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Environment & Sustainability, Commodities, Innovation

FT Future of Agriculture Summit

Smart Farming Meets Smart Business

London |
Speakers include:
Daniel Gustafson

Daniel Gustafson

Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations

Don J. Cameron

Don J. Cameron

Member of the California State Food and Agriculture Board

David Croft

David Croft



The twin imperatives of addressing climate change and feeding a growing population are sparking new thinking, technology and business models across the agricultural sector. Our inaugural Future of Agriculture summit showcased and analysed some of the smart approaches being deployed throughout the agribusiness value chain, from farm to fork.
Thank you to all who attended and helped to make the Summit a great success

fallback Add to my Calendar 10/10/2017 08:00:0010/10/2017 19:00:00trueFT Future of Agriculture SummitThe twin imperatives of addressing climate change and feeding a growing population are sparking new thinking, technology and business models across the agricultural sector. Our inaugural Future of Agriculture summit showcased and analysed some of the smart approaches being deployed throughout the agribusiness value chain, from farm to fork.Thank you to all who attended and helped to make the Summit a great successFT-Future-of-Agriculture-Summitb926cbe5e8a6037f98a92a1919265123MM/DD/YYYY

Event Photos

Please see event photos here



Extended overview

Feeding the world is humanity's foremost challenge. By 2050 the global population is predicted to reach 9.6 billion. The FAO estimates  that food production needs to increase by 70% in response - a challenge that requires a radical change in approach. Practically, and economically, can it be done?

Advances in technology - including the 'Agricultural Internet of Things' and 'Precision Farming' - are opening up new avenues. Crop efficiency is rising, and new approaches could increase the rate of improvement tenfold. Agri-innovations include fertilisation, digital soil-mapping, weather data analytics, drone and sensor application, and precision climate predictions.

The ability of companies and farms to collect vast amounts of data is central to the trends shaping crop production. But how can the new tools be applied in an industry with such high price volatility? 

The FT has launched its inaugural Future of Agriculture Summit to address these issues. It brings together experts and practitioners from across the value chain in a unique forum to explore the future of crop production and debate the trends.


Summit Keynote speaker (1)

Daniel Gustafson

Daniel Gustafson

Deputy Director-General Programmes
Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations

Daniel Gustafson is the Deputy Director-General (Programmes) of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Among other responsibilities, he oversees the work of the Organization to ensure that it contributes to its Members’ Sustainable Development Goals. A US citizen, he has worked for the past 40 years on agriculture and rural development issues and holds B.Sc and M.Sc degrees from the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. In April 2015, he was conferred a Ph.D. Honoris Causa by the Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU) in India.

Mr Gustafson started his career in 1977 at the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), based in Brazil, where he worked on a range of programmes supporting the country’s agricultural research and development programmes. He moved to the University of Maryland in 1988 as Programme Director, International Development Management Centre, where he was responsible for developing and implementing project activities related to institutional development and policy implementation in agriculture and natural resources.

He joined FAO in 1994, first working within the Ministry of Agriculture in Maputo, Mozambique, and subsequently as FAO Country Representative in Kenya, Somalia, India and Bhutan. In 2007, he was appointed Director of FAO’s Liaison Office for the US and Canada, based in Washington D.C., and then moved to FAO headquarters in 2012 as Director of FAO’s Office of Support to Decentralization, responsible for strengthening FAO’s country and regional offices and supporting the decentralization-related aspects of FAO’s transformative change. Prior to his current position, he was Deputy Director-General (Operations), overseeing the Organization’s decentralized offices and other operations-related departments and units.

View from the Top (1)

Don J. Cameron

Don J. Cameron

Vice President and General Manager, Terranova Ranch
Member of the California State Food and Agriculture Board

Since 1981, Don has been the Vice President and General Manager of Terranova Ranch, Inc. located 25 miles southwest of Fresno, California. Terranova farms approximately 6,000 acres, in addition to 1,500 acres custom farmed for other clients. The farm has a mix of conventional, organic and biotech field crops including conventional and organic processing tomatoes, peppers, onions, seed product, corn and a diversity of other annual crops. Perennial crops grown consist of walnuts, wine grapes, almonds, pistachios and olives for oil. There are 25 total crops grown on the farm.Furthermore, Don owns and farms Prado Farms located in Fresno County. 

In 2011, Don was appointed to the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel and is currently Chairman. In 2012, Don served an appointment at the federal level on the Working Group for the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21). Since 2014, Don has been serving on the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. He currently serves as chairman for the California Cotton Alliance, director and past chairman for the California Tomato Growers Association, director for Western Growers Association, Raisin City Water District and Chairman for the McMullin Area GSA.

