International Food and Agribusiness Management Association conference

  • 24th June 2016
  • by secretary

19 – 23 June 2016. Denmark. The three major issues at the International Food and Agribusiness
Management Association conference (IFAMA 2016) were:

In the future, we will become increasingly dependent on people with the right work ethic, training, competencies and skills to develop sustainable solutions.

  • How do we identify and overcome the barriers that influence the attractiveness of the food and agribusiness industry to young people in various regions, from elementary school through university?
  • Which educational changes are necessary to enhance the flow of high quality talent into the industry?

Climate change has direct implications for food production, commodity supply and prices, and food security, especially among vulnerable populations in developed and developing countries.

  • How do we define and map the implications of climate change on the food and agribusiness industry?
  • What gaps exist in the climate change knowledge of industry stakeholders, and how do we develop research questions, training and processes to bridge them?


Big data is key to addressing food security challenges and productivity improvements in a future era of resource constraints and climate change.

  • Which research questions would best envision the role of big data in the food and agribusiness industry and define the strategies to exploit it?
  • How do we build alliances to foster opportunities for data sharing that enhance efficiency while leaving room for competition?
  • How should we frame the issues surrounding big data so that privacy risks do not dog other industries?

Finance and sustainability

  • Niels Dijkman, Head Sustainability Corporate Banking ABN AMRO Bank, Netherlands

    (speaker and moderator)

  • Stefano Pascucci, Co-chair Scientific Symposium, Professor in Sustainability and Circular Economy, University of Exeter Business School, UK
  • André Louw Chief Executive Officer and Board Member: Agric Risk Specialist (ARS), Ficksburg, Free State; Honorary Professor: Agricultural Economics, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Food Innovation, HR management and Development

  • John Purchase, CEO Agricultural Business Chamber, Pretoria, South Africa
  • Jaideep Biswas, Vice President, OLAM International, Nigeria
  • W. Scott Hine, Vice President Products & Solutions and Chief Innovation, Novus International, USA
  • Johan van Rooyen, IFAMA President, Professor in Agricultural Economics, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa (moderator)

Food innovation in developing countries

  • Johan van Rooyen, IFAMA President 2015 – 2019, Chairman of IFAMA, Professor in Agricultural Economics, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa (moderator), 
  • P.G. Chengappa, President of the Agricultural Economics Research Association (AERA) and Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), National Professor at the Institute for Social and Economic Change, India
  • Domenico Dentoni, The Global Centre for Food Systems Innovation, Netherlands
Addressing the opening session of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) 2016 conference, meeting in  all this week, Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development said that he believed agriculture policy was “back on the agenda” and that the EU was working hard to deliver on behalf of the industry’s farmers and agri-innovators.

There is €3.6bn (£2.75bn) available at EU level between now and 2020 to fund synergies between agriculture and research, via Horizon 2020 and the European Innovation Partnership for ‘Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability’. Around €64 million of that will be dedicated to precision farming and digital technologies in the agriculture sector under the current Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2016-2017, with €30m being invested in the implementation of an ‘Internet of Things Large Scale Pilot’ on smart farming and food security. There is evidence that the links between research, farmers and industry are still too weak. Too many innovations are still not being transformed into practical tools, and too many research questions from the sector remain unanswered. Agricultural knowledge and innovation systems need to be made more efficient and interactive. And the same goes for food innovation. Farmers and the food industry needed to be empowered to embrace research and innovation, working in collaboration with scientists and investors to generate knowledge from the earliest possible stage.” Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development