New Advisory Council appointed to support Forum’s mission for agri-food system transformation

Date: February 15, 2024

The Forum for the Future of Agriculture today announced the establishment of a new Advisory Council to support it in the achievement of its mission to help build a more resilient, sustainable, climate smart and nature positive food and agriculture system.

The Council will be comprised of leading stakeholders with a broad range of expertise and experience on sustainability issues in the agri-food system. In particular, they will provide an independent, external expertise for the Forum’s Chairman and leadership to draw on in developing the overall strategy, maintaining existing and building new partnerships as well as helping to represent and amplify our work.

Members of the Advisory Council will serve an initial two-year term, in a personal capacity. The first members are:

Tassos Haniotis – Senior Guest Research Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and former Director at the European Commission.

Geneviève Pons – Director General and Vice-President, Europe Jacques Delors

Ann Tutwiler – Chair of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and former Director-General of Bioversity International

Commenting on today’s announcement, Janez Potočnik, Chairman of the Forum for the Future of Agriculture, said: “Everywhere we look, farm incomes are being squeezed and the effects of climate change, along with the loss of biodiversity, are being felt across our food and agriculture system. Farmers and land-managers are bearing much of the cost of these effects, which are challenging the viability of their businesses. Having committed the Forum to play its part tackling these challenges and driving change through our ‘Call to Action’, which we launched last March, we are strengthening our ability to deliver on our mission and commitments with the establishment of our new Advisory Council.

I am delighted that these three highly respected leaders have agreed to join the Council and lend to us the benefit of their considerable experience and expertise. Transformation of the agri-food system has never been more urgent or important and I have no doubt that the step we have taken today will enable the Forum to maximise our impact as part of this effort”.

Additional appointments are expected to be made in the coming months and ahead of the Forum’s Annual Conference on March 26th, 2024.

Advisory Council Members biographies

Tassos Haniotis

Tassos Haniotis was a long-serving senior official in the European Commission serving, most recently, as Director for Strategy, Simplification and Policy Analysis in the DG for Agriculture and Rural development. In addition to several other senior leadership roles in DG AGRI, Tassos notably served as Deputy Head of Cabinet for the former European Commissioner for Agriculture Franz Fischler, and as Agricultural Counsellor in the European Commission’s Delegation in the US.

Tassos, a recent Fellow of the European Association of Agricultural Economists, holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Georgia in the U.S., and a B.A. in Economics from the Athens University of Economics and Business in his native Greece. He was also a visiting Fellow at the Centre for European Agricultural Studies, Wye College, University of London, focusing on EU-US agricultural trade relations in the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations before joining the European Commission.

Since his retirement from the European Commission, Mr. Haniotis has been a Senior Guest Research Scholas at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

Geneviève Pons is the Director-General and Vice-President, Europe Jacques Delors. Ms. Pons previously served in the Cabinet of Mr. Jacques Delors during his last mandates as President of the European Commission (EC) (1991-1995) focusing on climate and the environment. She is an Honorary Director of the European Commission where she held several management positions before becoming Director of the ILO’s Legal Service in 2013, and Director of the WWF’s European Office in 2015. From November 2017, she has headed Europe Jacques Delors, the latest in the family of think tanks carrying on Jacques Delors’ European vision. She is a graduate from Sciences Po Paris, the Sorbonne, and ENA.

Geneviève Pons is considered by Politico as one of the most influential women in Brussels, notably in the field of environment. She is a member of the EU Mission: Restore our Ocean and Waters, chaired by Pascal Lamy. She is co-chair with Pascal Lamy of the Antarctica2020 coalition, which aims to protect vast marine areas around Antarctica. She is also a Knight of the Legion of Honour.

Ann Tutwiler

Ann Tutwiler is the Chair of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and a member of the board of CABI. In addition, she is a Senior Fellow at Meridian Institute and Chair of the Advisory Council for the Food and Agriculture Benchmark at the World Benchmarking Alliance. Previously, Ann chaired the Water, Land and Ecosystems Research Program of the CGIAR as well as the Access to Seeds Foundation Supervisory Board.

Ann is also a former Director General of Bioversity International and served as Deputy Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, Italy. She was also an adviser to the U.S. Secretary for Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, where she worked to develop and implement Feed the Future, during the Obama Administration.

About the Forum for the Future of Agriculture
Established in 2008, the Forum for the Future of Agriculture (ForumforAg) is one of the leading international forums committed to help building a more resilient, sustainable, climate-smart and nature positive food and agriculture system. To achieve this goal, the Forum announced a ‘Call to Action’ in March 2023 which included a series of commitments, to support the transformation of the agri-food system in Europe and beyond.

The Forum is supported by its Founding Partners, the European Landowners’ Organization and Syngenta, and its Strategic Partners, The Nature Conservancy, Cargill, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, as well as a range of other partners from across the agri-food sector and civil society.

The Forum’s Annual Conference, which takes place every spring, has established itself as one the premiere meeting places in Europe and globally for stakeholders meeting in open dialogue on the future of food and agriculture system.

Media enquiries
Marlene Simonini
Tel: +32 (0)4 9 348 14 18

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