Speakers (27)

David Croft

David Croft

Global Sustainability Director

David Croft is Sustainable Development Director for Diageo, the global drinks company, where he is responsible for their work on environmental and social sustainability around the world, working with farmers, communities and manufacturers within an international supply network alongside Diageo’s global manufacturing and marketing teams. Diageo works closely with farmers in many countries, developing new supply networks to support local manufacturing. Previously with Waitrose, Kraft Foods, Cadbury and the Co-operative Group, Mr Croft’s roles included leading technical, marketing and sustainability functions in quality, safety, brand marketing, sustainability, and sustainable agriculture. He has led large multi- stakeholder partnerships on sustainable agricultural and community development, working with farmers, governments and NGOs locally and internationally in numerous initiatives to improve supply chain standards and sustainable agriculture across the food sector. He is also a member of the Food Ethics Council, and the Scottish Food Commission.

Martial  Genthon

Martial Genthon

President and Global Head of Manufacturing and Tech Services
Olam International Ltd

Martial Genthon is President and Global Head of Manufacturing and Tech Services at Olam International Ltd., a leading agri-business operating from seed to shelf in 70 countries with more than 23,000 customers worldwide. Olam is listed on the main board of the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and is committed to a core purpose of “Reimagining Global Agriculture: Growing Responsibly”.

In his role at Olam, Martial oversees 200 factories/operations as well as the safety of its people, quality of the company’s products and all supporting technical functions. Martial has over 25 years of experience in the agri and food sectors and spent more than two decades at Nestlé managing across its entire value chain and driving transformational strategies for its agribusiness and operations in the Americas, China, and Europe.

Prior to joining Olam, Martial was Chief Technical Officer Operations (Manufacturing) at Nestlé USA and Nestlé Canada where he served on the Executive Leadership Team managing all food & beverages manufacturing facilities under a single organisation. He also initiated the “Sustainable Agriculture Initiative” at Nestlé, which today has more than 80 corporate members focused on shared values for sustainability and health in the food and beverage industry.

Known for evolving the “fork to farm” business strategy and operations globally for Fortune 100 companies and small businesses, Martial has taken on C-suite and Board leadership roles. He has led teams of up to 23,000 staff through growth, acquisitions and turnarounds, managing billion-dollar P&Ls and directing innovation and product development, sourcing, supply chain, manufacturing, and sales (ingredients).

Martial has also received numerous corporate and industry awards while living in five countries and working across four continents. He holds a MSc. in Agriculture from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration in International Management (HEC) from the University of Geneva.

Katie Hoard

Katie Hoard

Global Director of Agricultural Innovation
AB InBev

Katie Hoard is the Global Director of Agricultural Innovation for AB InBev based in Leuven, Belgium. In her role, she is responsible for developing new and existing malt barley supply chains, managing the global SmartBarley portfolio and supporting the AB InBev Better World initiatives focused on environmental and economic sustainability across key brewing crop supply chains. SmartBarley is AB InBev’s grower platform that leverages data, technology and insights to help growers solve challenges and improve their productivity, livelihoods and environmental performance.

Prior to joining AB InBev, Ms Hoard worked in politics and commodities regulation in Washington, DC. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Finance from the University of Arkansas, a Master’s degree in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics, and an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York.

Pekka Pesonen

Pekka Pesonen

Secretary General

Pekka Pesonen is the Secretary General of Copa, representing European farmers, and Cogeca, representing European agri-cooperatives, which together count more than 70 national farming organisations from across Europe. Previously, he worked as State Secretary for the Finnish Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry. In addition, Mr Pesonen has extensive professional experience in lobbying at EU level on behalf of Finnish farmers, forest owners (MTK and SLC) and agri-forestry cooperatives (Pellervo). In the 1990s, he worked in the sales and marketing department of Valio, a Finnish dairy company. Mr Pesonen has also been a member of several high level advisory groups concerning EU policy preparation. He is a qualified agronomist.

Patrick Attallah

Patrick Attallah

Global Commercial Digital Transformation Director

Patrick is a French/Lebanese leading digital transformation strategist and a digital entrepreneur at heart.

With 20+ years’ experience in media, marketing and organizational change, Patrick has successfully developed and run technology-based businesses and delivered globally digital professional services as well as online community solutions for the telecom, automotive, banking and audiovisual industries.

Since early 2016, Patrick has taken the challenge of helping the DSM worldwide life and material sciences business groups to adapt to the challenges brought by digital technologies, to transform digital data into valuable business insights, to convert digital strategies and tactics into growth, as well as to facilitate digital know-how and capabilities building.

As an active speaker, he regularly contributes to sharing on the impact of digital technologies such as on businesses, brands, organizations and customer experiences, hence on how to accelerate their digital transformation.

