market.

Ms Smith has an impressive career within food and retail, having been strategy director at M&S prior to the formation of Ocado Retail. Before that she was global marketing and strategy director at Bupa from 2013 to 2016 and served as executive director, operations and integration at Talk Talk for a year. Prior to that, she was a partner for 12 years at consultancy giant McKinsey and spent a year at Goldman Sachs.

We look forward to an extremely topical and lively address.

Following the lecture, there will be an interactive Question and Answer session with a panel of food industry specialists chaired by Charlotte Smith, Presenter of BBC’s Farming Today. The three panellists are: Charlie Bigham, the well-known food entrepreneur specialising in providing his own branded high quality ready meals for major retailers, James Walton, Chief Economist of IGD, which provides insight training and researchfor the food and grocery industries, and Laura Winningham, Chief Executive of City Harvest, the London-based charity tackling food poverty.

We very much hope you can join us and contribute to this prestigious and important occasion.

For all enquiries, please contact:

Jeff Mason, Event Director at this email address:


Fiona Patrick, Sponsorship Director at this email address:



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City Food Lecture 2021

Please stay tuned for details of our 2021 Lecture

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