The Forum for the Future of Agriculture

The Forum for the Future of Agriculture is the premiere meeting place in Europe to debate sustainable agriculture and environmental challenges. Since 2008, the Forum is where agriculture and environment meet for an open dialogue on the future of global food systems, biodiversity, ecosystems, climate change, trade and governance.

By bridging the conversation between different stakeholders across the food system, the Forum serves as a unique space for an open debate where each and every perspective can come together to provoke forward thinking solutions, and where content is freely shared entirely with civil society.

Each year, the Forum hosts its Annual Conference in March, with more than 1,500 persons attending in person in Brussels or online. The Forum also enables more local conversations in various Member States during bi-annually Regional/Special Editions and focuses on specific key thematics during international events throughout the year, including workshops and roundtables. Sharing its content in various forms, the Forum publishes articles and summaries alongside its Annual Report, but also releases regular interviews through its podcasts. Today, the Forum’s growing network is over 15,000 people in nearly 40 countries on five continents.

Since 2008

Since 2008, the Forum for the Future of Agriculture Annual Conference has taken place in the centre of Brussels and has hosted regional events across Europe.

Partners

The European Landowners’ Organization and Syngenta are the founding partners of the Forum. They are now joined by our strategic and international, and supporting partners who bring new perspectives to the dialogue.

Over 1,500 People

Over 1,500 people join us in person or online for our Annual Conference each year. Many thousands more access content through the Forum’s website and social media.

40 Countries

Today, the Forum’s growing network is over 15,000 people in nearly 40 countries on five
continents.

Conferences every year

The Forum hosts regional conferences every year to discuss agriculture and environment at a national level across Europe.

In person or online

You can attend Forum events in person or online including viewing videos on demand after each event.

Our governance

Founded under the Chairmanship of Franz Fischler, former European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, the Forum is now led by the vision of Janez Potočnik, former European Commissioner for the Environment, President of the RISE Foundation and Co-President of UNEP.

The Forum’s Secretariat, under the guidance of the Forum Chairman and the Advisory Council, work with our founding partners, strategic and international partners, and supporting partners to achieve the mission of the Forum to contribute to the development of a more sustainable food and agriculture system.

Since 2022, the Forum extended its international reach by founding the Global Forum on Farm Policy and Innovation (GFPPI), alongside other leading independent agricultural organizations such as the Farm Foundation (US), the Australian Farm Institute, and the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute.

Our partners

Our partners support the mission of the forum to contribute to the development of a more sustainable food and agriculture system. The Founding and Strategic Partners also act as a sounding board and provide counsel on our thought leadership activities and positions, such as the Call to Action. The Partners also exchange knowledge and expertise on what works on the ground, as well as constructively challenging each other, as well as other stakeholders in their community, to help create a more sustainable food system.

Founding Partners

The European Landowners’ Organization and Syngenta came together in 2008 to create a new, open and inclusive place in Europe where all stakeholders interested in contributing to a more sustainable agriculture system could come together to debate and share knowledge and expertise on how this could be achieved. They remain committed to that goal and have now invited other organisations to join and help take forward the forum on the next phase of its journey.

The European Landowners' Organization (ELO), created in 1972, is a unique federation of national associations from the 27 EU Member States and beyond, which represents the interests of landowners, land managers and rural entrepreneurs at the European political level. Independent and non-profit making, the ELO is the only organization able to stand for all rural entrepreneurs. The ELO promotes a prosperous countryside through private property dynamism. Its Secretariat is based in Brussels.

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Syngenta is one of the world’s leading agriculture companies, comprising of Syngenta Crop Protection and Syngenta Seeds. Our ambition is to help safely feed the world while taking care of the planet. We aim to improve the sustainability, quality and safety of agriculture with world class science and innovative crop solutions. Syngenta Crop Protection and Syngenta Seeds are part of Syngenta Group, one of the world’s leading agriculture innovation companies, with roots going back more than 250 years. With more than 57,000 employees, operating in more than 100 countries, Syngenta Group strives to transform agriculture with science-driven, technological innovations to deliver high productivity and high-quality food while fighting climate change and restore nature. Syngenta is working with farmers to enable Regenerative Agriculture - an outcome-based food production system that nurtures and restores soil health, protects the climate and water resources and biodiversity, and enhances farms' productivity and profitability.

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Strategic Partners

Our strategic partners support the mission of the forum to contribute to the development of a more sustainable food and agriculture system. In doing so, they work together with our founding partners under the guidance of the chairman to enable the strategic development of the Forum and help to shape its annual work program.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners.

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The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a membership Union composed of both government and civil society organisations. It harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its more than 1,400 Member organisations and the input of more than 18,000 experts. This diversity and vast expertise makes IUCN the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.

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Cargill

Cargill’s 160,000 employees across 70 countries work relentlessly to achieve our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive. We combine 153 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, financial and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. Side-by-side, we are building a stronger, sustainable future for agriculture.

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Thought For Food is the world’s entrepreneurial innovation engine for food and agriculture. They work with more than 15,000 next-generation leaders from over 160 countries, helping to generate and scale thousands of ideas through their comprehensive suite of next-generation innovation programs. These include the TFF Challenge, an annual collaborative prize competition; the TFF Digital Labs, a digital startup accelerator and collaboration platform; the TFF Academy, an in-person incubation program for world-class startups; and the TFF Summit, a flagship global event focused on bringing the voices of the next generation into solution development. TFF's work is powered by their global operating structure, including the TFF Core Team, 13 Regional Coordinators and 400 Ambassadors in more than 200 cities. Thought For Food is a 501c3 non-profit entity.