Twitter @patrickattallah

Alexandre   Zanghellini

Alexandre Zanghellini

Co-founder & CEO
Emile  Frison

Emile Frison

Chair, International Scientific Committee
Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation
Kate  Pressland

Kate Pressland

Research Manager
Soil Association

Kate Pressland is responsible for managing Innovative Farmers, the farmer-led research programme run by Soil Association, in partnership with LEAF, Innovation for Agriculture and Organic Research Centre. Innovative Farmers is a not for profit network that puts farmers in the driving seat of research. By matching groups of farmers with researchers from top agricultural institutions, the network is finding practical solutions with scientific rigour.

Kate works closely with farmers, advisors and researchers to develop on-farm trials on increasing agricultural sustainability and resilience. She also oversees the programme’s grant scheme. She has a PhD in agricultural ecology and has 12 years’ experience delivering projects with producers and farming organisations on sustainable land management.

Philip  Briscoe

Philip Briscoe


Philip Briscoe manages Reztac's strategic and commercial development, marketing and engagement with our logo partners. Philip has 20 years of experience in the technology sector with a particular exposure to supply chain monitoring and data analytic platforms. Philip holds a BA in European Business Studies and Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) post-gradate diploma. 

Giulio Boccaletti

Giulio Boccaletti

Chief Strategy Officer
The Nature Conservancy

Dr. Giulio Boccaletti is the Chief Strategy Officer of The Nature Conservancy, as well as its Global Managing Director for Water.

Trained as a scientist, Giulio is an expert on environmental and economic sustainability with experience in deploying innovative, large-scale strategies that demonstrate how investing in nature will help us achieve a healthier, more prosperous, more resilient world. He has deep expertise on the intersection of natural resources, public policy and business conduct. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Giulio was a partner at McKinsey and Company, where he founded the firm’s Global Water Resource initiative and was a leader of its Sustainability and Resource Productivity Practice.

He started his career as a scientist with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology focused on atmospheric and ocean sciences and climate dynamics. He has a master’s in physics from the Università degli Studi di Bologna, and master’s and doctorate degrees in atmospheric and oceanic sciences from Princeton University.

David Argyle

David Argyle


Over 25 years of experience in identifying, developing, financing and managing fertilizer, mining and energy projects in South America, Asia, Africa and Australia. David is Chairman of EarthRenew, co-founder of Brazil Potash Corp. and member of the Forbes & Manhattan Executive Committee.

Jonathan Jones

Jonathan Jones

Professor and Senior Scientist
The Sainsbury Laboratory

Jonathan Jones is a leading researcher in plant/microbe interactions.  He graduated in Botany from Cambridge (1976) and his PhD (1980) on cereal chromosomes was supervised by Dick Flavell at the PBI, Cambridge.  After a postdoc with Fred Ausubel at Harvard 1981-2 on symbiotic nitrogen fixation, he worked at agbiotech company AGS, founded to use GM for crop improvement.  

In 1988, Jones became one of the first recruits at The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, UK. He was elected a Professor at UEA in 1997, to EMBO in 1998, as FRS in 2003, and Foreign Associate of US NAS in 2015.  He has contributed to Royal Society working groups on food security.   His interests include disease resistance genes and protein mechanisms, how pathogens suppress host defences to cause disease, and exploiting knowledge of resistance mechanisms to reduce crop losses to disease.  Jones is a strong advocate of using GM or editing methods to move resistance genes between plant species to increase disease resistance in crops.

Johanna  Ryan

Johanna Ryan

Director of Social Performance
Vision Fund

 VisionFund is one of the world's largest microfinance networks, and is particularly focused on serving rural markets as specialists in agri-finance for smallholder farmers. As Director of Social Performance, Johanna measures and evaluates VisionFund’s products and services, making sure provision is focused to maximise real transformation of communities and individuals.  

With VisionFund since 2009, Johanna has had a wide-ranging career that includes a stint as a tutor at Oxford and university lecturer in Texas and 18 years in global bank operations.

Stephanie Race

Stephanie Race

Crop Performance

Stephanie Race is the CEO of Crop Performance Ltd, an analytics platform for sustainable agriculture. Crop Performance works with growers and food companies to improve productivity, conserve resources, and monitor the environmental impact of food production. Crop Performance analytics forecast crop yields with accuracy in advance of harvest. The data is used to inform in-season yield, water and nutrient status, and pest and disease risk of crops at the field scale. Global food manufacturers benefit from an integrated view of supply to inform sourcing, harvest planning and logistics decisions.

