Restoring the opportunity for food system transformation

Tuesday, March 26, 2024
09:00 - 16:30 (CET)

The Forum for the Future of Agriculture (ForumforAg) Annual Conference was held on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, consisting of live broadcasts, moderated panel discussions and dialogues, interactive interventions, networking opportunities and exhibitions, live in Brussels and online.

Click to read event terms and conditions

Ensuring an open and engaging dialogue
Since 2008, the Forum for the Future of Agriculture has provided a platform for open dialogue and debate where every voice counts. By registering for the Forum’s Annual Conference, participants are entering an agreement, for which all participants are requested to read and acknowledge the terms and conditions set out below.

Registration and entry

  • All participants are required to register in advance via the online registration system and bring proof of their registration and identity to gain entrance to the venue.
  • Entrance to the venue is at the discretion of the Forum organisers.
  • All bags will be searched prior to entry; therefore, to help speed things up, we’d prefer if you didn’t bring a bag to the venue. If you need to bring one into the venue, it needs to be no bigger than A4 in size (21cm x 30cm) and a maximum of 2 compartments. Suitcases, rucksacks and other large bags are not allowed into the venue and must be deposited in our secure cloakroom on arrival and collected on departure.

Filming / photography

  • Filming and photography will take place during the Forum. By attending you consent to your image and likeness being used in print and/or digital marketing materials and channels of the Forum (now and in the future) and to waive any right to compensation or remuneration.

Creating the right environment

  • The Forum organisers are committed to ensuring everyone can participate in an inclusive, respectful, and safe environment. We want all guests to have an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.
  • Attendees are solely responsible for their actions and we expect all delegates to:
    • Behave in a way as to create a safe and supportive environment for all event participants, including the organizers, moderators, attendees and speakers.
    • Show respect and courtesy to other people and property during the event.
    • Comply with the instructions of event staff and comply with all applicable laws.
    • Ensure that everyone has a chance to participate fully by affording other participants the opportunity to express their views without interruption, keep your own questions and responses short and always be respectful to the views of others.

Breaches of these terms and conditions may result in refusal of entry to the Forum, or removal from the venue.

Thank you for helping to make this a welcoming and friendly conference for all.

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Videos from this event

Watch all sessions & interviews >
2024 Annual Conference – Introduction and welcome video image

2024 Annual Conference – Introduction and welcome

Stephen Sackur, Rose O’Donovan, Janez Potočnik

2024 Annual Conference – Short summary video video image

2024 Annual Conference – Short summary video

Janez Potočnik, Ursula von der Leyen

2024 Annual Conference – Message from Ursula von der Leyen video image

2024 Annual Conference – Message from Ursula von der Leyen

Stephen Sackur, Ursula von der Leyen

Summaries from this event

Confirmed speakers (in alphabetical order)

Sébastien Abis image
Sébastien Abis

Managing Director, Club DEMETER

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Managing Director, Club DEMETER

Sébastien Abis has been Managing Director of Club DEMETER since 2017. This ecosystem, which brings together 87 companies and professional structures, is focused on forward-looking thinking, global issues and cross-sector dynamics linked to agriculture, food and sustainable development. Around its member companies, it networks 20 higher education schools, mobilizes French and international experts and cooperates with 5 national ministries.
Sébastien is a member of the mission committee of two major companies in the agricultural and agri-food sector (Avril and InVivo) and a member of the supervisory board of Adix (a management consulting firm). He is also a member of the steering committee of MEDEF International's agricultural and agri-food cluster.

Sébastien is also a research associate at IRIS (Institut de relations internationales et stratégiques), scientific advisor to Futuribles International and Euromed-IHEDN, member of the editorial board of Futuribles magazine, member of the EU-China research group at the Jacques Delors Institute, and an APM expert. He teaches at the Université Catholique de Lille (UCL), Junia Grande Ecole Ingénieurs and the Université Mohammed VI Polytechnique (UM6P) in Morocco.

Sébastien is also the author of numerous books and scientific articles.
Sébastien graduated from the University of Lille II with a Master's degree in History-Geography and from the IEP de Lille with a DESS in European Strategic Studies.

Stefania Avanzini image
Stefania Avanzini

Director, One Planet Business for Biodiversity (OP2B), World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

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Director, One Planet Business for Biodiversity (OP2B), World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

Stefania Avanzini is Director of One Planet Business for Biodiversity (OP2B), an action-oriented business coalition for the protection and restoration of biodiversity within the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Their mission is to improve agricultural biodiversity by scaling-up the deployment of regenerative agriculture and restoration of nature. Beyond OP2B, Stefania has thorough experience in business development, marketing and social innovation in Africa and in Europe across the corporate and NGO sectors.

