Supply chain transformation is undeniably vital for farmers, forests, biodiversity and nature. From devising a strategy, to effectively implementing a forest-positive approach, to closing the living income gap to ensure economic, social and environmental sustainability, there is still much to be done to deliver sustainable commodities and landscapes.
There has been promising progress in ensuring supply chain resilience and sustainable sourcing – not least the EU Deforestation Regulation
that has come into force in 2023 to prevent deforestation-linked products from entering the EU.
At this year’s sustainable commodities and landscapes forum
in Amsterdam (31st October-1st November), cross-industry practitioners will gather to discuss how business can adapt to regulatory pressure, protect livelihoods, and take an integrated approach to climate, nature and biodiversity. Ahead of the event, the Innovation Forum team has been working to highlight the main areas of innovation within commodity supply chains and speak to leading businesses and experts on these important topics.
Future proofing farmers for good
As Cargill’s Michelle Grogg
noted on a recent podcast interview with Innovation Forum’s Ian Welsh, food supply chains need to deliver long-term food resilience across the supply chain. To help enable this, farmers are turning to regenerative agricultural practices.
But what is the potential of regenerative agriculture and what are its tangible benefits? Deepika Mishra from US Cotton Trust Protocol and farmer Mead Hardwick spoke with Ian Welsh to share what the regenerative transition could look like in practice for the cotton sector and the benefits of improving resource efficiency through reducing resource inputs. Listen to the podcast here.
Farmers are essential players in the regenerative transition. However, there are barriers to success that farmers can’t tackle alone. Alongside the constant stresses of climate change and rising energy prices, there is also a cost barrier to adoption. It is therefore important for businesses and supply chain actors to collaborate to take collective action towards tackling these challenges, whilst providing support for farmers.
At a recent Innovation Forum webinar, hosted in partnership with Bayer Crop Science, supply chain actors convened to discuss how agrifood stakeholders can help farmers build profitable and resilient livelihoods through regenerative farming. Focusing in at the European scale, webinar participants included Jens Hartmann from Bayer Crop Science, Natalie Smith from Tesco, Groene Kring’s Bram Van Hecke, Marie Ellul from Mondelēz International, Rob Shepherd from Allenford Farms and moderator Toby Webb from Innovation Forum.
The panel agreed on the importance of retailers and food brands taking action to increase awareness of the potential of regenerative agriculture, and to facilitate farmer uptake. Watch the video recording here
or listen as a podcast.
Delivering ethical and resilient supply chains
Ensuring ethical supply chains is under the business radar more prominently than ever. With practical guidance from the OECD,
the Accountability Framework
initiative amongst other sources, it is increasingly possible, as well as vital, for business to take meaningful action.
Companies have an important role to play in ensuring suppliers, farmers, middle-men and communities behave responsibly in the interest of the environment, whilst pursuing economic growth. Implementing a business culture of openness and transparency is key to tackling deforestation – as Tom Idle explained in a recent Innovation Forum article
, also covering value-creation for customers through ethical supply chains.
It is equally important to foster innovative solutions to strengthen resilience in supply chains. Within coffee supply chains, agroforestry is increasingly a hot topic. Ben Aschenaki from Regeneration talked with Ian Welsh about the potential of agroforestry in coffee supply chains. With incentives such as increased land productivity, and boosting farmer incomes as they gain better access to international markets, they also discussed the importance of landscape governance models. Listen to the interview here.
How deforestation can be tackled
With new EU regulation coming into force, tackling deforestation is high on the agenda for EU businesses and beyond. APRIL, a company with one of the world’s largest pulp and paper mills, claims to have been successful in combating deforestation and in restoring forests. Innovation Forum’s Toby Webb visited Indonesia to investigate how.
In this two-part video series, Toby talks with key stakeholders to discuss how the company is tackling the issue. Watch the video series here:
Recently, Olivier Tichit from Musim Mas shared with Ian Welsh some unintended consequences of the EU’s new regulation banning the import of deforestation-linked products into the bloc. Olivier explained how it is possible to proactively halt deforestation by working at a landscape level and engage in multi-stakeholder collaboration, alongside verification to recognize progress. Click here to listen to the full interview.
We’ll be discussing sustainable landscape approaches, ethical and resilient supply chains, improving rural livelihoods and more at the sustainable commodities and landscapes forum in Amsterdam on 31st October and 1st November. If you are interested in joining us you can register here. For insights from last year, watch a highlights video from the conference here.