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Supporting Partners

The Forum is pleased to be joined by our supporting partners representing a wide range of interests and insights from across the wide spectrum of the food supply chain and NGOs.

The Friends of the Countryside is a non-profit making organisation consisting of a network of like minded private landowners, rural managers and entrepreneurs from 27 countries stretching from the Rockies to the Urals. By means of innovative, regenerative and sustainable practices, this network promotes the long term interests of their land. Through the platform of the European Landowners’ Organisation, the FCS are able to ensure that their voice is heard throughout the European Union and beyond.

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The Rural Investment Support for Europe (RISE) Foundation is an independent foundation which strives to support a sustainable and internationally competitive rural economy across Europe, looking for ways to preserve the European countryside, its environment and biodiversity, and its cultural heritage and traditions. It works as a think tank, bringing together experts to address key environmental/agricultural challenges in Europe and develops high quality accessible research reports with clear recommendations for policy makers.

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John Deere is a world leader in providing advanced products and services. Throughout our history, we have remained committed to those linked to the land and we are committed to being a great corporate citizen of the world. The company’s innovative technology is key to serve the growing worldwide population. Higher standards are necessary to meet the world’s dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. More than 73.500 employees worldwide provide customers with agricultural equipment, as well as lawn and grounds care equipment and construction and forestry equipment. John Deere runs more than 70 manufacturing facilities in 19 countries and the products are sold in 160 countries worldwide.

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Nestlé, with headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland, was founded in 1866 by Henri Nestlé and is today the world’s largest nutrition, health and wellness company. With more than 2000 brands ranging from global icons to local favorites, Nestlé is present in 186 countries, and strives to co-create a resilient future for the planet and its people by advancing regenerative food systems at scale.

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Pepsico

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $70 billion in net revenue in 2020, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, Tropicana, and SodaStream. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 23 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales. Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. "Winning with Purpose" reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of our business strategy and brands.

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Indigo

Indigo Ag improves grower profitability, environmental sustainability, and consumer health through the use of natural microbiology and digital technologies. The company’s scientific discoveries and digital platforms benefit tens of thousands of growers across millions of acres. In 2019, Indigo Ag launched Indigo Carbon - a scientifically backed program that provides growers with a new revenue stream in the form of verified agricultural carbon credits.

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Anglo American is a leading global mining company, and our products are the essential ingredients in almost every aspect of modern life. Our portfolio of world-class competitive operations, development projects and undeveloped resources provides many of the metals and minerals that enable a cleaner, greener, more sustainable world. With our people at the heart of our business, we use innovative practices and the latest technologies to mine, process, move and market our products to our customers – and to discover new resources – safely and sustainably. Anglo American is developing the Woodsmith project in the north east of England to access the world’s largest known deposit of polyhalite, a natural mineral fertiliser product containing potassium, sulphur, magnesium and calcium – four of the six nutrients that every plant needs to grow. Anglo American’s polyhalite product named POLY4 is uniquely placed to play a significant role in helping farmers improve their productivity, while assisting in addressing environmental challenges.

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Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

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Exhibitors from previous events

We have been joined at our events by many supporters and exhibitors, below are a selection of the organisations who have been part of our events.

COFarm

Interested in becoming a partner or exhibitor?

If you are interested in partnering with us and joining the existing partners to support the forum please click here to send an email to Mark Titterington, Forum for the Future of Agriculture Senior Advisor, Strategy & Partnerships for further details. For further details on being an exhibitor please send an email to coordination@elo.org

Chairmen

Janez Potočnik

Chair 2015-2024

Dr Janez Potočnik graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. After a successful career starting in 1989 in Slovenia as a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research, Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (1994), he was appointed Head of the Negotiating Team for the Accession of Slovenia to the EU (1998). He was also Director of Government Office for European Affairs (2000), Minister Councillor at the Office of the Prime Minister (2001) and Minister responsible for European Affairs (2002). In 2004 he joined the European Commission, first as “shadow Commissioner for Enlargement and then as Commissioner responsible for Science and Research. In 2010 Dr Potočnik became Commissioner for Environment. His term ended in November 2014 and he was appointed as a Co-Chair of UN Environment International Resource Panel and was also appointed as a Chairman of The Forum for the Future of Agriculture and RISE Foundation and a Member of the European Policy Centre’s Advisory Council. From April 2016 he was also the Partner in SYSTEMIQ. He is now Co-Chair of the International Resource Panel at the UNEP.

Franz Fischler

Chair 2008-2014

Franz Fischler holds a doctorate in agriculture from the University for Soil Science, Vienna, where he led research projects and lectured about agriculture and related issues. He spent ten years at the Tyrol Chamber of Agriculture, about half of which as its Director. In 1989 he became Austria’s Federal Minister of Agriculture and Forestry holding this post until 1994. He was elected twice (1990 and 1994) Member of the Austrian National Parliament (Nationalrat). In 1995 he became a Member of the European Commission responsible for agriculture and regional development and, from 2000, also for fisheries. Fischler prepared Austria’s agriculture for accession to the EU and was Austria’s chief accession negotiator for the sector. At the European Commission, he led several reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy, was EU Chief negotiator for agriculture in the Doha Round and several international treaties and accords, and led also the first reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. He is also the President of the Alpach Forum and was the Chair of FFA until 2014. After leaving the Commission in 2004, Fischler became i.a. Executive Director of Franz Fischler Consult Gmbh, Director of Austria’s Eco-Social Forum and the Global Marshall Plan Initiative and lecturer at three universities. In 2007 he co-founded the Rural Investment Support for Europe (RISE) Foundation of which he was the Chairman.