Saswati Bora image
Saswati Bora

Global Director for Regenerative Food Systems, The Nature Conservancy

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Global Director for Regenerative Food Systems, The Nature Conservancy

Saswati Bora joined The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in August 2021 as Global Director for Regenerative Food Systems. Within this strategy, Saswati leads the development of an emerging set of regenerative foodscapes for TNC as a crucial part of accelerating the transition of food systems from degrading and extractive to productive and restorative for nature and people.  

Saswati brings almost two decades of experience in developing and leading ambitious agendas related to food systems, sustainable agriculture and rural development. Formerly the Head of Food Systems Innovation at the World Economic Forum (WEF), Saswati developed WEF's two global flagship initiatives on innovations and incentives in food systems transformation as well as regional initiatives in India related to food and agriculture. She has a strong track record in strategy development, policy analysis and building partnerships having previously worked at the World Bank, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). 

Alessandro Cataldo image
Alessandro Cataldo

Partner, Europe Agrifood sector leader, EY

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Partner, Europe Agrifood sector leader, EY

Alessandro Cataldo is a partner at EY responsible for strategy and M&A practice with a specific focus on chemicals and agri-food at EMEIA. He has 25 years of business, private equity and consulting experience matured in chemicals, crop science and agrifood.

With a background in consumer and industrial goods, Alessandro recently spent 6 years with a global investment and advisory firm that focused on investing in and developing businesses in the advanced materials and specialty chemicals sectors. He has been with a consulting firm for over 15 years prior to his employment at EY, where he held several leadership positions, working with the boards and senior executives of major corporations in the private equity, chemicals, agri-food and natural resources sectors.

Patrick Child image
Patrick Child

Deputy Director-General, DG Environment, European Commission

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Deputy Director-General, DG Environment, European Commission

Patrick Child is currently Deputy Director-General in DG Environment at the European Commission with particular responsibility for the EU’s zero pollution strategy, chemicals legislation, urban agenda, research and innovation for environment and communication. He is also the Mission manager for the Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities Mission, which aims to reach 100 climate-neutral cities by 2030.

From 2016-2021, he was Deputy Director-General in DG Research and Innovation (R&I) at the European Commission. As member of the Board of DG R&I, he followed in particular research and innovation in clean energy and climate technologies as well as the R&I dimension of the post-COVID recovery and resilience strategy and Horizon Europe mission on Cancer. His international roles included Commission representative and chair of the steering committee of Mission Innovation (a coalition of 24 countries and the EC working to accelerate global clean energy innovation) and lead co-chair of the Group of Earth Observations (GEO).

Until April 2016, Patrick Child was Managing Director of the European External Service with responsibility for administration and finance, covering human resources policy, security and the budget. Before he took up this post in 2011, he was director in the EC External Relations Directorate-General in the responsible for managing the network of Commission delegations. He has previously served as head of cabinet for External Relations Commissioners Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Chris Patten.

With a background in the UK Finance Ministry, he joined the European Commission in 1994, where he started in the Economic and Monetary affairs Directorate General before becoming Commission press spokesman for economic and monetary union from 1995-1999. Mr Child studied mathematics at Cambridge University. He is married with two children.

David Clarinval image
David Clarinval

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, the Self-Employed, SMEs and Agriculture,...

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, the Self-Employed, SMEs and Agriculture, Institutional Reforms and Democratic Renewal, Belgium

David Clarinval is a Belgian politician of the Reformist Movement who has been serving as Minister of the Middle Class, SMEs, Self-employed, Agriculture, Social Integration and Urban Policy in the government of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo since 2020.

Máximo Torero Cullen image
Máximo Torero Cullen

Chief Economist, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

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Chief Economist, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Mr. Maximo Torero Cullen is the Chief Economist of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). He joined the Organization in January 2019 as Assistant Director-General for the Economic and Social Development Department. Prior to joining FAO, he was the World Bank Group Executive Director for Argentina, Bolivia, Chile Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay since November 2016 and before the Bank Mr. Torero led the Division of the Markets, Trade, and Institutions at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). His major research work lies mostly in analyzing poverty, inequality, importance of geography and assets (private or public) in explaining poverty, and in policies oriented towards poverty alleviation based on the role played by infrastructure, institutions, and on how technological breakthroughs (or discontinuities) can improve the welfare of households and small farmers. His experience encompasses Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia.

