On April 23, IFOAM – Organics International in collaboration with the Global Landscapes Forum(link is external), will host a digital forum exploring the role of smallholder farmers as the trend toward lab-grown food attempts to address the shortcomings of how we currently produce and consume food. Translation will be provided in French and Spanish.
Difficult times like these mean navigating new ways to communicate with each other and find solutions to global challenges. We have to rethink how we do a lot of things, from buying food to how we shape our food systems, particularly as the trend toward lab-grown food continues.
The digital forum aims to answer two main questions:
Food without farmers?
The recent IPCC report showed that our food systems are estimated to cause up to 29% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. This is due to unsustainable crop and livestock production as well as deforestation. Estimates show that agriculture is responsible for 80% of deforestation worldwide. The world is on the cusp of a new technological era, meaning most of our food could stem from unicellular life in the lab, and not from farms.
Participants in this digital event will explore topics related to sustainable food systems, incentification for farmers, reducing the impact of unsustainable agriculture on biodiversity and livelihoods, how to equip farmers with the skills and knowledge they want and need, and much more.
Let’s talk about food and farming, virtually!
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts,
Dr. Walter Willett is Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. He served as Chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health for 25 years.Dr. Willett has published over 1,900 articles, primarily on lifestyle risk factors for heart disease and cancer, and has written the textbook, Nutritional Epidemiology, published by Oxford University Press. He also has four books for the general public, Eat, Drink and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating, just recently revised and released, Eat, Drink, and Weigh Less, co-authored with Mollie Katzen, The Fertility Diet, co-authored with Jorge Chavarro and Pat Skerrett and Thinfluence, co-authored with Malissa Wood and Dan Childs. Dr. Willett is among the top three most cited persons in all areas of science. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the recipient of many national and international awards for his research.
Coordinator, Indigenous Women and Peoples Association of Chad, Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee
Environmental activist and member of Chad’s pastoralist Mbororo community, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim began advocating for Indigenous rights and environmental protection at age 16, founding the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT) to introduce new income revenue activities for women and collaborative tools such as 3D participatory mapping to build sustainable ecosystems management and reduction of nature-based resource conflicts. Her vision is to grow support for both traditional knowledge and science to improve resilience to climate change especially for rural communities.She is a member of the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee and served as co-chair of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change during the historic UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris. She is dedicated to the protection of all Indigenous peoples, from the Congo to the Arctic, and the value of their knowledge in the fight against climate change. She advances environmental protection for Indigenous peoples by participating in international policy dialogues held around the three Rio Conventions; Climate Change (UNFCCC), Biodiversity (CBD), and Desertification (UNCCD) pressuring governments to recognize land rights of Indigenous peoples and advance their solutions for climate adaptation and mitigation. Ibrahim’s work with indigenous communities at the local and global level has achieved recognition and support including, the Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award, Hindou’s TED talk on how Indigenous knowledge meets science to solve climate change, appointment as a UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate, Daniel Mitterrand Prize, Lui-Walton Conservation International Senior Indigenous Fellow and National Geographic Explorer.
President and Founder, Kamut International
Bob Quinn was raised on wheat and cattle ranch in Montana (USA) which he still manages today. He has a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree in plant pathology from Montana State University in Bozeman. He received a PhD in plant biochemistry at the University of California. In 1983 Bob started Montana Flour & Grains, Inc. (MFG). In 1986 he introduced an ancient khorasan grain similar to durum wheat to the natural food industry. This grain was marketed under his own brand name, Kamut. The Kamut trademark guaranteed customers that that grain had been grown organically and not mixed with any other grain. Today over 4500 different Kamut brand products are being marketed throughout the world providing a new crop for over 250 organic farmers in Montana, Alberta and Saskatchewan and new opportunities for many more people to enjoy organic food. Bob is a member of the Montana Grain Growers and the Montana Farm Bureau (FB). He is a past president of the Chouteau County FB and has served on the American FB’s Wheat Committee and Grain Quality Committee. He is also an active member of Alternative Energy Resource Organization (AERO) in Montana and received AERO’s Sustainable Ag Award in 1988. In 1993, he was named as one of Montana State University’s 100 outstanding alumni from their first hundred years. Bob has been active in promoting regenerative organic agriculture throughout the state, the nation and the world. He helped form Montana’s first Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) chapter in 1987 and served as its first president. He was the chair of OCIA International’s Internal Review Committee in 1989 and serve as the Board of Directors of OCIA International as a national officer form 1989-91. In 1991, he received OCIA International’s outstanding member award. He served as a charter member on the first USDA National Organic Standards Board from 1992 to 1995. He has also served on a USDA agricultural research advisory committee as well as two of his congressman’s ag advisory committees. He served on the Montana Department of Agriculture’s first organic certification advisory board. In 2007 he received a lifetime of service award from the Montana Organic Association. He has also been a member of the Organic Trade Association (OTA) since 1987 and is also a member of OTA’s farm advisory committee (FAC). In 2010, Bob received OTA’s National Organic Leadership award. He has served on the board of directors for OTA’s research foundation, The Organic Center, and was the chair of their science committee for a time. In the fall of 2013, he received the national Organic Pioneer Award from the Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania. In 2016, he received New Hope’s Hall of Legends award. He has been a long-time member of IFOAM-Organics International and helped to form the IFOAM North American Regional Body in 2015-16. Bob was elected to IFOAM-NA’s first Broad of Directors.
