In this week’s podcast, Susanne Stormer, vice-president for sustainability at Novo Nordisk, talks with Ian Welsh about development of the sustainable development goals and how companies can leverage them for better impact. And Toby Webb debates palm oil supply chain complexity and its impact on deforestation with Imperial College’s Joss Lyons-White. Plus Intel tops new IT sector benchmarking from Know the Chain, child labour traceability challenges for cocoa and why incentivising customers to switch to re-usable cups is good business for Pret.

Hosted by Ian Welsh

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Francesca New, global sustainability manager at Mars, explains to Ian Welsh how the company engages with smallholder farmers through a Farmer Income Lab and other initiatives. New highlights the challenges in actually reaching suppliers that are several tiers up the supply chain, and also how land use changes link into Mars’ science-based targets.

 

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Joining Innovation Forum's Toby Webb are Jon Entine from the Genetic Literacy Project, Perry Hackett from Recombinetics and Kevin Folta from the University of Florida. They discuss gene editing, GMOs and whether biotech and organics can work together. In a world where ever-more food is required, they also debate whether the entrenched camps in food technology can become less suspicious of each other, and how a more agro-ecology approach across the board can become the focus.

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Tim Gehring from the International Justice Mission gives insight to Ian Welsh into IJM’s work developing capacity to tackle modern slavery, government response to labour issues around the world, and what companies should do to leverage influence. And David Cleary from the Nature Conservancy debates with Toby Webb some trends on how commodity supply chains are going to impact deforestation. Plus OECD’s new human rights due diligence guidance, Plan A updates from Marks & Spencer, GAR developing GPS technology to track palm oil and detail on India’s zero-plastic pledge, in the news roundup.

Hosted by Ian Welsh

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At Innovation Forum’s sustainable apparel conference, Alison Ward, CEO CottonConnect, spoke with Ian Welsh about the state of play for sustainable apparel supply chains. Ward argues that there is significant brand-led progress – with stretching commitments on fibres – and positive impacts at farm level. The challenge is to engage other parts of the supply chain to develop more transparency and better traceability.

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Alexandra Channer from Verisk Maplecroft talks with Ian Welsh about how companies can make sense of human rights laws. Given the emergence of different types of legislation, Channer advises that a risk-based approach for business, mapping where the pressure points may be in operations and supply chains, is best.

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This week: World Cocoa Foundation director, environment, Ethan Budiansky talks with Innovation Forum’s Toby Webb about cocoa supply chain innovation. Budiansky outlines how the industry’s multistakeholder initiative aiming to save west Africa’s forests will measure success. Plus TFT director Hilary Thomson gives Ian Welsh a critical appraisal of the worth of auditing as a tool to uncover modern slavery in supply chains. And, news of World Environment Day’s plastic ambitions, soy sector fines in Brazil, why investors are taking sustainability more seriously and new research into agriculture commodity supply chain forced labour in the weekly roundup.

Hosted by Ian Welsh

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Josiah McClellan, director of food markets issues and sustainability, United Soybean Board, talks with Toby Webb about how the soy industry is driving profitability through more-sustainable practices. Soy has had a lower profile than other agricultural commodities, but McClellan argues that as the food industry demands ever-more supply chain transparency, the sector must embrace sustainability to meet that customer requirement.

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This week Mars’s climate and land senior manager Ashley Allen talks with Toby Webb about commitments to climate change and how the business has developed science-based targets for its full value chain. Plus Jamie Barsimantov, chief operating officer at Supply Shift, and Ian Welsh discuss supply chain best practice trends. And, in the news roundup: new livestock sector index that demonstrates concerning lack of progress on impacts, evidence why a 1.5C global temperature limit makes real financial sense, and good news from Thailand with the quashing of human rights defender Andy Hall’s conviction relating to his work on forced labour.

Hosted by Ian Welsh

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Gabriel Thoumi, head of capital markets at Climate Advisers, outlines to Toby Webb the financial risks that big companies in the agricultural commodities sector, and others, are running by not dealing with environmental and social risks in supply chains properly. Thoumi names some palm oil supply chain players that have been most hit economically from deforestation.

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