Where agriculture & environment meet for an open dialogue

FFA2018 Agenda

FFA2018 will take place at the Square in Brussels on Tuesday, March 27, 2018.
Below is a summary of overall timings and details of currently confirmed speakers.
A full agenda and list of speakers will be available before the event.

Programme will be subject to change.

Healthy farming, healthy food, healthy future.

08:00 – 16:00
09:00 – 09:10
Introductory comments
Stephen Sackur, Journalist
Femi Oke, Journalist
09:10 - 09:20
Opening statement
Janez Potočnik, Chair FFA2017, Chairman RISE Foundation
09:20 - 10:00
Opening keynote address
10:00 - 11:10
Session 1
11:10 - 11:40
Networking break
11:40 - 12:10
Keynote Address
12:10 - 12:55
Session 2
12:55 – 14:00
Networking lunch break
14:00 - 15:00
Best practice examples
15:00 - 15:30
Healthy future keynote
15:30 - 16:45
Session 3
16:45 - 17:15
Closing keynote address
17:15 - 17:30
Closing statement
Janez Potočnik, Chair FFA2017, Chairman RISE Foundation

Speakers, panellists & respondents

The Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA) is where agriculture and environment meet for an open dialogue. Each year, luminaries from various leading international institutions, such as the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament, the food/farming chain, NGOs, and businesses from every sector present their diverse views to a packed auditorium. At FFA2018 speakers and respondents will address the key issues including the need for healthy farming, healthy food and a healthy future.

Confirmed speakers (in alphabetical order)

Inger Andersen
Director General, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
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Massimo Bottura
Chef Patron of Osteria Francescana & Founder of Food for Soul
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Ariel Brunner
Senior Head of Policy for Europe and Central Asia, Birdlife International
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Markus Eerola
Farmer, Knehtilä Farm, Finland
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Philipp Schulze Esking
Billerbeck / North Rhine-Westphalia Vice President of the DLG and Chairman of the Department of Exhibitions
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Inger Andersen, Director General, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Inger Andersen was appointed Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in January 2015. Ms Andersen brings a passion for conservation and sustainable development with more than 30 years of experience in international development economics, environmental sustainability and policy-making, as well as in designing and implementing projects and generating on-the-ground impact. She has played a key role in supporting riparian countries on international water management and hydro diplomacy. Prior to joining IUCN, she held various leadership roles at the World Bank and United Nations. Previous to the World Bank, Ms. Andersen worked at the United Nations for 15 years. Ms Andersen’s educational background includes a BA from London Metropolitan University North and a MA degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London with specialisation in development economics.
Massimo Bottura, Chef Patron of Osteria Francescana & Founder of Food for Soul

Massimo Bottura is an Italian restaurateur and the Chef Patron of Osteria Francescana, a three-Michelin-star restaurant based in Modena, Italy which has been listed in the top 5 at The World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards since 2010 and has received many top ratings and awards. In 2016, Massimo founded the non-profit association Food for Soul to empower communities to fight against food waste in the interest of social inclusion and individual wellbeing. Food for Soul creates and sustains community kitchens around the world by bringing together both public and private organisations, as well as professionals from diverse fields including chefs, artisans, food suppliers, artists and designers. They source quality and in-date ingredients, that are perfectly edible but would otherwise go to waste, then transform them into delicious and nutritious multi-course meals to serve to the guests from vulnerable backgrounds.
Ariel Brunner, Senior Head of Policy for Europe and Central Asia, Birdlife International

Ariel Brunner coordinates the work of BirdLife Europe on a wide range of EU policies ranging from nature and biodiversity conservation, to climate and energy, fisheries and agriculture. Over the last decade he has been deeply involved in debates on reform of the Common Agriculture Policy and is widely recognised as prominent expert on the environmental impacts of EU farm policies. He has chaired DG Agriculture’s Advisory Group on Agriculture and Environment and has been a member of its Expert group on Public Goods, and of the European Commission’s High level steering group on the European Innovation Partnership on agriculture. He has also played a leading role in the NatureAlert campaign and has been very active in debates over the sustainability of renewable energy and in particular of bioenergy. He has also been involved in numerous studies, policy developments and political processes linked to the EU Renewable energy Directives, the sustainability criteria for biofuels, the Indirect Land Use Change controversy etc. Before moving to Brussels he was following the implementation of EU nature conservation legislation in Italy and has been instrumental to the designation of the country’s Special Protection Areas network (sites protected under the EU Wild Birds Directive).
Markus Eerola, Farmer, Knehtilä Farm, Finland

