Airbus’s head of sales, agriculture and forest solutions, Patrick Houdry, and Earthworm Foundation’s director of technical services, Rob McWilliam, talk with Ian Welsh about how the satellite remote sensing system Starling has developed over the past few years. From an initial project mapping palm oil in Malaysia and Indonesia, Starling now can map entire supply chains worldwide across commodities.

They discuss in particular how Starling has helped the SODEFOR organisation in Côte d’Ivoire to tackle deforestation related to the cocoa sector, and why better data has meant improved return on investment and implementation of remediation projects on the ground.

This week: Yuca Waarts from Wageningen University on living income challenges for smallholder farmers and plantation workers, and what agriculture sector companies should be doing to ensure supply stability. Plus, Hugo Boss’s Andreas Streubig on his brand’s striving for more-transparent supply chains.

And, why Burberry’s going for insetting; a new sustainability manifesto for luxury UK apparel brands; Delta’s net zero impact plans; and why Kellogg’s updated its global palm oil strategy, in the news digest

Hosted by Ian Welsh

Recent years have seen calls for major changes in human rights due diligence and reporting gathering momentum. This tidal wave of governments making legislation that holds businesses legally accountable isn’t stopping any time soon.

In addition, NGOs, investors and consumers are demanding more than just the bare minimum when it comes to business and human rights practices. However, with a whole suite of expectations and standards bombarding corporates, the basic question of “what do stakeholders actually want?” is getting lost. This disconnect could be disastrous for business, not only legally, but reputationally.

  • What do investors, consumers, NGOs and government want from business?
  • How have expectations of these groups changed and how are they set to differ as we head into a new decade?
  • What are the incentives for business to go beyond mere compliance?

Discussing these questions are:

  • Julie Vallat, vice president, human rights, L'Oréal
  • Adam Schafer, director, supply chain traceability, Intel
  • Mary Francis, senior manager, worker rights strategy, VF Corporation

Hosted by Ian Welsh, Innovation Forum

Join Innovation Forum in London in March and New York in May to debate the future of ethical trade and human rights.

Over the past decade, various apparel brands have made major commitments to deliver living wages to workers in their supply chains. However, a recent report by the University of Sheffield found that despite these ambitious commitments, low pay continues to be the status quo. And there is still widespread confusion over the definition of a “living wage”, and action on the ground varies greatly across regions.

Taking Patagonia as a case study, this webinar examines some of the common pitfalls in implementing living wage policies.

  • How a living wage is calculated and why living wage estimates are critical.
  • What are the main obstacles and challenges in getting to living wages?
  • How can business, government and civil-society groups work together to achieve these commitments?
  • What are the biggest lessons learned from Patagonia’s living wage programme so far?


  • Wendy Savage, director, social responsibility and traceability, Patagonia
  • Alex Katz, manager, supply chain social responsibility, Patagonia

Hosted by Ian Welsh, Innovation Forum

Join Innovation Forum at the sustainable apparel and textiles conference in Amsterdam in April. Full details here

This week: Forest 500 report authors Sarah Rogerson and Emma Thomson, from Global Canopy, outline what progress companies are making on deforestation, and argue that too many are still failing to recognise their responsibility to act.

And, Wendy Savage and Alex Katz from Patagonia discuss the brand’s work to develop living wages for workers in its supply chain.

Plus: Uzbek cotton sector progress, more bad news for insect pollinators and Danone’s investment in a hi-tech solution to low-tech food waste, in the news digest.

Hosted by Ian Welsh

Jo Griffiths, global food community director for the British Standards Institute – BSI, speaks with Innovation Forum’s Ian Welsh about the challenges in developing sustainability standards for plastic packaging. They debate why the plastics debate has become highly polarised and the dangers in simply stopping using plastics, particularly in food packaging.

Griffiths outlines the difficulties around defining what sustainable packaging means across different sectors and argues for combining a systems approach to packaging materials, with development of a circular economy, as a potential solution.

This week: Amy Yoder, CEO of agri-tech business Anuvia Plant Nutrients, on innovation in fertilisers that add organic matter to boost soil health and boost productivity across all crops, without potentially harmful chemical inputs.

Plus: why we may dodge the worst case climate change; a call for big hikes in European meat prices; how fermented proteins are bad news for the diary sector; and, US $70m pledge to tackle human trafficking, in the news digest.

Hosted by Ian Welsh

Dawn Jutla, founder and co-CEO of blockchain technology developers Peer Ledger, talks with Innovation Forum’s Ian Welsh about how technology is revolutionising consumer engagement with products and supply chains.

They discuss some of the challenges in adapting blockchain for agriculture supply chain, and how it can enable full traceability and honest communication with suppliers and consumers.

Peer Ledger were a sponsor of Innovation Forum's 2019 future of food conference in Chicago.

In order to limit global temperatures to 1.5C, greenhouse gas emissions must fall 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 and to net zero by 2050, according to the IPCC. This reduction is required at a time of rapidly expanding food production. It is estimated by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation that food and feed production will need to increase by 70% by 2050 to meet the world's food needs.

To meet climate targets and avoid the impending climate catastrophe, food companies must radically adapt practices. And with the clock ticking, the next 10 years will be critical.

In this webinar, an expert panel discusses:

  • What leading food brands are currently doing to reduce climate impacts
  • The real-world practicalities: Science based targets are fine, but how can we actually reach them?
  • How to effectively scale up initiatives that absorb carbon, such as land restoration and increasing biodiversity
  • Assess how brands can map the route to 2030 for effective implementation.


  • Christine McGrath, vice president and chief of global impact, sustainability, and well-being, Mondelēz International
  • Jon Hixson, vice president of government relations and global citizenship, Yum! Brands
  • Anna Turrell, head of sustainability, Nestlé UK and Ireland

Hosted by Ian Welsh

This week: Nathalie Walker, director, tropical forests and agriculture at the US’s National Wildlife Federation on why her work preserving natural habitats in the US and beyond means engaging with business to tackle the climate crisis and tropical deforestation.

Plus: how PayPal is targeting human trafficking; a new WEF report into how to change incentives in food production and consumption; and, why a circular economy is still a long way off, in the news digest.

Hosted by Ian Welsh

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