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…

Reflections on progress around zero deforestation targets, by Duncan Pollard at Nestle

When I penned my original recent post: “1000 days to go…the six most difficult questions for consumer brands around ‘zero’ deforestation palm oil by 2020” some of the text should have been attributed to Duncan Pollard at Nestle. It was a genuine mistake on my part, but I should have re-written it even though the…

Good examples of supply chain risk that make the business case, and more deforestation debate

It’s important for global investors to learn to address and model supply chain risks if they wish to achieve financial outperformance, argues Gabriel Thoumi, director of capital markets at Climate Advisers. He makes the points well, alongside NSF’s Meredith Reisfield at a recent event in the US. ValueWalk Video: Managing Investor Expectations & Risk – How to…

The debate continues about zero deforestation approaches: “Zero DF pledges dumb down sustainability and CSR”

Last week I published this post about what brands might do as zero deforestation approaches are seen to need re-working, given we are 1000 days or so away from some big stated deadlines. That post is linked below, as is a response by Anita Neville from Golden-Agri Resources. Now, again below, is some further commentary…

Are responsible investors taking palm oil more seriously in 2018?

While investors recognise the risks in the palm oil sector, there are some key things they can do to engage with the industry more effectively. Toby Webb meets with Abigail Herron, global head of responsible investment at Aviva Investors, and Clara Melot, SPOTT engagement and impacts manager at ZSL, to discuss how palm oil is…

Weekend reading and listening, recent posts from my sustainable wine blog

Most readers of this blog, I would suggest, enjoy a glass of wine on occasion. If you don’t, my condolences. Writing about sustainable wine is a hobby of mine, and my wine blog allows me to go and visit winemakers all over the world. Andrew Felluga, who I interview below, points out that grape growers…

1000 days to go…the six most difficult questions for consumer brands around ‘zero’ deforestation palm oil by 2020

Palm oil is much in the news again early in 2018, with headlines appearing such as: EU heading for ‘zero palm oil’ in transport by 2021 Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand ready to retaliate on EU palm oil ban Palm oil: Malaysia can argue for exclusion from European ban Proposed ban on palm oil: Felda to…

How sustainability practices in wine offer useful insights to others

Josh Prigge, CEO of Sustridge and most recently sustainability head at Fetzer Vineyards, says there’s no doubt that studying sustainable wine has benefits for other business sectors. Josh has spoken at a couple of Innovation Forum conferences in the last few years. I found what he had to say highly interesting, and I was curious about a…

Happy New Year, some recent sustainability analysis, and what’s coming up

Happy New Year to all readers, and I hope you had a restful festive break. I was in rural Somerset with the family, where it rained a lot, but the local food and (mostly imported) wines were superb. Part of my New Year resolutions (along with more gym, fewer carbs and glasses of wine in…