President and CEO, Millennium Institute
Hans Herren is an internationally recognised scientist who lived and worked for 27 years across Africa in agriculture, health, and environmental research and capacity development. As Director of the Africa Biological Control Center of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria, he conceived and implemented the highly successful biological control program against the cassava mealy bug and the green mite that saved the cassava crop, the staple of 200 million Africans and averted Africa’s worst-ever food crisis. For this achievement, he was the first Swiss to receive the World Food Prize in 1995. Hans advocates for holistic and multi-stakeholder approaches to development planning that take cognizance of the three dimensions of sustainability, and result from a shared vision of sustainability by all the key actors. Hans holds numerous awards that recognize his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research and advocacy. These include the Right Livelihood Award, Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, Brandenberger Preis, and the Kilby Award. Hans earned his PhD at the Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, and completed post-doctoral research at University of California, Berkeley. He is also the founder of Biovision Foundation, Switzerland. He elected to the World Board of IFOAM -Organics International in 2019 and became a member of the World Future Council in 2018.
Exective Director, Timbaktu Collective
CK ‘Bablu’ Ganguly is a development activist, social entrepreneur and change-maker with 40 years of experience working with marginalized and rural populations in the Anantapuramu and Chittoor districts of Andhra Pradesh. As the Chief Functionary and Executive Director of the Collective, Bablu provides overall leadership to the organisation and directs its efforts to promote several producer-owned rural business enterprises. Besides his work with the Collective, Bablu is a member of the World Board of IFOAM – Organics International, the international umbrella organisation of the organic world.Bablu worked with the Young India Project (YIP) from 1978 to 1990, where he was a Community Organiser, Project Director, and Chairperson (1984 to 1990). While at YIP, he co-founded the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Agricultural Labourers’ Unions. Bablu is a Commerce graduate from Bangalore University. He is an Ashoka Fellow from 1993 and is co-recipient of “Couple of the Year – 2005” award conferred by the WEEK Magazine and the “One World Award – 2014” conferred by Rapunzel Naturkost, Germany’s leading organic food company, and IFOAM-Organics International.
Executive Director, IFOAM – Organics International
Louise Luttikholt is the Executive Director of IFOAM Organics International from 2018.Raised on a small family farm in the Netherlands, Louise has studied biology and philosophy at the Utrecht University and has extensive experience in organic agriculture, fair trade and international development cooperation. Her career has included work for Fairtrade International and the Swiss development organization Helvetas.
Founder, Farm Connect
Laureene is a graduate of Lancaster University 6* Management School (UK), with a BA (Hons.) in Organizations, Work and Technology (OWT) and Master’s degree in Human Resources and Knowledge Management. With more than 5years work experience, she has lived and worked in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.Her areas of expertise include; Agricultural markets and value chain analysis; Agricultural and rural development programs/projects monitoring/ impact evaluation; Management of Knowledge and Innovation; Management of innovation in organizations and cooperatives; Organizational knowledge creation; Capacity of agro ecology to improve labour conditions and sustainable livelihoods; Gender Inclusive practices in value chain innovation platforms.Laureene is the founder of Farm Connect, a collective effort of urban farmers to grow and sell together through a subscription based CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Individuals can sign up for weekly and montly deliveries of fresh fruits and vegetables sourced from urban gardens and other smallholder farmers within a 45km radius of Kampala City. Currently working with 50 farmers growing fresh vegetables, herbs, pineapples, pawpaws, bananas,) and african indigenous vegetables. We envision this number growing to 200 by the end of the year through the “”community horticulture initiative”” and “”Gardens for Schools”” scheme where we are setting up green houses in communities and gardens in schools to meet the demand from urban vendors and build communities’ nutrition capacities.
