Where agriculture & environment meet for an open dialogue

FFA2020 Regional Online Live

Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent cancellation of the FFA2020 flagship event in Brussels, FFA aims to focus on delivering relevant content throughout 2020 including regional online live events and podcasts.

Below you can find details of our first event which was held on Monday, June 15, 2020.

FFA Online Live

To watch all videos of the Regional Online Live click here
To read the opening speech from Janez Potočnik click here
To view the final Mentimeter poll results click here
To read a summary of the event click here

Food system resilience, sustainability and the COVID-19 crisis: Looking ahead to the German Presidency of the EU


The FFA held its first online event on Monday, June 15, 2020. As the pandemic puts a new focus on supply chains and the food system, we wanted to share the expertise and experiences of our panel and look forward to the German Presidency of the Council of the EU. The first edition connected Brussels with Berlin to discuss food system resilience, sustainability and the COVID-19 crisis.

Speakers and panellists (in alphabetical order)



Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle
Deputy Head of Cabinet for EU Commissioner Wojciechowski
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Gero Hocker
Member of the German Federal Parliament
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Julia Köhn
CEO & Founder at PIELERS GmbH; Chairwoman, German AgriFood Society
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Felix Prinz zu Löwenstein
Chairman of the BÖLW (Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft)
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Janez Potočnik
Chair FFA2020 and Chairman RISE Foundation
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Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, Deputy Head of Cabinet for EU Commissioner Wojciechowski

From July 2018 to June 2019, Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle was the candidate of the EU for the position of Director general of the FAO. Between 2013 and 2018, she was Director General for Economic and Environmental Performance of Enterprises at the French Ministry of Agriculture, the Food Processing Industry and Forestry. Between 2006 and 2013, she was the European Food Safety Authority’s Executive Director and was previously one of the two Vice-Chairs of EFSA's Management Board from 2002. From 2003 to 2006, she was Regional Director of Agriculture and Forestry for the Ile de France region. Prior to that, she was Director General of the Food Department within the French Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. She has held a number of international positions, notably as Chair of the Codex Alimentarius Committee on General Principles in 2001 and 2002, as well as Deputy Director of the French Department of International Trade from 1998 to 2000. She also worked at the European Commission from 1991 to 1993 as a National Expert at DG III (DG Industry and Internal Market) in the area of food safety. Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle is an agronomist with a Master of Science from the Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon and from the Ecole Nationale du Génie Rural, des Eaux et des Forêts.
Gero Hocker, Member of the German Federal Parliament

After graduation in 1994, Dr. Hocker took part in basic military service in the 6th Panzer Grenadier Battalion in Schwanewede. From 1995 to 1998 he trained as a banker at Sparkasse Bremen, then worked in marketing. From 1998 to 2003 he studied economics at the University of Bremen, including international internships in New York, Canton (China) and Adelaide (Australia). Until 2006 he was a financial advisor at Nordwestfinanz Bremen. From 2006 to 2007 he was a research assistant at the Institute for Institutional Economics and Innovation Economics at the University of Bremen, including research stays in Alabama and Oregon. He has a Doctorate in economics. He was Assistant to the Board from 2007 to 2008. Until moving into the state parliament on October 28, 2009, he worked as a sales manager at Allianz Beratungs- und Vertriebs-AG in Oldenburg. He has been Chairman of the FDP district association Verden since 1998. General secretary of the FDP Lower Saxony from 2012 to 2018. Member of the Lower Saxony state parliament of the 16th and 17th parliamentary term. He is a specialist speaker for environment and energy.
Julia Köhn, CEO & Founder at PIELERS GmbH; Chairwoman, German AgriFood Society

Dr. Julia Köhn is a digital entrepreneur, philosopher and economist. She is currently the managing partner of PIELERS GmbH. In the past, Dr. Köhn has worked several times, worked in restructuring and restructuring consultancy and set up new digital business areas for various companies. After studying business administration, economics and philosophy at the University of Witten / Herdecke, Erasmus University Rotterdam and the University of Cambridge, she was awarded for her excellent research work and published by Springer Verlag under the title "Uncertainty in Economics". As a scholarship holder of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, she was a member of the doctoral program in Social Market Economy and a fellow at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Today she advises as an expert to Ministries, associations and companies.
Felix Prinz zu Löwenstein, Chairman of the BÖLW (Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft)

Felix Prinz zu Löwenstein is an agricultural scientist and farmer. He takes a critical look at the problems of industrial agriculture. As chairman of the BÖLW (Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft) he contributes to the development of the organic food industry and to the creation of sustainable framework conditions. In 1996 he converted the Habitzheim estate, which has been family-owned for 500 years and which he took over in 1986 to organic farming. The farm was handed over to the next generation in 2014, but he still runs two small forestry operations in Germany and France.
Janez Potočnik, Chair FFA2020 and 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.

More information
Twitter – @JanezPotocnik22
Facebook – potocnikjanez
LinkedIn - janez-potocnik-872470a7


Heike Zeller
Consulting group aHEU Regionale Vermarktungsstrategien (Moderator)
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Heike Zeller, Consulting group aHEU Regionale Vermarktungsstrategien (Moderator)

Heike Zeller knows the value chain from farm to table. With her company aHEU, she advises agricultural and food enterprises in particular on marketing and sales. At events she shares her knowledge in the different roles of speaker, trainer and host. Heike loves bringing things together: products and customers, information and wanna knows, people from A and Z. Before becoming an entrepreneur, she was working in academic research, food retailing and in mountain agriculture, as a qualified business economist and a qualified sociologist.

More information
Facebook – aheu.blog
Instagram – aheu.blog
LinkedIn - heike-zeller

FFA Regional Online Live Agenda


3:00pm - 3:10pm
Welcome and introduction (from Berlin and Brussels)
Heike Zeller, Moderator
Janez Potočnik, Chair FFA2020 and Chairman RISE Foundation
3:10pm - 3:20pm
Tête-à-tête discussion (from Brussels)
Janez Potočnik, Chair FFA2020 and Chairman RISE Foundation
Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, Deputy Head of Cabinet for EU Commissioner Wojciechowski
3:25pm - 4:10pm
Panel discussion (from Berlin)
We move to Berlin, where our panellists will discuss food system resilience, sustainability and the COVID-19 Crisis.

Gero Hocker, Member of the German Federal Parliament
Felix Prinz zu Löwenstein, Chairman of the BÖLW (Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft)
Julia Köhn, CEO & Founder at PIELERS GmbH; Chairwoman, German AgriFood Society

Followed by a question and answer session
4:10pm - 4:15pm
Summary and next steps
We will conclude the event with a summary and next steps

In partnership with:
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