Ms Race has been providing sourcing and risk management solutions for the agriculture, food and beverage industry for over 25 years. One of the early pioneers of IoT, she developed the first product data exchange utilising electronic product codes to delineate location based sourcing via the global trading identification number creating the foundation for provenance in the food and consumer products industry. Ms Race has founded three data and analytics companies in the food and agriculture supply chain, including the first informatics platform to monitor environmental outcomes (soil health, water quality and ghg emissions) of growing vegetables and cereal crops at scale.

Ms Race was a Partner at Accenture, leading the firm’s Enterprise Data Management and Business Analytics Practice for the Food, Retail and Consumer Products industry and gained her corporate technology experience with executive leadership roles in the Product Engineering and Consulting Services organisations of Oracle Corporation and Andersen Consulting. In collaboration with NASA, she has conceived and built solutions using satellite, aircraft and drone based earth observation data to analyse the economics of agriculture, land use, infrastructure and water for the food and beverage industry.

John Ingram

John Ingram

Director, Food Systems Group, Environmental Change Institute
Oxford University

John Ingram leads the Food Systems Group at the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute. His interests are in the conceptual framing of food systems; the interactions among the many actors involved and their varied activities, and the outcomes of their activities for food security, livelihoods and environment; and food system resilience. He has designed and led regional food system research projects in Europe, south Asia, southern Africa and the Caribbean and has conceived, developed and/or led a range of major international research initiatives. He has had substantial interaction with FAO, UN Environment, the CGIAR and many other international organisations, with national departments and agencies, with NGOs, and with businesses in the food sector helping to establish research on the links between food security and environment through the analysis of food systems. In addition to leading the food systems research group within ECI, he also leads the multi-university post-graduate ‘Interdisciplinary Food Systems Teaching and Learning’ programme (IFSTAL) and coordinates the UK Global Food Security programme ‘Resilience of the UK Food System’. He is an Associate Professor in Oxford’s School of Geography and the Environment, and Senior Research Fellow at Somerville College.

Felicia  Marcus

Felicia Marcus

California State Water Resources Control Board

Felicia Marcus is the California State Water Resources Control Board (Board) Chair, appointed by Governor Jerry Brown. Governor.  The Board implements both federal and state laws regarding drinking water and water quality, and it implements the state’s water rights laws. Before her appointment to the Water Board, Marcus served in positions in government, the non-profit world, and the private sector.  In government, Felicia served as the Regional Administrator of the U.S. EPA Region IX in the Clinton Administration where she was known for her work in bringing unlikely allies together for environmental progress on a wide range of issues including urban, agricultural, multi-state, tribal, and US-Mexico border issues. Prior to that, Felicia headed Los Angeles’ Department of Public Works at a time when the City went from garnering lawsuits to garnering national awards for environmental excellence. In the non-profit world, she was the Western Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and was the Executive VP/COO of the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national non-profit devoted to conserving land for people.  She also was a private and non-profit sector attorney in Los Angeles.   She currently serves or has served in the past on many non-profit boards and Advisory Councils including the Public Policy Institute of California Statewide Leadership Council, Sustainable Conservation, USC-Kesten Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy, and the Center for Diversity and the Environment. She is also currently an Obama Administration appointee to the Commission on Environmental Cooperation-Joint Public Advisory Council (US, Mexico, Canada) and was a Schwarzenegger Administration appointee to the Delta Stewardship Council prior to being appointed to the Water Board.

Nick Earlam

Nick Earlam

CEO and Founder
Plexus Cotton Group

Nick Earlam is the CEO and founder of Plexus Cotton Limited, a cotton producer and merchant which he founded in 1990. Today, Plexus turns over more than half a billion dollars annually and through its overseas operations, employs thousands of people worldwide with operations in China, Australia and numerous sub-Saharan African countries. Plexus is the largest cotton producer in Mozambique, the 2nd largest cotton producer in Uganda, and the largest cotton exporter in Nigeria. Mr Earlam has made Plexus a global leader in sustainable business practices through his work with small-scale farmers, and has established Africa’s first (and only the world’s second) vertically integrated supply chain. This innovative “field-to-fashion” practice cuts out abuse and environmental waste in the supply chain. Mr Earlam is a trustee of the Cotton Made in Africa Foundation.

Marie Haga

Marie Haga

Executive Director
The Crop Trust

Marie Haga joined the Crop Trust as Executive Director in March 2013. She had previously been a member and Deputy Chair of the Crop Trust Executive Board. She also currently serves as Board Chair of the Norwegian Peace Research Institute. 

Marie has a background from Foreign Service as a career diplomat, from politics and private sector. She has held various positions, previously serving National Parliament in Norway, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Federation of Norwegian Industries and the Norwegian Air Ambulance.