Konrad Hauptfleisch, is Head of Capacity Development at IFOAM – Organics International and has managed the Organic Academy since 2012. Konrad has conducted training and leadership courses in over 50 countries on 4 continents and is an expert in organic capacity building. He has over 20 years of experience in management, facilitation, training and grassroots sector development.
Vice President, IFOAM- Organics International & Manager of Programming Performance and Systems, Land Resources Division Pacific Community
Karen Mapusua is Vice President of IFOAM Organics International and works for the Pacific Community in agricultural development, based in Fiji and serving 22 Pacific Island states. She has a background in NGO capacity building and management and has worked in rural development in the Pacific islands region for close to 20 years with a focus on organic agriculture as a path to social and economic development.She co-founded the Pacific Organic & Ethical Trade Community (POETCom), and was extensively involved in developing the Pacific Organic Guarantee Scheme and developing alternative forms of certification that empower farmers.She has also served as a member the Board of Directors of Fairtrade Australia New Zealand, and is a national of Samoa and Australia.
Regional Coordinator, Africa UN group
Mr. Kaluki Paul Mutuku is a Kenyan based young climate advocate and an environmental defender, working to champion for meaningful youth engagement for Climate action.He is the Founder of Green Treasures Farms, an initiative that works with women & youth in rural Kenya to Intensify Environmental Sustainability and livelihoods through Organic Farming, Tree growing, Water harvesting, Environmental education & Biodiversity Conservation. He previously worked with A Rocha Kenya, a faith based conservation organization, as an Environmental Education Officer, training farmers, students and community on Organic/ ecological Farming, Biodiversity conservation and the UN Global Goals.Currently, he is the regional coordinator for the Africa UN group, working with Youth4Nature, a global youth-led organization mobilizing youth for Nature-Based solutions. His key focus for Africa is on land restoration, reforestation, ecological farming and youth leadership across the spaces.
Julia Lernoud worked as a Data and Information Manager of the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) until 2019. Here, she worked on the collection of organic market data worldwide and the production of the annual report “The World of Organic Agriculture”. She also collected key market data on Voluntary Sustainability Standards worldwide for FiBL, and produced the “The State of Sustainable Markets” report in partnership with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the State of Sustainability Initiatives (SSI). She grew up in her family’s organic farm and worked for six years at the family company, El Rincón Orgánico, an organic retailer, exporter and restaurant. Over the years, Julia did several internships in different organic organizations in Latin America and Europe. She was elected to the World Board of IFOAM – Organics International in 2017.
Consultant, author and small farmer
Gunnar Rundgren has worked with most parts of the organic farmer sector – from farming to policy – since 1977. For many years he worked as a consultant for several United Nations agencies and development cooperation organizations including Sida and the World Bank. He became a World Board member of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements 1998 and was the president 2000-2005. He has published several books (translated to five languages) about the major social and environmental challenges of our world, food and farming. Rundgren was awarded an honorary doctorate in science at the Uganda Martyrs University 2009, and was 2010 appointed member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry. He has a small farm with vegetables, fruits, nuts and cattle.
George Monbiot is an author, Guardian columnist and environmental campaigner. His best-selling books include Feral: Rewilding the land, sea and human life and Heat: how to stop the planet burning; his latest is Out of the Wreckage: a new politics for an age of crisis. George cowrote the concept album Breaking the Spell of Loneliness with musician Ewan McLennan; and has made a number of viral videos. One of them, adapted from his 2013 TED talk, How Wolves Change Rivers, has been viewed on YouTube over 40m times. Another, on Natural Climate Solutions, that he co-presented with Greta Thunberg, has been watched over 50m times.
Dr. Minang leads the Landscapes Governance theme and is the Global Coordinator of the ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). He also leads the Landscapes Flagship of Forests Trees and Agroforestry Research programs of the CGIAR. He has more than 20 years- experience working on climate change, forestry and landscapes in Africa, Latin America and Asia. His current research interests include the nexus between adaptation and mitigation to climate change and the interface between environmental services, development and multifunctionality in Tree Commodity Landscapes. Dr. Minang recently led the publication of Climate-Smart Landscapes: Multifunctionality in Practice.