Dear Colleagues,

The AgroStat biannual series of conference are driven by the Agro-Industry Group of the French Statistical Society (SFdS), which is a non-profit organisation bringing together researchers, engineers, teachers and statistics users (https://www.sfds.asso.fr). The 16th Edition of the AgroStat Conference (AgroStat 2021) will take place from the 14th to 17th September 2021 in the city of Bragança, Portugal, hosted and organised by the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança (IPB).

Bragança is a typically-Portuguese old town (Romanic origin dates back to the 10th century), located by the Natural Park of Montesinho – one of the wildest forest zones of Europe – and the Douro Valley – the third oldest protected wine region in the world; and surrounded by traditional villages of a distinctive rustic beauty. Bragança houses several traditional industries producing a myriad of local foods, such as cheese, fermented meats, wine, chestnuts and honey, which provide substantial economic sustainability to the region.

The AgroStat 2021 conference will reunite internationally recognised researchers and industrial organisations representatives, to take stock of advances in statistics, express their needs and to anticipate future challenges. The AgroStat 2021 conference will provide engineers, modellers, statisticians, developers and end-users, a unique opportunity to exchange knowledge and prospects around novel statistical methods applied to agro-food and sensory sciences. We expect to gather a significant number of delegates from over the world to participate in a comprehensive scientific programme that will include keynote lectures, oral communications and posters, allocated in sessions focusing on the following themes: Sensometrics, Chemometrics, Experimental designs, Process control, Risk analysis, Big Data and Software tools.

Apart from those, AgroStat 2021 will feature special sessions dedicated to Predictive microbiology and Meta-analysis, to encourage food modellers to present the latest scientific approaches for data synthesis, databases and tools developed for the advancement of predictive modelling towards ensuring safety and quality of foods. Notwithstanding, all of the conference themes can be addressed in their theoretical aspects and through applications.

Researchers are strongly encouraged to submit proposals for pre-conference workshops. These events will take place during the day before the scientific programme, that is, on the 14th September 2021. As in previous editions, delegates wishing to present an R package or application they use or have developed can do so in the dedicated corneR space. The submission of technical abstracts will be a two-step process, whereby authors submit a regular abstract, and after acceptance, they have the chance to submit a short paper. Abstracts and short papers, reviewed by the Scientific Committee, will be published in two ISBN registered volumes, the Book of Abstracts and the Proceedings of the AgroStat 2021.

In addition to the scientific programme, AgroStat 2021 delegates will have an exceptional opportunity to appreciate the rich culture and traditions of Bragança, from gastronomy to music, by engaging in an attractive social programme that includes welcome reception, live music, tasting of regional foods and gala dinner.

On behalf of the Organising Committee, we look forward to meeting you in Bragança, a historical and charming town located in the Northeast of Portugal.

Vasco Cadavez
Ursula Gonzales-Barron
Pascal Schlich

The AgroStat 2021 Chairs