Mr. Torero, a national of Peru, holds a Ph.D. and a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of the Pacific, Lima, Peru. He is a professor on leave at the University of the Pacific, Perú, and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at University of Bonn, Germany, and has also published in top journals (QJE, Econometric Theory, AER-Applied Microeconomics, RSTAT, Labor Economics and many other top journals).

Mr. Torero has received in 2000 the Georg Foster Research Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, won the Award for Outstanding Research on Development given by the Global Development Network, twice, in 2000 and in 2002, and received the Chevalier de l'Ordre du Mérite Agricole in 2014.

More information
Twitter – @MaximoTorero
Website – www.maximotorero.com

Boris Erg image
Boris Erg

Director, IUCN European Regional Office

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Director, IUCN European Regional Office

Boris Erg is Director of the IUCN European Regional Office. He is a trained expert in environmental management with core expertise in nature policy, protected and conserved areas, and nature-based solutions. Boris has 25 years of professional experience of which most in an international setting. Throughout his career, he has cooperated with numerous international organizations, UN agencies, national authorities, NGOs, research organisations, businesses and financial institutions. He is an active member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas where he serves on the Executive Committee of the Transboundary Conservation Specialist Group. Boris has continuously promoted the concepts of fair and equitable governance of natural resource as a response to growing societal and environmental challenges.
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Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle

Director Strategy and Policy Analysis, DG AGRI, European Commission

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Director Strategy and Policy Analysis, DG AGRI, European Commission

Since 1 January 2023, Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle has been Director Strategy and policy analysis at DG AGRI (European Commission). From 1 September 2020 to 31 December 2022, she was Director at the General Secretariat of the Council, responsible for Veterinary and Plant Health Questions, Food and Forestry. Between December 2019 and August 2020, she was Deputy Head of Cabinet of the EU Commissioner responsible for agriculture and rural development. Between 2013 and 2018, she was responsible for the implementation of the CAP in France, in her capacity as Director general for Economic and Environmental Performance of Enterprises. Between 2006 and 2013, she was Executive Director of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Prior to that, she was Director General of the Food Department within the French Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. She also worked at the European Commission from 1991 to 1993.

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Bram Van Hecke

Farmer

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Farmer

Bram Van Hecke has spent his life being busy with farming and farmers. He grew up on a dairy and pig farm near Ostend, at the Belgian coast, after which he studied both agricultural engineering and European studies in several countries (Belgium, US, Poland). From young age he was active and engaged in both the rural youth movement as well as the young farmers organisation in his region. From 2019 to 2024 he was president of Groene Kring, the Flemish young farmers organisation. Recently he gave up this role, as he would take up a place of the European list of the Flemish Christ democrats. 

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Martin Hlaváček

Member of the European Parliament

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Member of the European Parliament

Martin was born on 14 January 1980 in Polička. He graduated at the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, as well as at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including also studies in Universidad de Seville in Spain in 2002. He has passed several dedicated trainings and courses in Spain, Belgium, USA and Switzerland. As from 2015 he is a member of PhD courses at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague with a focus on international trade. I speak fluent English, Spanish and French. I am married with two kids.

After his studies he started his professional career as a diplomat in Greece, Athens and later on within the Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic in the EU. He was head of the agriculture and environment unit, participating in the negotiations of the previous EU Common Agricultural Policy as well as national items such as protection of local, traditional Czech products (famous trademarks of Karlovy Vary wafers, Czech carp or Olomouc curd cheese). As from January to October 2012 he was a Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Czech Republic and moved from 2013 to Phillip Morris Company.

He made a personal decision to move into the European Parliament to actively promote the interests of the Czech and European citizens in the area of agriculture, food sector and rural development. Therefore he was happy to become a member of the Agriculture committee and be able to actively shape the future of the European farmers.

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Chris Hogg

Global Head of Public Affairs, Nestlé

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Global Head of Public Affairs, Nestlé

Chris Hogg is the Global Head of Public Affairs at Nestlé, based at the company’s headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland. With over twelve years of experience in corporate communications, Chris has a key role in shaping the company’s engagement with partners and key opinion leaders.

Previously, Chris served as Head of Sustainability and Communications for Nestlé’s business in Asia, Oceania and Sub-Saharan Africa. In these regions he was responsible for operationalizing the company’s sustainability strategy while leading the Corporate Affairs and Communications function. Chris was also a Board member of Food Industry Asia.

