Annual Conference Week

Less talk, more action: turning the soil story around

Date: Monday, March 14, 2022    Time: 14:00 - 15:30 CET


This event is now finished. Please revisit the website later to watch a video recording of the event.

We know how urgent it is to address soil health, and we know what has to be done. So what is holding us back?

In this event RISE will bring together policy, those working at the farm level, and members of the food industry to debate how to kick start a Europe wide transition to sustainable soil management. If we know so much what is stopping progress? What mix of regulation and changed incentives could turn this around? What role can the food chain, up and downstream of farmers play in the process? Where does their responsibility lie? What is the appropriate sharing of responsibility for bringing about sustainable soil management?

Confirmed speakers (in alphabetical order) - more to follow soon

Laurence Braure
Wellbeing Market Activation Leader, Kellogg France
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Emeritus Prof Allan Buckwell
RISE Foundation, Research Director
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Victoria Gutierrez
Head of Global Policy - Commonland
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Leonardo Mirone
Group Purchasing Director, Sustainable Sourcing Coordination - Barilla
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Claudia Olazábal
Head of Unit - Land Use and Management (ENV.D.1) at EC DG Environment
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Laurence Braure, Wellbeing Market Activation Leader, Kellogg France

As Wellbeing Market Activation Leader, Laurence drives the Kellogg Wellbeing commitments in the French market, including the recently launched Kellogg Origins™ Program in France and Belgium supporting potato farmers to adopt more sustainable agriculture practices.

Laurence joined Kellogg in 2008 as Nutrition and Regulatory Affairs Manager after 5 years of experience in Food Industry at Unilever and in a consultancy agency specialized in Nutrition & Health.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health & Nutrition from Henri Poincaré University in Nancy and a Master’s degree in Marketing from ICN Business School. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Sustainability at the University of Paris Dauphine-PLS.
Emeritus Prof Allan Buckwell, RISE Foundation, Research Director

Emeritus Professor Allan Buckwell has been Director of RISE’s reports  on crop protection, livestock, the Common Agricultural Policy, nutrient recovery and reuse and sustainable intensification. Two thirds of his career has been as an academic agricultural economist specialising in agricultural and rural policy. This has involved his work as a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for European Environmental Policy (since 2012), fourteen years at Newcastle University and then from 1984-1999 as Professor of Agricultural Economics, Wye College University of London (which was merged into Imperial College). During this period he specialised on teaching and research into all aspects of European rural policy dealing especially with the Common Agricultural Policy, trade issues, and technology and structural change in farming and its impacts.

During 1995/6 he was seconded to the analysis and conception unit of DG Agri in the European Commission where he chaired a policy integration group who laid out a model for the evolution of the CAP. He joined the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) as Policy Director in 2000.

Since then he has been involved in debates on how to balance the CAP as a policy for Food and Environmental Security. He chaired and authored a report on Public Goods from Private Land and worked a good deal on Climate Change, the threats and opportunities this poses to rural land managers and Green House Gas accounting from land-based businesses. His key specialist subjects are CAP, agriculture and environmental land management.
Victoria Gutierrez, Head of Global Policy - Commonland

Victoria Gutierrez is the Head of Global Policy at Commonland, having joined in March 2020. She is a senior land-use change and landscape restoration expert with 10-years of strategy formulation and science-policy-practice integration in the international NGO sector. Earlier, she worked 9-years in social science academia at the University of West London in the UK. She holds a PhD in primate behavioural ecology from the University Complutense of Madrid, Spain.

Her previous positions include the Chief Science Officer at WeForest, overseeing the research portfolio and policy strategy. And previously at the same organisation, the role of Director of Reforestation projects, working in Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zambia, Burkina Faso, India, Indonesia, and Brazil.

She has worked in the areas of Forest and Landscape Restoration, Food security, Agroforestry, the Forest-water-climate nexus, Climate Adaptation and Mitigation, Monitoring and Evaluation, Natural resource management, Ecosystem services and biodiversity, and (Indigenous) community livelihood development.

More information
Website –
LinkedIn – victoriagutierrezdiego
Leonardo Mirone, Group Purchasing Director, Sustainable Sourcing Coordination - Barilla

Ph.D., Chemical Doctor working at Barilla since 1998. From 1999 to 2020 he has covered many roles within the Raw Materials Purchasing Department and now is now as “Global Supply Chain, Purchasing Director”, in charge of Packaging and Promotional Materials Sourcing. He is in charge of the global Sustainability program on Sourcing Chains and is part of the Foundation Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition (BCFN).
Claudia Olazábal, Head of Unit - Land Use and Management (ENV.D.1) at EC DG Environment

Claudia Olazábal is the holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Radiochemistry from the University of Strasbourg and a Master’s degree in Science from the University of Texas at Austin. She worked for three years in the Sustainable Resources - Consumption and Waste Unit, then became Policy Officer and Head of the Soil Sector dealing with the development of Community policy on soil protection. She was for 4 years the Deputy Head of the Biodiversity Unit. Since 2013, she is the head of unit of the Land Use & Management which deals inter alia with Agriculture, Forests and Soil. All these positions are held in the Directorate General for the Environment of the European Commission.

Janez Potočnik
Chair ForumforAg and Chairman RISE Foundation
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Janez Potočnik, Chair ForumforAg 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


Monday, March 14, 2022 - 14:00 - 15:30 CET

Welcome and introduction
Dr Janez Potočnik - RISE Chairman

Setting the scene and moderation
Em. Prof Allan Buckwell, RISE Foundation

Connecting policy and grass root soil initiatives
- Claudia Olazábal, Head of Unit - Land Use and Management (ENV.D.1) at EC DG Environment
- Victoria Gutierrez, Head of Global Policy - Commonland

What role should the food industry play?
- Tiffanie Stephani, Director European Government Relations and External Communications - Yara International
- Laurence Braure, Origins Programme in France & Belgium., Kellogg’s
- Leonardo Mirone, Group Purchasing Director, Sustainable Sourcing Coordination - Barilla

Questions and answers session

Closing remarks
Dr Janez Potočnik - RISE Chairman

15:30 Finish

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