The chief executive officer (CEO) of Hilton Food Group, Steve Murrells, will be among the speakers to address the UK & Ireland Meat Business Women conference in May 2024.

Corporate services director at Morrisons, Ruth McDonald and food and beverage director for Pizza Express, Jane Treasure have also been announced as keynote speakers at the event.

The conference, taking place at NatWest, Bishopsgate London on Wednesday, May 22 will be themed around ‘The Power of Us.’

Speakers will share their insights into how they see the meat and food industry evolving over the next five years, including key challenges, and opportunities for their respective sectors.

They will also provide delegates with key learnings from their personal career journeys and on the conference theme, including insights into mentoring, industry collaboration, ally-ship at work and how delegates can support one another’s’ career progression.

Meat Business Women conference

Matthew Stoughton-Harris, economics and public policy manager with data insight company, IGD, will also give an update on market and consumer trends.

Delegates will also hear from leaders outside of the food industry, in a panel themed on ‘The Power of Collective Change.’

The panel will feature: Zara Mohammed, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain; Kate Stephens, CEO of Smartworks Charity; Angela Owen OBE, founder, Women in Defence UK; and Sharniya Ferdinand, enterprise community strategy director, NatWest.

In response to the findings of the 2023 Gender Representation Report on the importance of ally-ship in progressing gender equality in the workplace, a new panel discussion will take place themed on ‘Allyship in Action’.

It will feature: Chief finance officer at 2 Sisters Food Group, Craig Tomkinson; Richard Phelps, agriculture director, ABP Food Group, Richard Phelps; head of food safety and quality, Cranswick plc, Nicola Washington; managing director, Smithfield Foods, Ian Lindsay; and will be chaired by procurement director at Hilton Foods, Andrea Jex.

Delegates will also have the chance to take part in a dedicated personal development and networking session in the afternoon to workshop the themes of the day and build business connections.

In order to ensure the conference is accessible for all, it will also be live-streamed, allowing for delegates who are not able to attend in person, to access and take part in the morning sessions and keynote speakers.


Meat Business Women stated that it works in partnership with meat businesses and the supply chain to remove the barriers that stop women from reaching their full professional potential.

It does this by focusing on five key areas: Changing perceptions of the sector; moving inclusion up the agenda; tackling the broken career ladder; strengthening networks and creating visible role models; and gender-proofing working practices and patterns. 

Meat Business Women is the United Nation’s (UN) recognised global professional network for women working across the meat industry.

It was created to improve the sustainability of the meat sector and grow the pipeline of female talent in what is a male-dominated arena.

It has the strategic backing of: Cranswick; Dunbia; Hilton Food Group; ABP UK; ABP Ireland & Poland; Moy Park; Linden Foods; OSI; 2 Sisters Food Group; Kepak; Coveris; Lumachain; Coles; KP; Morrisons; Cargill; JBS; Avara; and Pilgrim’s UK.