WEC and Syngenta Convene Executive Roundtable on Business Strategies to Implement the EU Farm-to-Fork Strategy

On March 30, 2021, WEC and Syngenta convened the first of a series of four Executive Roundtables to discuss the EU green deal and key areas of focus and opportunities to accelerate the transition to a sustainable food system. With Petra Laux, Acting CSO, Syngenta and WEC President & CEO, Glenn Prickett opening the Roundtable, the virtual Roundtable brought together 52 senior sustainability, procurement, farming, and government affairs executives from eleven countries. The guiding question for the Roundtable was how ready is the sector to adapt and how will these changes enable farmers and companies to adapt and thrive?

Speakers from food companies, and retailers, academia/NGO/Association & farmers from Agrya, Metro, Soil Association, Soil Capital, Spearhead International, Systemiq, Tesco, and Wageningen University discussed the value of regenerative agriculture practices to farm productivity and the environment, and the key actions needed to drive adoption of those practices.

Key Points:

  1. An introductory poll revealed that 2/3 of participating experts identified the EU farm-to-fork strategy as important to accelerating the transition to a sustainable food system.
  2. With only 8 growing seasons to 2030, critical gaps must be addressed quickly to accelerate system change.
  3. We cannot expect the consumer to drive the transition; instead, the food value chain needs to articulate and establish the business case and align with the regulatory, fiscal and communications frameworks.
  4. Organic food is commonly understood by consumers, is growing in market share. Other nature friendly farming practices are not yet.
  5. Other than organic farming, regenerative agriculture is not mentioned an area of action by the EU Farm-to-Fork strategy, however, business executives find it a practical alternative when organic doesn’t work.
  6. The corporate sector needs to step up and develop transition plans for each part of the sector.
  7. With only 40 harvests in their careers, farmers appetite for risk is low. Food chain partners must support.
  8. Food chain partners must enter a new level of trusted collaboration and shared accountability, giving farmers confidence that there will be a market for nature friendly products.

To read the full summary, key point details and additional information, click HERE.

Note:  WEC Executive Roundtables are conducted under the Chatham House Rule.