Prior to this Chris served as Global Head of Content and Digital and as Deputy Head of Media Relations for Nestlé.

Chris joined Nestlé from the BBC where he worked for seventeen years as a correspondent and producer. In the UK where he focused on health and social policy. Later, in Asia he was a foreign correspondent based in Hong Kong, Tokyo and then Shanghai.

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Lee Ann Jackson

Head of Division, Agro-food Trade and Markets, OECD

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Head of Division, Agro-food Trade and Markets, OECD

Lee Ann Jackson is an experienced operational and strategic leader committed to working on key global issues with proven record of management in multi-cultural environments. Creative problem-solver, curious about alternative views and comfortable mediating conflict. Dynamic speaker and moderator in international dialogues. Dedicated international professional passionate about organizational learning and delivering a positive impact.

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Amy E. Johnson

Conservation Biologist and Program Director, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

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Conservation Biologist and Program Director, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

Dr. Amy E. Johnson integrates citizen science to help conduct ecological research on more than 80,000 acre of private lands in Northern Virginia. Her current research focuses on exploring the responses of grassland bird communities to native grassland restoration and regenerative grazing. This includes sampling avian communities to quantify abundance, diversity and reproductive success in relation to grassland management. She and her team are also working with partners to study methods for establishing and managing native grasslands, tracking the migratory connectivity of declining grassland birds, and understanding motivations behind conservation behaviours on private lands.

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Jörg-Andreas Krüger

President, NABU

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President, NABU

Jörg-Andreas Krüger was elected as NABU President for the first time on November 9, 2019 by the Federal Representatives' Meeting of NABU. He is a member of various steering committees and panels, including the German Council for Sustainable Development and the Future Commission on Agriculture.

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Petra Laux

Chief Sustainability Officer & Head Sustainability and Corporate Affairs, Syngenta

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Chief Sustainability Officer & Head Sustainability and Corporate Affairs, Syngenta

Petra Laux is the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) at Syngenta Group, a leading global agricultural technology company. The company strives to transform agriculture with science-driven innovations to deliver sustainability, high productivity, and high-quality food. With over 30 years of experience in the life science industry, Petra leads a global team focused on implementing sustainability initiatives across Syngenta Group's operations worldwide. This work is focused on minimizing the environmental impact of Syngenta operations as well as helping farmers to use existing farmland productively and sustainably. Petra holds a dual responsibility: As Head of Sustainability and Corporate Affairs for Syngenta Crop Protection (CP), she drives the implementation of sustainability priorities in Syngenta’s CP business unit, together with the safe and responsible use of crop protection products. Prior to joining Syngenta in 2019, Petra held various leadership roles with a global focus, including leading the Global Public Affairs function at Novartis for over a decade. Petra is a trained pharmacist with a PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from Kiel University and a master's in public health from Hannover Medical School in Germany.
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Ursula von der Leyen

President of the European Commission

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President of the European Commission

Ursula von der Leyen is a Belgian-born German politician who served as Germany’s Minister of Defense (2013–19) and now serves as President of the European Commission (2019– ). As the President, Ursula von der Leyen is the Head of the European Commission and was appointed by national leaders and elected by the European Parliament.

According to the treaties, the President decides on the organisation of the Commission and allocates portfolios to individual Commissioners. The President also sets the Commission's policy agenda. The President also represents the Commission in European Council meetings, G7 and G20 summits, summits with non-EU countries and major debates in the European Parliament and the Council.

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Nanna-Louise Linde

Vice President European Government Affairs, Microsoft

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Vice President European Government Affairs, Microsoft

Nanna-Louise Linde is Microsoft’s Vice President of European Government Affairs with responsibility for Microsoft’s government affairs and public policy work across Europe since September 2022. Nanna-Louise leads a team of government affairs professionals tasked with strengthening Microsoft’s external relations with the EU institutions and governments across Europe and ensuring the company is a constructive partner in supporting policy makers in Europe achieve their goals and adapting smart legislation.

A competition lawyer by training, Nanna-Louise brings with her almost two decades of experience at Microsoft. Most recently, she has been leading Microsoft’s Corporate External & Legal Affairs team in 32 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, responsible for legal matters and relations with governments and other authorities. Prior to that, she was leading Government Affairs for Microsoft in Western Europe. Nanna-Louise and her teams have helped Microsoft build important partnerships with governments in Europe and position Microsoft as a trusted partner in the region, ranging from digitally preserving Greece’s cultural heritage as part of Microsoft’s AI for Cultural Heritage initiative to spearheading our efforts to support the Ukrainian Government, including through partnerships to strengthen cybersecurity and resilience.

