Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture

  • 25th March 2017
  • by secretary

22-23 March 2017, Washington DC. Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture. How science and technology can help business meet sustainable agriculture objectives. This two-day forum was designed to provide leading discussion and debate on how business can most efficiently improve sustainable agriculture production, raise yields and deliver against company objectives.

It covered important questions around sustainability and agriculture, taking a practical look at the big issues, from emissions to water, and will go on to look into the potential solutions that companies can explore to sustainably improve efficiencies.

Extractof the programme

Can industrial agriculture be sustainable? 
The world’s largest agri-businesses, producers, processors and retailers have increasingly tough sustainability targets to meet, yet for consumer groups, industrial agriculture is controversial. There’s evidence that shows that intensification of agriculture can deliver significant environmental benefits. But there are ‘social acceptance’ and reputational challenges. In this session,  both the science and impact of scaled up industrial agriculture was discussed, and whether the concerns about it can be met by the industry successfully. 
  • David Rosenberg, CEO, AeroFarms Dawn Rittenhouse, director, Sustainable Development, DuPont 
  • Christine Daugherty, VP of sustainable food production, Tyson Foods

Corporate financing for sustainable agriculture: How far should it go and what should be the expected returns? 

Investment in agriculture will play an important role in increasing resilience to climate change and improving food security. With more and more large companies trying to help suppliers become more sustainable, this session discussed how companies determine the success of such programs, how economic and sustainability returns are measured, and if these funds are actually sustainable long-term. 
  • Stefani Millie Grant, senior manager, Unilever 
  • Bruce Wise, global product specialist, sustainable business advisory, IFC 
  • Dan Zook, director of investments, Initiative for Smallholder Finance 
  • Stephanie Potter, VP, sustainable business development, Rabobank
Collaboration to meet your business targets: where is the evidence? 
Collaboration is often hailed as the answer to scaling up projects and increasing impacts on the ground. However, there are a number of challenges involved. The panelists will take a look at the practicalities and different hurdles that arise with collaboration. Looking at lessons that can be learned so collaboration can deliver on the potential it promises, and be effectively scaled to meet your targets. 
  • Suzy Friedman, senior director of agricultural sustainability, Environmental Defense Fund 
  • Rod Snyder, president, Field to Market