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Campden BRI Day 2013

On 10/06/13 by Brigid Simmonds (Chief Executive)

Over 500 people attended the Campden BRI Day this year. This included 20 members from brewing companies, thanks to the persuasion and persistence of Tom Falcon from Shepherd Neame who spoke passionately about the need to support this event at a recent dinner in Brewers Hall. It was my first visit to the Chipping Campden site of Campden BRI, now fully merged with BRI at Nuffield where much of the brewing research is undertaken, and whilst a 5.15 am start made it a rather long day, it was certainly worthwhile!

The guest speaker was Michael McCain, CEO of Maple Leaf Foods in Canada. He spoke about our world food crises, the need to increase yields, accept technology as a friend, to ensure we reduce waste and accept that there is "no good food or bad food, just good diets and bad diets".

I was given an excellent tour of the site and of the many services offered by Campden BRI which are applicable for both brewing and pubs by Martin Hall, the Director of Science. The use of 'forensic' science techniques in identifying and tracing contaminants are services many members already use, but there is so much more we could use. Is your packaging fit for purpose and how might changes to your product interact with the container in which it is sold? Consumer and sensory science panels allow products to be compared against each other by expert consumer groups. For instance, how premium chocolate compares with a competitor's product could be extended to how your fish and chips might compare with a similar dish sold in another pub! Do you want to offer homemade bread; Campden BRI's bread making training centre The Millennium Bakery was demonstrating artisan and sour dough bread production and courses are available for members. And these are just a taste of the technological services that are available!

But it's not all science and laboratories - between the Nutfield and Chipping Campden sites, Campden BRI also offer a diverse variety of information and advisory services and training in areas that include food production, quality and safety, understanding and implementation of regulation and legislation and food labelling. Members are also encouraged to attend Member Interest Groups (MIG) which have a direct impact on the research that is undertaken at the Chipping Campden site. The announcement of the Brewing and Fermented Beverages MIG, which will allow brewing members to have a similar input, was announced at Campden BRI Day and will begin in September with a seminar to be held at the Nutfield site.

It will certainly be worth looking at how the services at Campden BRI might be used to the benefit of both brewers and pub owners...from grain to glass and beyond! However, the services are particularly important in light of recent events where we may be missing a trick if food issues are not considered just as important as brewing issues.

If you would like to listen to the lecture in full, it is available to stream here


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