How Diageo and Golden Agri Resources engage smallholder farmers

Here below are four recent podcasts we taped at events we at Innovation Forum held earlier this year. The focus is all about smallholder farmers and how companies can better engage them, tackle capacity challenges, improve yields and overcome the limits to certification. (Many more podcasts can be found here) And this upcoming conference should…

Business benefits from Thai labour progress

The US government has recognised improvements in tackling trafficking in Thailand’s seafood sector, but the endemic labour abuses will be tough to eradicate From Innovation Forum’s weekly business newsletter. Sign up free at: http://innovation-forum.co.uk In issuing its updated Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, the US Department of State upgraded the country from a “tier 3” to “tier 2”…

Tech, innovation and sustainability: How can big food and retailers hit their targets?

Big food and FMCG brands and retailers have set important and game-changing targets in sustainable agriculture. Achieving these are amongst the biggest challenges that companies face in the next decade. Much has been done in recent years, but we’re a long way from overall success. So how will companies get there ‘on time’? Which techniques,…

Supply chain risk, how to get useful insight for your business

At Innovation Forum we’re now helping companies understand risk in a cost effective way, that’s not just through edgy, focused conferences which get to the heart of the issues. Several companies has asked us to provide them with a quarterly, cost effective risk briefing service via PDF report, and face to face meetings. These focus…

Palm oil debate, lawsuits, agri-tech & sustainability and Scott’s soapbox

Here’s the latest of the podcast series Scott Poynton, founder of TFT (The Forest Trust) and I are doing this year. In this edition we talked about the demise of the Indonesian Palm Oil Pledge, the IOI vs. RSPO lawsuit closure, Resolute vs. Greenpeace (briefly), why talking to critics is really the best way. We…

Should business defend environmental and human rights campaigners?

There are a few questions in the world of responsible business which always get attention. These are the thorny, difficult, riddled-with-potential-conflict-of-interest-and-controversy questions. One of them is: “How should companies responsibly engage and persuade Governments to think longer term in a sustainable way?” Another is this, the title of this post: “Should business defend environmental and human…

Thai court case that’s redefining corporate-activist relationships

The case of an activist being supported by a Finnish company testifying against a former supplier in Thailand shows how the progressive business landscape is changing Relationships between companies and campaigners have evolved over the last few years. Still often adversaries, multinationals and NGOs now also work together towards common sustainability goals. Now, a case…

Sustainable packaging innovation, audio file of a recent speech

Here’s a speech I gave recently at the Sustainable Packaging Innovation conference in Seoul, South Korea. (The picture above is of another speaker, but it shows you the conference title well)  It was organised by the impressive and energetic Lewis Patterson from Latitude, a Seoul-based consulting firm. I was asked to set the scene and…

Sustainable supply chains: Some dates for your diary later in 2016

As we move into the summer break, here are some upcoming meetings from Innovation Forum that readers might want to think about coming to later in 2016. Remember, we take away all the boring bits of conferences and emphasise the useful. So our events are all about debate, the right people in the room, focus,…

Long read: It’s time to rethink the role of business in social cohesion and domestic terrorism

In the wake of the terrible events in Nice of July 14 2016 and other terror attacks, business leaders and managers must respond by grasping the importance of healthy societies to the future of Europe, argues Tobias Webb  I’m writing this for two reasons. Firstly, because the terrorist attack that happened in Nice on Thursday…

Some musings on progress around deforestation in business supply chains

Yesterday I took part in a webinar hosted by Forest Trends / Supply Change and our company, Innovation Forum. Our brief was to discuss progress made on tacking deforestation in corporate supply chains. I made a few remarks in an attempt to offer some challenge to current thinking, and to think about where we need…

How can companies and donors work together more effectively on sustainable development?

It’s easy for companies keen to promote sustainability and resilience in their supply chains to neglect the potential of relationships with donor agencies, NGOs and governments. But if scale is the goal, collaboration is clearly the method. But these two words, scale and collaboration, are hugely over-used and not always well understood. To cut through…

Webinar tomorrow on deforestation-free supply chains

“Everyone loves a good webinar”. That’s what my dear old grandmother used to say. Actually, she didn’t. For her the internet was something that happened to other people. But she would have loved this one, as she was a big fan of deforestation-free supply chains (that’s true, she spent a lot of time in Malaysia…

Did the Indonesian Palm Oil Pledge succeed or fail? 

IPOP has been disbanded, but despite its demise companies say they will stick to their commitments  The Indonesian Palm Oil Pledge is no more. The six palm oil multinationals that comprised its signatories said on 1st July that they would phase out the arrangement because “recent groundbreaking policy developments in Indonesia have fulfilled the purpose of…

Electronics still not switched on to forced labour

New benchmarking research on IT manufacturers reiterates that better labour practices require robust policy and transparent disclosure  The sponsors of the Euro 2016 football tournament in France are in most cases the usual suspects, including Adidas, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Orange. One unfamiliar name to many people however is Hisense, a Chinese manufacturer of electronic goods,…