Nanna-Louise is known to be a modern leader who empowers her team and facilitates cross country and cross group collaboration with a transparent and authentic approach.

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Samo Login

Founder and CEO, LoginEKO

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Founder and CEO, LoginEKO

Samo Login is founder of the Login5 Foundation, where he leads its main project LoginEKO. This project aims to transform the entire food system into a sustainable one.

After selling his stake in the popular Slovenian search engine portal Najdi.si almost two decades ago, where he held the position of founding CTO, Samo recognized that the proceeds fell short of making a significant impact on climate change. Given his Central European origin, earning the required funds was more feasible than raising money through a non-profit. He crafted a seven-year strategy that led to the establishment of Outfit7, a globally acclaimed media entertainment company renowned for its iconic "Talking Tom Cat", which became one of the fastest-growing entities in the industry. Seven years later, the company was sold for $1 billion. This success enabled Samo to pursue his original vision — helping humanity live healthier, better, and longer on our planet. So, LoginEKO was established in 2018 to create solutions for a sustainable future with healthy food for everyone.

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Nicola Pochettino

Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Department, European Investment Bank (EIB)

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Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Department, European Investment Bank (EIB)

Nicola Pochettino is director of the Environment and Natural Resources Department at the European Investment Bank (EIB) in Luxembourg, covering water, bioeconomy and circular economy. Prior to joining the EIB, he worked at the International Energy Agency in Paris and in various positions in the financial sector and the energy industry, both in Italy and the UK. Nicola is a CFA charterholder; he holds a master of science in nuclear engineering from the Polytechnic of Turin and a master's degree in economics and management of the energy and the environment.

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Janez Potočnik

Chair ForumforAg and Chairman RISE Foundation

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Chair ForumforAg and Chairman RISE Foundation

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 is also the Partner in SYSTEMIQ. More information Twitter – @JanezPotocnik22 Facebook – potocnikjanez LinkedIn - janez-potocnik-872470a7
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Martin Reesink

Advisor to the Board on Food & Agri EU matters, Global Food & Energy Networks...

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Advisor to the Board on Food & Agri EU matters, Global Food & Energy Networks team, Rabobank

As strategic lead in the Global Food & Energy Networks team, Martin strategically connects Rabobank with the world’s leading public and private institutions on food (system) and energy transition. His focus is the European Commission, he has a broad network in Brussels. In addition to Brussels, he is also internationally connected to the Food System transition. He is active in the working group for the FAO report The State of Food and Agriculture 2023 and 2024: Revealing the true cost of food to transform agrifood systems, and on secondment from Rabobank to the WBCSD on the COP28 Action Agenda Regenerative Landscapes. Currently also chairman of the Expert Group within the EACB (European Association of  Cooperative Banks) focusing on the strategic dialogue on the future of agriculture initiated by Ursula von der Leyen.

The Global Food & Energy team focuses on driving the European and global big conversation around  funding, finance and de-risking and regulatory frameworks. And, also action agendas around key solutions such as sustainable farming practices, food losses and waste reduction, smallholder farmer ecosystems, impact finance, (renewable energy) project finance and the True Value of Food incorporation in policy and business interventions. The team is focal point for a meaningful contribution of Rabobank to the global roadmap with key events (UN FSS, UNFCCC, UNGA etc.) and action agendas to help implement the 2030 SDG’s.

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Ana Roš

Chef

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Chef

Ana Roš is a Slovenian chef, a sport and travel enthusiast, polyglot and much more. She graduated in international and diplomatic science in Italy. She is a self-taught cook and with her cuisine she wants to express the seasons, the locality, but also herself, her travels and femininity. As a self-taught chef, Ana doesn’t adhere to any particular culinary style. Her cuisine is firmly based on the environment that provides all the produce and endless source of inspiration. In 2023, Ana and her restaurant Hiša Franko were awarded 3 stars and a green star for sustainability by the Michelin guide.

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Emanuele Paolo Sicuro

Government Relations Director EMEA, Cargill

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Government Relations Director EMEA, Cargill

Emanuele has joined Cargill’s Government Relations Team in 2017. He focuses on EU Climate, Energy & Environment policy, contributing to advancing Cargill’s sustainability agenda by promoting decarbonization in agriculture, manufacturing, and energy. Emanuele is based in Brussels, and he aims to support EU climate legislation and incentives that contribute to reducing emissions across agro-food supply chains, to the development of more sustainable and cleaner products and to sustain farmers as they adopt more sustainable agriculture practices.

