Exclusive Clive Beddall The future of food and farming came under EU scrutiny on Monday when Brussels consumer commissioner David Byrne invited leading figures from agrifood and consumer organisations to a private "meeting of brains" in London. The Grocer was told afterwards that the meeting "embraced all the major challenges and controversial issues facing the sector". Byrne expressed his keenness to hear the views of major stakeholders in the UK food chain. The discussion covered a wide range of issues including food safety and the impact of foot and mouth on distribution. The meeting was attended by leading industry figures including the government's rural co-ordinator Lord Haskins, NFU president Ben Gill, the chief executives of the IGD and the FDF, Sainsbury chief executive Sir Peter Davis and the head of the Consumers' Association. l The Consumers' Association called on the commissioner to lead a "radical shift in agriculture policy away from producers and towards addressing the needs of consumers". {{NEWS }}