Alan Johnson, senior operations officer at the International Finance Corporation, talks with Innovation Forum’s Toby Webb about capacity building challenges for smallholder farmers. These challenges are a major constraint to growth of the agriculture sector, and impact security of supply and traceability for big brands. Johnson explains why IFC believes that boosting the “professionalism” of smallholders, such as through improving access to finance and growing business management capability, is crucial for real impact at scale.


In this webinar, the findings from two new reports from Forest Trends’ Supply Change initiative and the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 are discussed and debated.

While there is growing evidence that companies are setting goals to manage deforestation within their commodity supply chains, analysis shows that much remains to be done to increase the momentum toward the necessary transformational action.

These two new reports show how leading companies are working towards deforestation-free commodity supply chains. Hear from expert speakers from Forest Trends’ Supply Change initiative, TFA 2020, Unilever, Golden Agri-Resources and CDP.


The legislative landscape around forced labour and modern slavery is changing and companies that are not engaging and tackling these issues in their supply chains may find themselves barred from some markets, particularly the US.

The 2016 US Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act introduced restrictions on importation into the US of goods produced with forced labour, closing a loophole in the 1930 Tariff Act that allowed for importation of goods that may have had forced labour in the supply chain if US domestic production did not meet demand.

This change last year came on the back of earlier legislation and rule changes in the US including the Port State Measures Agreement and the Californian Transparency in Supply Chains Act.

Elsewhere, of course, the evolving picture is similar, with the UK’s Modern Slavery Act having been in force since late 2015. France is another country with tightening rules coming into play.

So, clearly, companies need to act and be seen to act. But what are the implications if they don’t? What are the risks they run?

Leading the debate in this Innovation Forum webinar are:

  • Kenneth Kennedy, senior policy advisor, forced labour programs, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security
  • Corey Norton, export and import attorney, Trade Pacific Law
  • Darian McBain, global director of sustainable development, Thai Union

Introduced and moderated by Ian Welsh, publishing director, Innovation Forum



Panellists from Sime Darby, Golden Veroleum Liberia, TFT and Forest Peoples Programme debate the challenges of how to balance the rights of local communities, the responsibiilty to protect and preserve the environment and the need to ensure that business ventures remain viable. How should companies and their advisers, NGOs, local communities and all levels of government engage effectively to ensure sensitive development that is for the good of local communities, preserves vital ecosystems and benefits all wider stakeholders? 


TFT CEO Bastien Sachet talks with Innovation Forum’s Ian Welsh about TFT’s latest report – Palm Oil Transformation – and how, despite all the challenges and problems, there has been a transformation and accelerating improvement in palm oil supply chains since 2010, when Nestlé introduced their responsible sourcing guidelines. They discuss why transparency and trust have been crucial in the moves towards sustainable value chains, and why smallholder farmers need to be a central focus of the evolving solutions. 


Hagen Duenbostel, CEO of KWS, a leading agricultural seed company, talks with Innovation Forum's Toby Webb about genome editing, how it’s different from genetic modification, and what radical transparency makes sense for his company as they develop genome editing technology


We know we need to increase food production rapidly to provide for the world’s growing population. The intensification of agricultural production has been done so on a large-scale, requiring high use of natural resources, including water, energy, land and soil.

The resulting impact on the environment is significant – but for long term food security, we need agricultural production to be sustainable. But how can it be? And how can agriculture’s impact be aligned with the critical 2C 2020 climate goals?

In this webinar, we show how conventional agriculture can be more sustainable.


Understanding the optimal investments that accelerate sustainability effectively is crucial for business. But the lack of reliable data often means companies are unable to track progress and measure impact of their sustainability programmes.

Low-cost performance monitoring tools can help companies identify simple data to track progress of critical indicators, allowing them to push their sustainability programmes forward more effectively and better understand how to get a return from the investment in their initiatives.

In this webinar, expert panellists offer different perspectives on how they use tools to manage important data for business benefit. They give their insight on how these innovative tools can better align business priorities with developmental or sustainability priorities in scalable ways.


Molly Laverty, director of sustainability, Farmer Brothers

Townsend Bailey, director supply chain sustainability, McDonald’s USA

Alejandro Escobar, lead investment and operations officer, Inter-American Development Bank

Daniele Giovannucci, president and co-founder, Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA)

Introduced and moderated by Ian Welsh, publishing director, Innovation Forum


Innovation Forum's Ian Welsh and Toby Webb debate how companies have tackled the big sustainable business issues in 2016 and why this will remain the case in the face of the challenges from Brexit and the new US administration. They discsuss trends in the deforestation, palm oil, forced labour and modern slavery debates, and what's likely to come up in 2017. 


While there are certainly a lot of commitments around, actual progress towards achieving these goals remains by-and-large slow. Translating commitments into actual practice on the ground – in palm oil, soy, timber and pulp+paper, and cattle products supply chains – is a highly complex matter. Collaboration is increasingly regarded as the only practical route to progress – involving business, the NGO community, financial institutions and government. And everyone can do more to push the pace of commitment implementation.

Debating what companies and their stakeholders can do are:

  • Tom Bregman, project manager, Forest 500, Global Canopy Programme 
  • Jillian Gladstone, senior manager, forests, CDP
  • Sylvain Augoyard, corporate social responsibility, BNP Paribas
  • Samuel Mary, senior sustainability research analyst, Kepler Cheuvreux
  • Fiona Wheatley, sustainable development manager, Marks and Spencer

Introduced and moderated by Ian Welsh, publishing director, Innovation Forum

This webinar is sponsored by Global Canopy Programme.


« Newer Posts - Older Posts »