Markus Eerola is a farmer whose organic farm is situated in Hyvinkää, Southern Finland. Eerola has educated himself as an Agricultural Technician and Licenciate in Art, and he is the 3rd chair of the Farmer´s Union. Eerola received the WWF Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award in 2015. He has been very innovative in developing the farm and has projects with several agricultural equipment companies. One of the projects is an agroecological symbiosis together with other farms, a local energy company and the University of Helsinki. Photo © Helena Eslon.
Philipp Schulze Esking , Billerbeck / North Rhine-Westphalia Vice President of the DLG and Chairman of the Department of Exhibitions

Philipp Schulze Esking, born in 1978, has been Chairman of the DLG Exhibitions Department, also serving as DLG Vice President since 2015. He studied agronomy at the University of Göttingen in Germany and the University of Cordoba in Spain. Since 2005 he has managed his parents' pig farm in Billerbeck, in addition to being in partnership with four other agricultural businesses. He is currently Deputy Chairman of the Interest Group of pig farmers in Germany (ISN) and as a member of the DLG executive committee and agriculture committee.

Hilal Elver
Special Rapporteur on Right to Food, United Nations
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Louise O. Fresco
President, Wageningen University & Research Executive Board
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Lawrence Haddad
Executive Director, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)
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Phil Hogan
Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission
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Ariane Lotti
Agricultural entrepreneur, Managing Partner Tenuta San Carlo
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Hilal Elver, Special Rapporteur on Right to Food, United Nations

Hilal Elver is a Research Professor and global distinguished fellow at the University of California Santa Barbara LA Law School Resnick Food Law and Policy Center. She has a law degree, a Ph.D. from the University of Ankara Law School, and SJD from the UCLA Law School. She started her teaching career at the University of Ankara Faculty of Law. During this period, she was also appointed by the Turkish government as the founding legal advisor of the Ministry of Environment, and the General Director of Women’s Status. In 1994, she was appointed to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Chair in Environmental Diplomacy at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies, University of Malta. Throughout her career, she has done extensive work with national and international human rights NGOs. She was appointed Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food by the Human Rights Council in May 2014.
Louise O. Fresco, President, Wageningen University & Research Executive Board

Louise Fresco is the President of Wageningen University & Research in The Netherlands. Louise combines a long academic career as a professor at both Wageningen and Amsterdam with an extensive involvement in policy and development, with many programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America and teaching in Sweden, Belgium and the US. Louise O. Fresco is a member of eight Scientific Academies. Ten years of her career was spent as Assistant-Director General at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN, as well spending extensive periods in Africa, Asia and Latin America. She served on the boards of companies including Rabobank and Unilever, and also serves in various philanthropies. Her successful book, Hamburgers in Paradise, the stories behind the food we eat, was translated in several languages. In total she published twelve books of fiction and non-fiction, while she also writes a bi-weekly column in NRC, the leading evening paper of The Netherlands. She presented a six part documentary on food and development for Dutch public television. You may have seen her TED talk in Palm Springs in 2009.
Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)

Lawrence Haddad became the Executive Director of GAIN in October 2016. Prior to this he was Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in the Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division. From 2004-2014 Lawrence was the Director of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). He was also the UK’s representative on the Steering Committee of the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) of the UN’s Committee on World Food Security (CSF). He was the President of the UK and Ireland’s Development Studies Association from 2010 to 2012. Lawrence completed his PhD in food research at Stanford University in 1988. Before joining IDS in 2004, he was Director of the Food Consumption and Nutrition Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Prior to this, he was a lecturer in quantitative development economics at the University of Warwick. He has also been a visiting scholar at the London School of Economics. Lawrence was the founding co-chair of the Global Nutrition Report from 2014 to 2016.
Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission

Phil Hogan has been the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development since November 2014. Between 2011 and 2014, he served as Minister for the Environment and Local Government in the Irish Government. He has also occupied various senior posts at local, national and European level, including President of the Council of EU Environment Ministers in 2013 and Chairman of the European People's Party of Environment Ministers from 2012 to 2014.
Ariane Lotti, Agricultural entrepreneur, Managing Partner Tenuta San Carlo