Previously, Emanuele has been working for FuelsEurope (European Petroleum Refiners Association) already focusing on Emission Trading System and international climate negotiations and before that he has also collaborated with IsAG (Istituto di Alti Studi in Geopolitica e Scienze Ausiliarie), Rome-based think tank and published a report titled: “Energy Security and the role of Natural Gas”.

He holds a Master’s degree cum laude in International Relations from the University of Rome, La Sapienza and a post-graduate Master’s in European Studies from the Université Catholique de Louvain and the European Desk of the Belgian-Italian Chamber of Commerce. Emanuele has recently completed the Executive Programme Leadership in Commodity Trade & Supply Networks offered by Erasmus University, in partnership with Singapore Management University and the J.P. Morgan Center for Commodities.

Emanuele speaks Italian, English, French and Portuguese. When he is not working for Cargill, you may find him cooking, playing the guitar or riding his motorbike.

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Vanessa Stiffler-Claus

Vice President, International Policy & Strategy, John Deere

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Vice President, International Policy & Strategy, John Deere

Vanessa Stiffler-Claus is Vice President, International Policy & Strategy, John Deere.

Further details to follow.

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Prof. Peter Strohschneider

Chair, Strategic Dialogue on the Future of EU Agriculture

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Chair, Strategic Dialogue on the Future of EU Agriculture

Peter Strohschneider is Professor emeritus for German Medieval Studies at the University of Munich. He studied German Philology, Law, History, Sociology and Political Sciences in Munich, obtained his Doctorate in 1984 and his Habilitation in 1991. From 1992 to 2002 he was Chair of German Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Dresden University of Technology before he took over the same position at University of Munich. From 2006 to 2011 he served as Chairman of the Wissenschaftsrat (German Council of Sciences and Humanities) and from 2013 to 2019 as President of the German Research Foundation. Since 2020 he chairs the Commission on the Future of Agriculture appointed by the German federal government.

Peter has been or is fellow at Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Paris), the universities of Freiburg and Frankfurt, the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin, and the International Science Council. He was awarded the German Federal Cross of Merit (first class) and is a member of numerous national and international organisations, including Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Leopoldina – German National Academy of Sciences and Academia Europaea. He has worked in the fields of science administration and policy and published on the science system. His literary research focuses on cultural medieval studies. His most recent book is “Truths and Majorities. Critique of Authoritarian Scientism” (forthcoming 2024).

Most recently, Professor Strohschneider has been appointed as chair of the Strategic Dialogue on the Future of EU Agriculture, based on his longstanding experience, notably as chair of the Commission for the Future of Agriculture of the Federal government of Germany.

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Jurgen Tack

Secretary General, European Landowners' Organization

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Secretary General, European Landowners' Organization

Jurgen Tack has been the Secretary General – CEO of the European Landowners’ Organization since June 2023. He previously held the role of Scientific Director at ELO and served as CEO of Landelijk Vlaanderen and CEO of the Aanspreekpunt Privaat Beheer Natuur en Bos in 2016. Additionally, he was President of the International Riverine Commission River Maas/Meuse, a member of the European Commission’s Expert Group on Nature Based Solutions, and chaired the board of directors of the Botanical Garden Meise. He earned his PhD in Sciences after studying biology (marine ecology) at Brussels Free University. Jurgen Tack studied biology (marine ecology) at Brussels Free University where he also obtained his PhD in Sciences. Within the Framework of the Kenya Belgium Project in Marine Sciences (Coastal Farms Kenya) he developed a number of oyster farms along the Kenyan coast. In 2000 he joined the team of the Belgian Biodiversity Platform (Belgian Science Policy Office). In 2007 he became the CEO of the Research Institute for Nature and Forest. In 2016 he took the position of Scientific Director at the European Landowners’ Organization (ELO), CEO at Landelijk Vlaanderen (Flemish Landowners’ Organisation) and CEO of the Aanspreekpunt Privaat Beheer Natuur en Bos. He was also President of the International Riverine Commission River Maas/Meuse, a member of the European Commission’s Expert Group on Nature Based Solutions and chairman of the board of directors of the Botanical Garden Meise.
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Mark Titterington

Co-Founder & Director, Forum for the Future of Agriculture

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Co-Founder & Director, Forum for the Future of Agriculture