She has held three Ministerial positions: Minister of Cultural Affairs (1999-2000), Minister of Local Government and Regional Development (2005-2007) and Minister of Petroleum and Energy (2007-2008). 
She has also been on several boards, including the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research and the Industrial Development Corporation of Norway and has published three books – a novel and two on Norwegian politics.

Karl Schneider

Karl Schneider

Farmers Weekly

Karl Schneider is Editor of Farmers Weekly and Editorial director of Proagrica, the global agriculture media, software, data and connectivity business. He is responsible for content across the group, including Farmers Weekly, RBI’s other farming publications and the group’s website

Mr Schneider has been a business journalist for almost 30 years, holding senior roles on some of the UK’s biggest titles including spells as executive editor of New Scientist and editor-in-chief of Computer Weekly.

Before taking up his current role, he was editorial development director of Reed Business Information, responsible for re-engineering the company’s editorial operations to reflect the growing dominance of the Internet and digital content. During that time he worked on several new products for the agriculture sector.

Before he became a journalist he was a research physicist, working on nuclear fusion at the UK Atomic Energy Authority's Culham Laboratory in Oxfordshire.

Shay Eliaz

Shay Eliaz

Monitor Deloitte

Shay Eliaz is a Principal with Monitor Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting’s Strategy practice. He is the Innovation leader for Deloitte’s Manufacturing Practice and advises clients globally, helping them respond to the myriad of complex growth and innovation challenges that face them. He specializes primarily in chemicals and specialty materials companies, but has served clients across the food system. He also served as the Project Advisor for the World Economic Forum’s Future of Food and Agriculture.

Ben Belldegrun

Ben Belldegrun

Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Pontifax AgTech

Ben Belldegrun has over 12 years of agriculture investment and fund management experience. Prior to co-founding Pontifax AgTech, he was the Founding Partner of Lodestone Natural Resources, a natural resources fund where he focused on investing in agriculture equities. Before this he was a Portfolio Manager for Brevan Howard Asset Management’s $300m natural resources fund, achieving a leading track record whilst overseeing investments in its agriculture and commodities portfolio, and a Senior Analyst at Sofaer Natural Resources. Ben holds a BA in Economics from Columbia University and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Ani Charles Bassey-Eyo

Ani Charles Bassey-Eyo

Co-Founder, SEHAI Foods

Mr. Bassey-Eyo is a visionary business leader with expertise in the development and strategic growth of start-up enterprises in the not-for-profit, education, finance, consulting and tech sectors, coupled with an impressive operational background in corporate treasury, change, transformation and project leadership in international tier-one finance environments.

His interest in Agriculture is largely in the Apiculture value chain where through Sehai Foods; honey, beeswax and high value apiculture produce is processed for food and industrial uses both for the local and international market. Mr Bassey-Eyo has been innovative in tackling a largely fragmented value chain though public private partnerships, sustainable practices e.g. linking educations and skills to farming to transform the sector and upscale quality and quantity of output. He will share his experience around how small holder farms can be included in the larger world stage through structured out grower schemes.

Will Wells

Will Wells

Hummingbird Technologies

Will Wells founded Hummingbird in January 2016. He has a first class MA hons degree in English literature from the University of Edinburgh and has 10 years of experience in finance, including M&A and other special advisory roles at Citigroup and Lincoln International. Previously a Partner and analyst at the Highclere global equity fund, and investment director at Math Engine. MBA from INSEAD business school in 2015.

Charles Kirby

Charles Kirby

Dynium Robot

Charles started Dynium Robot to develop autonomous off-road vehicle technology. Autonomous farming has the potential to increase labour productivity and improve yields, whilst reducing consumables and the environmental footprint of farming. The modest scale of UK farming brings high labour costs. As wages rise with the NLW and migrant labour uncertainties intensify, the UK will become a leader in the adoption of agri-robotics.
Based in Oxford, the company has grown to include experts in LiDAR, computer vision, and autonomous robotics, working to ensure that Dynium’s vehicles can operate without reliance on GPS and perform safely around people.
Following a successful Innovate UK project, the company is releasing a pilotless tractor that is both backwards compatible with traditional farm implements as well as providing an open platform for 3rd party robotics tools (dextrous hands, precision sprayers etc).
The tractor can continuously work fields whilst simultaneously collecting data for effective farm decision making. As new harvesting technologies emerge, Dynium’s tractor will enable farmers to automate an increasing variety of farming tasks using one user-friendly platform.

