Global Agro-Industry Collaboration Driving Sustainable Food And Water Production

CropWorld Global 2013, the annual agricultural industry event run by UBM Live, has announced the formation of its Steering & Advisory Committee, which will seek to meet the challenges of working toward a sustainable agricultural production cycle – with initiatives across supply chain, crop protection, water and irrigation and other concerns that are seen as crucial to reducing waste and increasing productivity.

Members of the high level panel will be set the ambitious goals of identifying new ways to sustainably feed the world’s growing population. Featuring a mixture of prominent government and agency representatives, the Committee includes European MP Robert Sturdy; the British Crop Protection Council’s Dr. Colin Roscoe; and Dr. Julian Smith, the Food and Environment Research Agency’s (FERA) sector leader in international development and food and supply chain.

The panel’s raison d’etre will see it harness the combined powers of industry and international agencies for a collaborative approach to the world’s pressing agricultural supply chain issues. “The forum it provides for the exchange of ideas greatly contributes to all of our efforts in finding solutions to the challenges facing global agriculture and food production,” said Committee member Pam Marrone, who is the founder and CEO of Marrone Bio Innovations.

Last month, CropWorld Global announced the launch of its “planting the seeds of innovation” campaign designed to champion decreased wastage in the supply chain and increased production yields. In support of this, the internationally recognized Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) has sent its expert to join the steering committee – Dr. Philippa David, Food supply chain and Senior Business Development Consultant.

“With the drivers of climate adaptation, increasing population and personal food choice, we increasingly need to value food as a one-world resource. For instance, the UK, although a developed country, is increasingly dependent on overseas food sources, notably of developing nations and we must address how we meet this challenge, notwithstanding the imperative to address food insecurity and poverty within developing nations,” commented committee member Dr. Julian Smith of FERA.

The Committee is represented by some of the world’s biggest agricultural companies who will lend their weight to increasing innovation across the globe. Together with the European MP, FERA, Marrone Bio Innovations and the BCPC, other members include:

  • Dr. David Nicolson, Head of Global R&D and Member of the Executive Committee, Bayer CropScience.
  • Dr. Maximilian Safarpour, Director Global Regulatory and Government Affairs, BASF.
  • David McPherson, Head of Chemistry and Field Trials, Charles River (CRO).
  • Graham Redman, Partner, The Anderson Centre.
  • Sam Haider, VP of international Sales, Lindsay Irrigation.
  • Dr. Ernesto Brovelli, Senior Manager, Sustainable Agriculture Environment and Water Resources, Coca-Cola.

Dr. Smith added: “FERA’s attendance on the CropWorld Global steering committee is core to our aspiration to contribute to our fullest role in these UK and global challenges through positioning FERA’s research and knowhow at the centre of the debate, together with industry and government. For example, in the development of a next generation of technologies, alongside, and in support of, policies that provide clear incentives to food chain stakeholders to work collectively towards evermore sustainable practices. To this end, the steering committee, through the participation of the major global agro-industry partners, provides a unique space to identify new ways of thinking and working towards collective and concerted change. To pull out just one thread of the debate, would be to identify the need to bring investment from the private sector back into research in the areas of biotechnology.  This not only relates to the use of genetic engineering, but also with respect to bio-pesticides and synthetic chemistries that may serve as a next generation of crop protectants – crucial to increasing prospective yields.”

Pam Marrone echoed his thoughts, commenting “serving on the CropWorld Global committee is tremendously valuable to Marrone Bio Innovations. It provides a unique opportunity to share and discuss research and product development advances with the truly forward-thinking companies and leaders in our industry.”

CropWorld Global’s Steering & Advisory Committee is now finalizing the event’s key themes and has identified “decreasing the yield gap,” “increasing supply,” “developing sustainable crops,” “reducing water and waste issues,” and implementing a “responsible supply chain” as the areas it wishes to address.

Terri D’Elia, Exhibition Director at CropWorld Global, added: “We are delighted that the world’s biggest thought leaders in agricultural and water have joined the CropWorld Steering & Advisory Committee. We now have a tremendous opportunity to help work towards providing safe, sustainable and adequate amounts of food globally. Over the next 10-years, food is forecast to become 30% more expensive, with the worldwide demand requiring production to rise 50% by 2030 – it is one of the greatest challenges to international food producers, scientists and governments today and I strongly believe we can help work towards meeting these increasing international pressures.”

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