Mark has enjoyed a long career in the agri-food sector having previously worked at the United Nations and for Syngenta where he held a number of senior leadership positions in corporate affairs and business sustainability in the EAME region and globally. After leaving Syngenta in 2017, Mark became Chief Executive of EngineeringUK, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to inspiring and nurturing STEM skills in young people. Mark later became Head of Marketing and Public Affairs for Indigo Agriculture Europe GmbH. Mark is a co-founder and senior adviser to the Forum for the Future of Agriculture and a Senior Fellow at the Transatlantic Policy Network.
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Thomas J. Vilsack

United States Secretary of Agriculture

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United States Secretary of Agriculture

Thomas J. Vilsack was confirmed as the 32nd United States Secretary of Agriculture on Feb. 23, 2021 by the U.S. Senate. He was nominated by President Joe Biden to return to a role where he served for eight years under President Barack Obama. As leader of the U.S. Department of Agriculture as the 30th Secretary of Agriculture between 2009-2017, Vilsack worked hard to strengthen the American agricultural economy, build vibrant rural communities and create new markets for innovation in rural America. He fought to put Americans back to work by investing in rural infrastructure, renewable energy and large-scale conservation partnerships. Under his leadership, USDA supported America's farmers, ranchers and growers who drove the rural economy forward, set records for U.S. agricultural exports, provided food assistance to millions of Americans, and helped provide a safe, sufficient and nutritious food supply for the American people. USDA introduced healthier food choices in school meals to benefit 50 million children during Vilsack’s tenure and expanded free and reduced-price lunches for millions of kids. Vilsack was the longest-serving member of President Obama’s original Cabinet. Prior to his appointment, he served two terms as the Governor of Iowa, served in the Iowa State Senate and as the mayor of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. He received his bachelor's degree from Hamilton College and his law degree from Albany Law School in New York. Prior to returning to USDA, he served as president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) from 2017 until February 2021. There, he provided strategic leadership and oversight of USDEC's global promotional and research activities, regulatory affairs and trade policy initiatives. In addition to his post at USDEC, he also served as a Strategic Advisor to Colorado State University’s food and water initiatives. A native of Pittsburgh, Penn., Vilsack was born into an orphanage and adopted in 1951. After graduating from law school, Vilsack moved to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, his wife Christie’s hometown, where he practiced law. The Vilsacks have two adult sons and two daughters-in-law—Doug, married to Janet; and Jess, married to Kate. They have five grandchildren. More information Website – www.usda.gov Twitter – @SecVilsack
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Mary Whittow

Principal Consultant of Sustainable Agri-Food, Anthesis Group

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Principal Consultant of Sustainable Agri-Food, Anthesis Group

Mary is an advisor in sustainable Agri-Food at Anthesis Group, focusing on European financial mechanisms linked to the agricultural transition, regenerative agriculture, and nature-based solutions. Most recently, Mary led her team in writing a discussion paper on financing the transition to sustainable agriculture in Europe, examining the potential overall cost and funding mechanisms at play. Prior to Anthesis, Mary managed agri-climate policy development at DEFRA, working closely with the retail sector on UK food strategies. Mary also lived in Kenya for a period, working with international development, aid agencies and local organisations to increase knowledge and practice of regenerative agriculture and wider on-farm climate adaptation.

Confirmed Moderators (in alphabetical order)

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Rose O’Donovan

Journalist & Editor AgraFacts

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Journalist & Editor AgraFacts

Rose O’Donovan has been Editor of AGRA FACTS since March 2010, having previously served as Deputy Editor on the agricultural publication for nearly three years. Prior to working as a journalist, she dealt with international relations on the EU satellite navigation programme at the Galileo Joint Undertaking. Following the completion of a Master of Science at University College Cork (Ireland), Rose moved to Brussels in 2004 to work as an intern in the Cabinet of former European Parliament President, Pat Cox. Hailing from a farming background in West Cork, Rose is also the Brussels correspondent for The Southern Star - a regional newspaper based in Skibbereen. More information Twitter – @agrafacts LinkedIn - rose-o-donovan-91927517

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Stephen Sackur

Journalist

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Journalist

Stephen Sackur has been a journalist with BBC News since 1986. Since becoming presenter of HARDtalk in 2004, he has interviewed prominent international personalities, cultural figures, leaders and politicians from around the world. Before taking over on the BBC News Channel and BBC World flagship current affairs interview programme, he was based in Brussels for three years as the BBC's Europe Correspondent.

