Some festive reading and listening, from wine sustainability, to deforestation, plastics and modern slavery

I know I know, it’s the festive season, so who wants to get bogged down with serious sustainability stuff? But I know many of you, like me, get bored of less important things after a few days rest, and want to read more about our favourite subject, how to make the world (more) sustainable. So…

The top ten business and human rights issues as we head into 2019

The respected Institute for Human Rights and Business has put together what it sees as the top ten business and human rights issues as we head into 2019. Here’s the list, and their website, with a series of guest posts from credible writers, explains the issues one by one. Eliminating Discrimination Within Workplace and Across Wider…

The Future of Food – new business conferences for Chicago and London

Innovation Forum has just launched a new conference series on The Future of Food, taking place in Chicago (21st-22nd May 2019) and London (4th-5th June 2019).   Click here to see more on The Future of Food US.   Click here to see more on The Future of Food Europe.   These conferences will cover the…

Some thoughts after our recent sustainable landscapes conference (now updated)

A couple of weeks ago we held our first sustainable landscapes conference in London. It was a combination of conferences and a culmination of four years work in some ways. We merged our smallholders, deforestation and elements of our agriculture conferences together and somehow it worked. Huge thanks to our many sponsors and supporters of…

How can palm oil companies help create sustainable rural communities? Here’s some ideas

A few months back, I facilitated a session with Goetz in Accra, Ghana, at the TFA 2020 conference, on rural sustainability initiatives that will scale. It was a fascinating 45 minutes or so, and his company, *Golden-Agri Resources, seems to me to be leading the way, with a few others, in this area. The evolution in…

The sustainable soy story

Here’s our take on the latest in and around Soy sustainability. Proud to work with colleagues Ian Welsh and Tom Idle on this piece, although I must say I had little to do with it, other than suggesting we go more in-depth than the usual 500 words. Tom and Ian have delivered some excellent analysis…

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…

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…

Notes on modern slavery and forced labour, including leaders and laggards

Here are some of my notes from our recent conference on this subject. These are just from a few sessions, so only represent a snapshot of the conference, which was fascinating. To get the full notes or experience, you’d need to attend. Sorry, but publishing is like the music industry now: It’s all about the…

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…

What does a study of 449 publicly listed companies in the food, textile, and wood-products sectors, tell us about sustainable supply chains?

Supply chains tied to multinational corporations represent over 80% of global trade and engage over one in five workers, write Tannis Thorlakson, Joann F. de Zegher and Eric F. Lambi, in a new paper “Companies’ contribution to sustainability through global supply chains” They also state that: “80% of global trade flow(s) through multinational corporations, one in…