Anna Huyghues Despointes

Anna Huyghues Despointes

Balderton Capital

Prior to joining Balderton Capital, Anna worked with a business angel investing and advising early-stage UK startups. Before moving to London, she spent three years in New York, where she worked as data product analyst at YipitData, building operational skills while growing the data team, and as an associate in the investment team at Global Infrastructure Partners, investing in the energy sector. She started her career in telco M&A at Barclays, working on deals across Europe and the USA.

Anna is also a Co-Founder of Diversity VC, an organisation aiming to create a fairer and more representative venture capital industry.

Anna holds two masters degrees in International Business from HEC and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, and a Bachelor in Management from HEC.

Patrick Schunck

Patrick Schunck


Patrick Schunck is a partner at Deloitte and leads the Consumer Products segment for Deloitte in the Netherlands. Patrick has over 22 years of experience in Business- and IT consulting for clients in Consumer Business, Agri and Manufacturing industry, including Archer Daniels Midland, FrieslandCampina, Cargill, Unilever, Nike, Ahold, Jumbo, Philips, McDonalds, SealedAir, Leaf, Perfetti, Amway, Elizabeth Arden, C&C, VION.

Lead Consumer Products Segment Deloitte NL
Deloitte EMEA Agribusiness Services Leader
Lead Partner Analytics & Information Management Service Line Deloitte NL

Graeme Taylor

Graeme Taylor

Director of Public Affairs

Graeme Taylor is Director of Public Affairs at ECPA responsible for leading the industry's advocacy and communication efforts at a European level. A Politics graduate, he brings 15-years of experience working in public service at a national, international and multilateral level as a: Civil servant for the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Agriculture Attaché at the UK Representation to the EU; a Communication Adviser for the European Commission.


FT Chair (2)

Clive Cookson

Clive Cookson

Science Editor
Financial Times

Clive Cookson is Science Editor at the Financial Times. He joined the newspaper in 1988 as Technology Editor and has also written about the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Previously, he was the science and medical correspondent for BBC Radio. He also spent four years in Washington DC as American Editor of the Times Higher Education Supplement. He has won several science journalism awards and is an honorary member of the British Science Association and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Mr Cookson graduated from Oxford University with a first class honours degree in Chemistry.

Andrew Jack

Andrew Jack

Head of Curated Content
Financial Times

Andrew Jack has worked as a journalist for the Financial Times since 1990. He currently runs the curated content team, which picks the best news and analysis from the FT and the rest of the web. He was previously Deputy Editor of the Analysis section, Pharmaceuticals Correspondent, Moscow Bureau Chief, Paris Correspondent, Financial Correspondent, general reporter and corporate reporter. He is author of the books Inside Putin’s Russia and The French Exception, as well as numerous specialist reports, and has appeared on the BBC and other media outlets.

Agenda - 10th Oct

  • 8:00am
    Registration and networking
  • 9:00am
    Welcome remarks

    Andrew Jack, Head of Curated Content, Financial Times

  • 9:05am
    SUMMIT ADDRESS AND CONVERSATION: The future of agriculture

    Daniel Gustafson, Deputy Director-General (Programmes), Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations 

    In conversation with Andrew Jack, Head of Curated Content, Financial Times

  • 9:30am
    OPENING PANEL: The leaders debate

    Life science companies, food and drink companies, and farmers aim to provide safe, efficient and affordable food. The majority of European consumers, who are generally accustomed to this, can often be unaware of the global challenges and constraints facing stakeholders within the sector on a more worldwide level. With demand for food and protein increasing, how are leaders in the food, agriculture and life science industry harnessing new technologies, new crop production techniques, resource processes and new input solutions to better enhance the supply chain in food and as a result, react more effectively to consumer food trends?

    Giulio Boccaletti, Chief Strategy Officer, The Nature Conservancy
    Marie Haga, Executive Director, The Crop Trust 
    Patrick Schunck, Partner, Deloitte 
    Graeme Taylor, Director of Public Affairs, European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) 

    Moderated by Andrew Jack, Head of Curated Content, Financial Times

  • 10:20am
    Refreshment break
  • 10:50am
    PANEL: Resources for a sustainable future

    Food and drink production markets, to some extent or another, employ over a quarter of the world’s population. Given this fact, these markets have a duty and responsibility to contribute to a resource-sustainable future. Agriculture therefore, needs to contribute to inclusive economic and social development. This in turn will allow the number of economies able to deploy next generation farming technologies and practices, to increase - rapidly improving the efficiency of crops all over the world. But a number of challenges are present, namely long term climate change, that presents a serious threat to resource availability. This panel will examine the best routes to take - examining a range of both natural resources such as water, and human resources such as technologies - in order to avoid resource scarcity in an ever crowded global economy.
    David Argyle, Chairman, EarthRenew 
    David Croft, Global Sustainability Director, Diageo
    Dr John Ingram, Food Systems Programme Leader, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford
    Felicia Marcus, Chair, California State Water Resources Control Board

    Moderated by Andrew Jack, Head of Curated Content, Financial Times

  • 11:35am
    PANEL: Agrifinance - Creating access to technology and production efficiency

    A key challenge for farmers worldwide, is gaining access to finance that will allow them to enhance their crop production and harness next generation ag-technologies. Given the contribution that the agriculture industry gives to worldwide employment, as well as the reliance it has on feeding a rapidly growing population, investment in farming is crucial. This panel will examine the best routes to access and the challenges that need overcoming, when trying to offer successful and sustainable finance solutions to farmers.