Ariane Lotti is an agricultural entrepreneur and the Managing Partner of Tenuta San Carlo, an organic farm in central Italy that produces grain crops, has agritourism activities, plus includes land and forests managed for conservation goals. Before moving to Italy, she worked for over five years in Washington, D.C., on U.S. federal sustainable food and agriculture policy, with a particular focus on food safety regulations and the farm bill. She is a published author, and has worked and conducted research on organic and conventional farms in the U.S. and Europe. She is a representative from Italy to Ceja (the European Council of Young Farmers), the Vice President of Confagricultura Grosseto, a Trustee of Friends of Spannocchia, and an advisor to the Chewonki Foundation. She holds a Bachelors of Arts and a Masters of Environmental Management from Yale University.

Her Majesty Queen Noor
International public servant & advocate for cross-cultural understanding & conflict prevention
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Jon Parr
President Global Crop Protection and EAME, LATAM and APAC, Syngenta
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Janez Potočnik
Chair FFA2017, Chairman RISE Foundation
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Morten Rossé
Partner & Head of Natural Solutions, SYSTEMIQ
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Gary Tabor
Founder & Executive Director, Centre for Large Landscape Conservation
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Her Majesty Queen Noor , International public servant & advocate for cross-cultural understanding & conflict prevention

Her Majesty Queen Noor is an international public servant and advocate for cross-cultural understanding and conflict prevention and recovery issues such as refugees, missing persons, poverty, climate change and disarmament. She received a degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from Princeton University. She married His Majesty King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan in 1978. Queen Noor’s work in Jordan and the Arab world has focused on national and regional human security in the areas of education, conservation, sustainable development, human rights and cross-cultural understanding. Queen Noor has made environmental priorities an essential component of her work to promote human security and conflict resolution. She was a patron of Jordan’s Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature and internationally she has focused on environmental conservation and human security with emphasis on water and Ocean health and protection issues. She is Patron of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Founding and Emeritus President of BirdLife International, Trustee Emeritus of Conservation International, a member of the Ocean Elders and has received a variety of awards and honours for her activism.
Jon Parr, President Global Crop Protection and EAME, LATAM and APAC, Syngenta

Prior to his current role as President Global Crop Protection and EAME, LATAM and APAC, Jon Parr was Chief Operating Officer EAME & Latin America for Syngenta (2015–2016). Before that, he was Head of Global Crops & Assets for Syngenta in 2014 and Regional Director for EAME from 2009 to 2013 and Head of Syngenta Flowers from 2007 to 2008. From 2004 to 2007 he was Head of Marketing and Strategy and European Manufacturing Manager from 2000 to 2003. Before joining Syngenta, he worked for AstraZeneca from 1998 to 2000 as a Factory Manager, Global Product Manager Fungicides and Supply Chain Project Manager. From 1987 to 1994, he held Project and Engineering Management roles at Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI).
Janez Potočnik, Chair FFA2017, Chairman RISE Foundation

Dr Janez Potočnik graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. After a successful career starting in 1989 in Slovenia as a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research, Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (1994), he was appointed Head of the Negotiating Team for the Accession of Slovenia to the EU (1998). He was also Director of Government Office for European Affairs (2000), Minister Councillor at the Office of the Prime Minister (2001) and Minister responsible for European Affairs (2002). In 2004 he joined the European Commission, first as "shadow Commissioner for Enlargement and then as Commissioner responsible for Science and Research. In 2010 Dr Potočnik became Commissioner for Environment. His term ended in November 2014 and he was appointed as a Co-Chair of UN Environment International Resource Panel and was also appointed as a Chairman of The Forum for the Future of Agriculture and RISE Foundation and a Member of the European Policy Centre's Advisory Council. From April 2016 he is also the Partner in SYSTEMIQ.
Morten Rossé, Partner & Head of Natural Solutions, SYSTEMIQ

Morten Rossé is leading SYSTEMIQ’s efforts on developing regenerative land use models that either create value from standing forest or create value with forest regrowth. He is convinced that, while tropical forests only cover 2% of the total surface of the Earth, they are the key to unlock the potential of regenerative development. He is also deputy team leader of Partnerships for Forests, which is a DIFD sponsored global incubator that supports the acceleration of sustainable land use and forest businesses in the tropics. Morten came to SYSTEMIQ after nine years at McKinsey & Company, where he was a leader in the Sustainability and Resource Productivity Practice. Morten has worked extensively with public-private partnerships to deliver sustainable economic development in particular around the topics of land use and circular economy. He for example helped establish Partnership for Indonesia’s Sustainable Agriculture, an agriculture public-private partnership to address Indonesia's food, climate change and poverty challenges.
Gary Tabor, Founder & Executive Director, Centre for Large Landscape Conservation