Agenda

Mar 26, 2024

09:00 - 16:30 (CET)

Annual Conference 2024

The latest agenda is shown below

08:15 - 09:15 (CET)

Coffee and networking opportunity

09:15 - 09:20 (CET)

Introduction and housekeeping

  • Rose O’Donovan, Journalist & Editor AgraFacts
  • Stephen Sackur, Journalist

09:20 - 09:45 (CET)

Welcome session

Welcome address

  • Janez Potočnik, Chair ForumforAg 2024

Special video message

  • Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Session moderator:

  • Stephen Sackur, Journalist

09:45 - 10:45 (CET)

Session 1: Where do we go from here?

Opening speech

  • Saswati Bora, Global Director, Regenerative Food Systems, The Nature Conservancy

Panel discussion

  • Lee Ann Jackson, Head of the Agro-food Trade and Markets Division, OECD
  • Nicola Pochettino, Director for Environmental and Natural Resources, European Investment Bank
  • Máximo Torero, Chief Economist, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Session moderator:

  • Stephen Sackur, Journalist

10:45 - 10:55 (CET)

Inspirational talk

  • Ana Roš, 3* Michelin Chef

10:55 - 11:30 (CET)

Networking break

11:30 - 12:30 (CET)

Session 2: The need for systemic change

Panel discussion

  • Sébastien Abis, Managing Director, Club Demeter
  • Patrick Child, Deputy Director General, Environment, European Commission
  • Jörg-Andreas Krüger, President, NABU
  • Nanna-Louise Linde, Vice President European Government Affairs, Microsoft
  • Vanessa Stiffler-Claus, Vice-President International Policy and Strategy, John Deere

Session moderator

  • Rose O’Donovan, Journalist & Editor AgraFacts

Response

  • Prof. Peter Strohschneider, Chair, Strategic Dialogue on the Future of EU Agriculture

12:30 - 12:40 (CET)

Inspirational talk

  • Samo Login, Founder and CEO, LoginEko

12:40 - 13:30 (CET)

Lunch and networking break

13:30 - 14:00 (CET)

Call to action progress report

Full details of this session are currently being developed

Panel discussion with ForumforAg Partners

  • Boris Erg, Director, Director, IUCN European Regional Office
  • Petra Laux, Chief Sustainability Officer & Head Sustainability and Corporate Affairs, Syngenta
  • Emanuele Paolo Sicuro, Government Relations Director, Cargill
  • Jurgen Tack, Secretary General, European Landowners’ Organization
  • Mark Titterington, Co-Founder & Director, Forum for the Future of Agriculture

Response

  • Bram Van Hecke, Farmer

Session moderator

  • Rose O’Donovan, Journalist & Editor AgraFacts

14:00 - 15:15 (CET)

Session 3: What levers can the EU pull to deliver systemic change and what did we learn?

Introductory message

  • David Clarinval, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Small Businesses, the Self-Employed, SMEs and Agriculture, Institutional Reforms and Democratic Renewal, Belgium

Panel discussion

  • Stefania Avanzini, Director, One Planet Business for Biodiversity (OP2B) & Member of the WBCSD
    Extended Leadership Group
  • Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, Director Strategy and Policy analysis, DG AGRI
  • Martin Hlaváček, MEP, European Parliament
  • Jurgen Tack, Secretary General, European Landowners’ Organization

Respondent

  • Tom Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture

Session moderator

  • Rose O’Donovan, Journalist & Editor AgraFacts

15:15 - 15:25 (CET)

Inspirational talk

  • Amy E. Johnson, Conservation Biologist and Program Director, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

15:25 - 16:25 (CET)

Session 4: How to fund the transition?

Session moderator

  • Stephen Sackur, Journalist

Panel discussion

  • Alessandro Cataldo, Partner, Europe Agrifood sector leader, EY
  • Boris Erg, Director, European Regional Office, IUCN
  • Chris Hogg, Global Head of Public Affairs, Nestlé
  • Martin Reesink, Advisor to the Board on Food & Agri EU matters, Rabobank Global Food & Energy Networks
  • Mary Whittow, Principal Consultant of Sustainable Agri-Food, Anthesis Group

Moderator signoff

  • Stephen Sackur, Journalist
  • Rose O’Donovan, Journalist & Editor AgraFacts

16:25 - 16:40 (CET)

Final reactions and closing session

Close of the day

  • Janez Potočnik, Chair ForumforAg 2024 and Chairman RISE Foundation

Founding and Strategic Partners

Supporting Partners

Counting our CO2 emissions with the support of

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