    Ben Belldegrun, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Pontifax AgTech
    Johanna Ryan, Director of Social Performance, Vision Fund
    Anna Huyghues Despointes, Associate, Balderton Capital

    Moderated by Andrew Jack, Head of Curated Content, Financial Times

  • 12:20pm
    The consumer perspective on the future of agriculture

    It is nothing new to say that consumer behaviours and trends have profound impact on the development of food and drink products. From issues surrounding genetically modified crops to organic food, and from fair trade certified products to nutrient enhanced ones, consumers are becoming more particular about the food they purchase and consume. It is important therefore to take these trends into consideration when assessing the potential of agri-based innovation. Do we know that further enhancing crops and nutrients will sit right with the consumer? How can we be sure that their trends will align with the development of technology? If not, what can be done?  

    Scene-setting talk from Shay Eliaz, Innovation Leader, Manufacturing Practice, Deloitte 

    Followed by discussion with:

    Martial Genthon, President, Global Head of Manufacturing, OLAM
    Nick Earlam, CEO and Founder, Plexus Cotton Group

    Moderated by

    Shay Eliaz, Innovation Leader, Manufacturing Practice, Deloitte 

  • 1:00pm
  • 2:10pm

    Don J. Cameron, Vice President & General Manager, Terranova Ranch, US
    & Member of the Californian State Board of Food and Agriculture

    In conversation with Clive Cookson, Science Editor, Financial Times

  • 2:40pm
    PANEL: Bringing food biotechnology and crop protection to market

    Advances in crop production and food biotechnology are continuously being developed. These solutions are showing great promise in enhancing both efficiency and safety in food, but what are the challenges preventing these solutions from successfully being brought to market? What financial tools need to be built, and what investment platforms need to be in place in order for these advancements to be implemented on a market-wide scale? An expert panel of life science and biotechnology investors discuss the key challenges and opportunities they currently face.

    Pekka Pesonen, Secretary General, COPA-COGECA
    Alexandre Zanghellini, Co-founder & CEO, Arzeda
    Jonathan Jones, Professor and Senior Scientist, The Sainsbury's Laboratory
    Moderated by Clive Cookson, Science Editor, Financial Times

  • 3:20pm
    PANEL: Innovation and competitiveness on the world stage

    How can the life science and food sector better promote competitiveness in light of growing M&A activity and monopolisation? The negative impact this activity can bring on competitive innovation has the potential to halt the progress of ‘smart farming’, and the uptake of its technologies on a global scale. This panel assesses this crucial trend and who needs to take action on market competition, as well as better promote inclusion throughout the supply chain when it comes to investment and development in innovation.

    Kate Pressland, Project and Research Manager, Innovative Farmers, Soil Association
    Ani Charles Bassey-Eyo, CEO LANI Group; Co-Founder, Sehai Foods
    Emile Frison, Chair, International Scientific Committee, Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation 

    Moderated by Clive Cookson, Science Editor, Financial Times

  • 4:00pm
    Refreshment break
  • 4:20pm
    Next generation farming

    Offering sustainable crop protection solutions is a core aim of the agriculture industry. In order to make farming intelligent and sustainable, the resources being used need to be efficient, productive and also contribute to a robust natural environment. For farming to be precise and economically successful, producers have to think about cost efficiency and weather. The tools to achieve all these targets have been developed – and are continuing to be - but does a large enough percentage of farmers have sufficient access to them? This panel will assess the opportunities of these tools, including farm management practices, data analytics for soil-mapping and weather patterns, fertilizer applications and the latest agricultural machine-learning devices.

    Katie Hoard, Global Director of Agricultural Innovation, AB InBev
    Stephanie Race, CEO, Crop Performance 
    Karl Schneider, Editor, Farmers Weekly

    Moderated by Clive Cookson, Science Editor, Financial Times 

  • 5:00pm
    Smart farming showcase

    An up-to-the-minute view of the digital disruptors that are pushing the boundaries of technology within agriculture, weather management and crop production

    17.00 - Showcase One - Will Wells, CEO, Hummingbird Tech

    17.10 - Showcase Two -Philip Briscoe, COO, Rezatec

    17.20 - Showcase Three - Charles Kirby, CEO, Dynium Robot

    Hosted by Clive Cookson, Science Editor, Financial Times

  • 5:20pm
    Closing remarks
  • 5:30pm
    Networking drinks reception

Who attends?