Dr Gary M Tabor is an ecologist and wildlife veterinarian (Cornell BSc, Yale MS, UPenn VMD) and founder of the Center for Large Landscape Conservation based in the Rocky Mountains of Montana USA to help people and institutions make better conservation decisions at the scale nature functions. Gary has worked on behalf of large scale conservation internationally for over 35 years with a dozen years of experience in Africa, South America and Australia and a dozen years as a leader within the U.S. philanthropic community.  Gary’s conservation achievements include the establishment of Kibale National Park in Uganda; establishment of the World Bank’s GEF Mountain Gorilla Conservation Trust; co-founding the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative; pioneering the field of Conservation Medicine and Ecohealth (now called One Health) and co-founding the Freedom to Roam campaign to conserve wildlife corridors for outdoor retailer Patagonia Inc. Gary is a Henry Luce Scholar. Gary is a recipient of the Australian American Fulbright Scholar award in Climate Change and Clean Energy. Gary is Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas' new Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group.

Frans Timmermans
First Vice-President of the European Commission, European Commissioner for Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, Rule of Law & Charter of Fundamental Rights
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Ann Tutwiler
Director General, Bioversity International
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Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission, European Commissioner for Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, Rule of Law & Charter of Fundamental Rights

Frans Timmermans is a Dutch politician and diplomat who currently serves as the First Vice-President of the European Commission and the European Commissioner for the portfolio of Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, Rule of Law and Charter of Fundamental Rights in the Juncker Commission since November 2014. Timmermans previously worked in the Dutch Civil Service (1987–1998), as a member of the House of Representatives for the Labour Party (1998–2007; 2010–2012), as Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs charged with European Affairs (2007–2010) and as Minister of Foreign Affairs (2012–2014). 1995-1998 he served as a Senior Advisor and Private Secretary to the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the OSCE, Max van der Stoel and 1994-1995 as a staff member for EU Commissioner Hans van den Broek. In 1993 and 1994 Timmermans worked as deputy head of the Minister for Development Cooperation’s EC Affairs Section, 1990 and 1993 as the Deputy Secretary of the Dutch embassy in Moscow. 1987-1990 he served as Policy Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 1984-1985 he had postgraduate courses in European Law and French Literature at the University of Nancy. 1980-1985 he achieved a degree in French language and literature, Radboud University Nijmegen.
Ann Tutwiler, Director General, Bioversity International

Ann Tutwiler is the Director General of Bioversity International, an international research for development organization that is a CGIAR Research Centre. She is responsible for leading Bioversity International, forging effective research partnerships and overseeing the organization’s strategic priorities and research agenda. She has almost 30 years of experience in agricultural policy and development working in the public and private sectors and served as Deputy Director General, Knowledge at FAO, where she coordinated the development of cohesive Rome food agency positions on Rio+20 for FAO, with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP) and Bioversity International. She previously worked for the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), leading and coordinating USDA’s participation in the President’s 'Feed the Future' initiative and developing USDA’s international research strategy. She has also served as Senior Advisor of International Affairs for the U.S. Agency for International Development and she created and managed the agricultural markets program at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation from 2006 to 2009. Tutwiler was Government Relations Director for a multinational agribusiness firm for ten years and co-founded a global think tank in agricultural trade policy.


Femi Oke
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Stephen Sackur
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Femi Oke, Journalist

Femi Oke is an international journalist, broadcaster and moderator. Since the 1980s, she has worked for BBC television and radio, Sky TV, all UK terrestrial television networks, CNN and US public radio. Oke’s reporting has been recognised by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Communications Agency and InterAction. She's British by birth, Nigerian by parentage and a Washingtonian by zip code.
Stephen Sackur, Journalist

Stephen Sackur has been a journalist with BBC News since 1986. Since becoming presenter of HARDtalk in 2004, he has interviewed prominent international personalities, cultural figures, leaders and politicians from around the world. Before taking over on the BBC News Channel and BBC World flagship current affairs interview programme, he was based in Brussels for three years as the BBC's Europe Correspondent.