Where agriculture & environment meet for an open dialogue

FFA2021 Solutions week

Racing to scale regenerative farming

Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2021    Time: 10:30 - 12:00 CET

With the question about how to make agriculture more nature positive whilst improving farm economics unresolved, there has been a growing interest in regenerative agriculture. In this session, SYSTEMIQ presents a vision for a European agriculture system that is 75% regenerative by 2030. What would this mean for farmers, consumers, climate and nature? What would it take to get there?  This session will introduce the vision, challenges, and critical interventions to shift the system, and invite reactions from across the European food and farming landscape.

European agriculture is at a crossroads. The Green Deal, 2030 climate plan, Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies, as well as the proposed reform of the Common Agriculture Policy, have all contributed to defining the ambition, and even several elements of the delivery, of a more sustainable farming system in Europe. Arguably, however, this has not yet developed into a coherent or holistic approach necessary to command broad support from political and civil society leaders. Furthermore, private sector commitment will be essential both to align on the ambition and drive its delivery.

One approach which is currently attracting significant interest as a potential solution is the concept of regenerative agriculture. Many stakeholders have begun to argue that this could be the holistic approach which can deliver greater environmental sustainability for European agriculture and contribute to tackling climate change, as well as providing for safe, healthy, affordable food and improving farm economics.

With that in mind, SYSTEMIQ and partners are proposing a stretch target for the sector: to make 75% of European agriculture regenerative by 2030 and put in place the technical, financial and commercial building blocks to facilitate that transition. The purpose of this round table will be to present the vision, invite reactions to it and discuss what it will take to achieve.

Speaker & moderator

Rupert Simons
Director for the EU Food and Land Use Action Platform
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Heike Zeller
Consulting group aHEU Regionale Vermarktungsstrategien (Moderator)
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Rupert Simons, Director for the EU Food and Land Use Action Platform

Rupert is a Senior Project Manager in the SYSTEMIQ London office and leads SYSTEMIQ’s work on regenerative agriculture, soil and biodiversity in Europe.

Rupert has a background in strategy consulting with McKinsey and economic development. From 2015 and 2018 he was CEO of Publish What You Fund, an aid transparency campaign, which gave him extensive experience of influencing and working with the European Commission and member states including the governments of France and Germany. From 2011 to 2014 that he was senior advisor to the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and a founding staff member of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency. Prior to that, Rupert was an engagement manager and sustainability fellow with McKinsey in London.
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


Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - 10:30 - 12:00 CET

  • Introduction by the moderator - Heike Zeller (5 mins)

  • Presentation of the vision by SYSTEMIQ - Rupert Simons (10mins)

  • Followed by a ‘goldfish bowl’ discussion (65mins)


  • Christine Müller, Policy Officer, DG Climate Action, European Commission

  • Michael Scannell, Deputy Director-General, DG for Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission

  • Dr. Felix Prinz zu Löwenstein, President, German Federation of Organic Farmers, Food Processors and Retailers

  • James Ede, Sustainability Manager - Europe, Middle East and Africa, Cargill Starches, Sweeteners & Texturizers

  • Mateusz Ciasnocha, Farmer; CEO, European Carbon Farmers; Regenerative Agriculture Fellow, COP26 - Climate Champions; Junior RIS Project Manager, EIT Food

  • Galina Peycheva-Miteva, Farmer, Financial Manager, Trakia-RM

  • Petra Laux, Acting Chief Sustainability Officer, Syngenta Group and Head of EAME Business Sustainability, Syngenta

  • Bas Rüter, Global Head Sustainability & Climate, Rabobank

  • David Wilkinson, Purchasing Director, PepsiCo

  • David Cleary, Global Director for Agriculture, The Nature Conservancy