FT Live has a reputation for delivering very senior board level audiences to attend a wide range of world class thought-leadership events across the globe.

The FT Future of Agriculture Summit will be attended by:

  • C-Suite, VP and Directors
  • Director Generals, Secretary Generals
  • Heads of Agriculture
  • Senior Policy Officers, Head of Policy
  • Fund Managers, Investment Managers
  • Heads of Sustainability 
  • Market Risk Analysts
  • Traders

From the following industry stakeholders:

  • Agribusinesses
  • Governments
  • Trading houses
  • NGOs
  • Investment services
  • Food companies
  • Agri-technology companies
  • Bio and life science companies 

With the Support of (1)

Deloitte is a leading global provider of audit and assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and related services. Our network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories serves four out of five Fortune Global 500®companies. Learn how Deloitte’s approximately 264,000 people make an impact that matters at

Deloitte works with the world’s leading food and agriculture/agribusiness companies, at all stages of the value chain from farm to fork. We work extensively with input providers such as fertiliser manufacturers, chemical companies and providers of seeds and micro-nutrients; and recognize the vital intersection between the chemicals and food sectors. At the other end of the value chain, Deloitte works with food product manufacturers, beverage manufacturers and the largest retailers. Among the Fortune Global 500 companies, we serve:

  • 22 of the 27 consumer products companies
  • 18 of the 27 chemicals and specialty materials companies
  • 31 of the 40 retail, wholesale and distribution companies

© 2018. For information, contact Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

Lead Sponsor (1)

EarthRenew is a Canadian company that produces high value concentrated organic fertilizer from animal manure, providing an environmentally friendly waste management solution for high intensity livestock farming.  These high intensity livestock operations are under significant regulatory and consumer pressure to find viable approaches to managing their manure streams.

EarthRenew has a commercial facility located on a cattle feedlot in Strathmore, Alberta and an agreement to distribute its product in Canada and the US through its offtake partner SunCountry Farms.

The unique EarthRenew conversion process capitalizes on the high temperature exhaust from an on-site natural gas-fired turbine for the thermal processing of fresh manure. 

EarthRenew’s concentrated organic granular fertilizer efficiently improves soils, removes pathogens, pharmaceutical residue and weeds from manure while enhancing nutrient uptake. The granular product is the ideal fertilizer for use in market gardens to grow fruits and berries, leafy greens, vegetables, commercial marijuana cultivation and turf growth. EarthRenew’s organic fertilizer product is also highly suitable for areas with chemical fertilizer bans or restrictions.

EarthRenew has multiple revenue streams, which include: organic fertilizer sales, tipping fees, sales of excess electricity to the municipal grid and carbon credits. 

Presented by (1)

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of one million, three-quarters of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.

Supporting Partners (2)

Proagrica is the global agriculture media, software, data and connectivity business committed to understanding and solving our customer’s problems through a range of solutions across the agricultural supply chain.

Our business draws on the unparalleled agriculture heritage that our flagship media brands Farmers Weekly and Boerderij have, as well as the latest in the integration and connectivity capabilities that F4F and DBT offers across the supply chain. We’re known for our industry leading farm management software Farmplan and GateKeeper, but with an increasing need for actionable insight from data and analytics, we have been developing new products in this area under our Agility brand.

WssTP is the recognized voice and promotor of water-related RTD and innovation in Europe. WssTP strives to increase coordination and collaboration, to enhance the performance of the water service providers, water users, and technology providers, in a sustainable and inclusive way and to contribute to solving societal challenges through RTD&I. With 187 members across Europe on board, WssTP is recognised by the European Commission as the industry-led European Technology Platform(ETP) for Water.


Ticket Type


Early Booking Rate (ends 31 July)

£749 +VAT

Standard Summit Ticket

£849 +VAT



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London W1K 2HP

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7629 9400



We look forward to seeing you at FT Future of Agriculture Summit on October 10, 2017. We have put together a unique HotelMap that shows our hotel deals at nearby hotels. To view click here


Contact us

Daniel Wood
Sponsorship Opportunities
Financial Times
Michaela Ridgway
Speaking Opportunities
Financial Times
Funmbi Adenubi
Delegate Booking and Registration Enquiries
Financial Times
Abigail Lewis
Project Manager - Strategic Solutions
Financial Times