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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, and good moderated sessions with smaller numbers of speakers, not the “seven on a panel with five mins each” that you sometimes see.

All events are run under the Chatham House rule. Come along and see for yourself!

Here’s most of what we are planning (not all, one more to be announced) for the rest of 2016:

How business can tackle deforestation: Asia under the lens – 27th-28th September – Singapore
Hosted by Unilever in Singapore, this meeting brings together the leading companies, NGOs and Governments, all focused on how deforestation targets can be met by companies and how challenges can be overcome. A who’s who of deforestation experts from palm oil, pulp & paper, and other tropical commodities.

How business can tackle modern slavery and forced labor – 17th October – Washington DC
A follow up to our sell out event in London in May, this conference looks in depth at how companies can manage risk, map supply chains and remove the worst elements of supply chain behaviour down and across different supplier networks. Featuring business, Government and key NGOs. No PPT, no videos, just tough questions being asked and answered.

How business can engage smallholder farmers – 19th-20th October – Washington DC
Already proving to be a popular event, our third smallholders forum of 2016 looks at how US-based and operating businesses are engaging smallholder farmers around the world. We’ll look specifically at the challenges of scale and taking pilot projects to real impact. Featuring our usual mix of the world’s biggest companies, NGOs and focusing on rigorous debate over bland PR statements.

How business can better manage human rights risks – 24th-25th October – London
A conference looking at how risk can be mapped, managed and turned into business opportunity. This year we are focusing in-depth with companies across different sectors on: How to engage vulnerable stakeholders effectively, how to comply with the Modern Slavery Act, getting the right due diligence strategy, mapping your supply chain for human rights risks, how to build direct worker engagement channels and apply best practices in implementing remediation.

Sustainable seafood supply chains – 15th-16th November – London
 This will be the third such event we’ve run since November 2015 and our group of leading retailers, producers, suppliers, processors and NGOs will debate such tricky issues as: Transparency and traceability, human rights & Modern Slavery: Collaboration: Collective action can help build the leverage necessary to drive substantial change. How can NGOs offer productive advice and support, instead of just blaming and shaming? We will also discuss how to make collaboration work, based on successful collaboration models. We’ll also look at certification: With a multiplicity of new data mapping technologies available today, what does the future hold for certification? Finally, we’ll debate what sustainable aquaculture looks like.

How business can tackle deforestation – 21st -22nd November 2016 – London
This year the London event, another who’s who of big business and deforestation prevention experts, will discuss the future of sustainable palm oil sourcing, legal and ethical pulp, paper and timber. What will Brexit mean for sustainable sourcing? How will the EU and UK laws be enforced in 2017 and beyond? We’ll discuss. Alongside that we’ll look at how certification is changing, what might replace it, how technology aids transparency and the politics of ‘sustainable’ palm oil across Europe, SE Asia and the rest of the world.

Sustainable Sugarcane – 1st-2nd December – London
Created in partnership with Bonsucro, this forum is designed for all stakeholders in the sugar value chain to discuss the commercial opportunities of implementing sustainability and ethical initiatives, and the practicalities of how to do so.We’ll be debating such areas as:

  • Transparency and traceability: understand your value chain through mapping to analyse where the risks and opportunities are
  • Human rights: implement programmes for continuous improvement, remove human rights risks and infringements on land rights, and eliminate child and forced labour
  • Smallholder farmers: understand the best practices that improve productivity and yield, and benefit the livelihoods of smallholders
  • Environmental pressures: information on proactively preparing sugar production for future and issues such as loss of biodiversity, climate change and water scarcity
  • Biofuels and ethonol: Insight into the increase in demand and what this means for sustainability in the industry