Information age: the role of transparency in spreading best practice in commodity production

By Chris Eves, forestry officer at the Zoological Society of London Speaking recently, Christophe Deloire, secretary general of Reporters Without Borders, stated that: “None of the main issues which humanity is facing will be resolved without access to information”. With 2017 the second worst year on record for tropical tree cover loss, now is a good…

Podcast frenzy & lots of no-cost insight, from human rights, to strategy, to sustainable landscapes

I haven’t posted on here for a while. We’ve been busy publishing on the main Innovation Forum site, which has hugely increased traffic in the last few months. We think this is due to our audio content, which is proving extremely popular, we think because a) its pretty good and b) its a flexible format…

Sustainability-related trade wars, some useful Palm Oil stats/factoids and food companies and deforestation

Trade “wars” (actually skirmishes) are all over the news at the moment. Alongside the political posturing of Trump and his economically-unhinged cohorts, there may be, as mentioned before on this blog, a sustainability-related one brewing too. I’m referring, of course to palm oil, the EU and deforestation. This headline from the Asia Times gives you…

Sustainable commodities: The depressed and disempowered vs. the angrily incoherent – some ideas for real change

It’s not often I sit down to write a post that could well annoy almost everyone I know. This is one of those. But it’s a risk worth taking. Someone needs to say, I think, what I am going to say here. Scott Poynton blogged about this area recently, and I had the same conversation…

Deforestation-free supply chains: Four trends to watch

Chris Meyer from the Environmental Defense Fund has put together an insightful blog post on the above topic, which is particularly timely, given this week is the TFA 2020 AGM in Accra, Ghana, where I am moderating a panel session on scaling up zero deforestation initiates, with speakers from Golden Agri Resources and Mondelez. I’ve…

Notes on the role of technology and innovation in sustainable agriculture

For the last two years, we at Innovation Forum have held conferences on this above topic in Washington D.C. Firstly with the Pew Centre and in 2018 with the Nature Conservancy, at their offices in Arlington. Thank you for the support to both organisations. Here’s some of the anonymised notes from the conference. A couple…

Some recent podcasts, engaging farmers, gene editing, missed deforestation targets, slavery and impact measurement

As you might know, we love a good old podcast at Innovation Forum. We find they get a lot more interest and listens/downloads than text articles, perhaps because they are convenient, and human-centered. So here’s quite a few we’ve taped recently, with executives from leading companies and other experts, on a whole host of sustainability…

Agro-food companies and tackling water risk management

Paul Reig is responsible for managing the World Resources Institute’s corporate engagement on water and their Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas In advance of our conference next week tackling this: “Can innovation and technology make agriculture sustainable? – 5-6 April 2018 – Washington DC ”  we thought we’d send him a few questions about his work, and…

43 stats, facts, comments and notes, about smallholder farming resilience, engagement and the SDGs

Here’s some notes from our recent conference on How business can make smallholder supply chains resilient which we held on 13-14 March in London, where we were generously hosted by Diageo at their London HQ. Their work on smallholders is commendable, and can be seen here. Here are my notes from a few sessions. It by no means…

Supply chain transparency and blockchain. If this story is right, it’s highly significant…

The story I’m talking about is this one: Chinese insurer ZhongAn plans blockchain chicken coup Poultry-tracking ledger technology can improve country’s food safety, says chief From the Financial Times today. In case you can’t read it (the curse of paywalls, media in search of a business model) here’s what it says, in quotes: “An insurance…

Brands, traders, producers and Deforestation debate heats up, key meeting next month

Greenpeace’s new “Moment of Truth” campaign report today claims that: “Eight major household brands such as PZ Cussons, Johnson & Johnson and Kraft Heinz are refusing to say where their palm oil comes from, despite promising to stop buying from companies that destroy rainforests. Eight others, such as Nestlé and Unilever, have made their palm…

SDGs: It’s cash that counts for development goal success

 From the weekly Innovation Forum newsletter. Sign up here and join 40,000 readers each friday. (yes, it’s all free, are our our podcasts and webinars, here) While momentum is building behind the SDGs, lack of funding and focus on making them relevant remain key barriers “There are risks and costs to action. But they are…

Are these the biggest questions for agriculture, technology and innovation?

Last year, in an effort to bring together companies, scientists, investors, NGOs, regulators and other experts on agriculture, technology and innovation, we created a conference about it. No surprises there I suppose, given that’s what we do at Innovation Forum. We’re trying to ask the tough questions, and get some answers. here’s some of what we’ll…

No-Deforestation and the need for brave steps: “no net-deforestation could make a come-back”

Duncan Pollard, in a follow up post to this earlier one, reflects on corporate no-deforestation commitments below: “It would be a brave company to abandon its no deforestation commitment any time soon. But maybe we are inching our way there. There were some persuasive arguments made by Chris Wille on Toby Webb’s blog recently, and…

Further comment on progress around zero deforestation targets, by Deborah Lapidus at Mighty Earth

The debate continues. Deborah sent me some comments on my original post: “1000 days to go…the six most difficult questions for consumer brands around ‘zero’ deforestation palm oil by 2020” and I asked her if we could run them as a separate post. So here’s her views below, with links to the other pieces and…