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Food Loss and Waste – Can we end it by 2030 while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic?

Johan Swinnen, Mogens Jensen, Stephen Censky, Anna-Karin Modin-Edman, Denise Osterhues, Darci Vetter, Craig Hanson, Rob Vos, Rajul Pandya-Lorch (moderator)
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Hosted by:
International Food Policy Research Institute
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About the webinar
Session will discuss whether, as a global community, we can or will end food loss and waste while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 has significantly disrupted the food chain and with just ten years to go before the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG 2030) is to be met, eliminating food loss and waste is increasingly urgent.

Building on the 2019 inaugural event Reducing Food Loss and Waste – Making it Personal, this special session will discuss whether, as a global community, we can or will end food loss and waste while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

This webinar is co-organized by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Champions 12.3, Embassy of Denmark in Washington, DC, and World Resources Institute (WRI).

Focus Region:
Focus Topic:
Agricultural Value Chains / Agri-Businesses
Nutrition / Food Systems
Land / Water / Resource Management
About the speakers

Johan Swinnen

Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Johan Swinnen became director general of IFPRI in January 2020. Prior to joining IFPRI, Dr. Swinnen was professor of economics and director of the LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance at KU Leuven (Belgium) and senior research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels.

Dr. Swinnen was a lead economist at the World Bank from 2003 to 2004 and economic adviser to the European Commission from 1998 to 2001. Over the course of his career, Dr. Swinnen has been a visiting professor at various universities, including at Stanford University’s Center on Food Security and the Environment, and a frequent adviser to institutions such as the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Dr. Swinnen earned his PhD from Cornell University (USA) and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Göttingen (Germany) and the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra (Slovakia). He is a fellow of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association and the European Association of Agricultural Economists, and he served as president of the International Association of Agricultural Economists from 2012 to 2015.

Dr. Swinnen has published extensively on agricultural and food policies, international development, political economy, institutional reforms, trade, and global value chains, and his body of work has been widely cited. His books include The Political Economy of Agricultural and Food Policies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018); Quality Standards, Value Chains and International Development (Cambridge University Press, 2015); Political Power and Economic Policy: Theory and Empirical Applications (Cambridge University Press, 2011); and From Marx and Mao to the Market: The Economics and Politics of Agricultural Transition (Oxford University Press, 2006).

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Mogens Jensen

Minister for Food, Fisheries and Equal Opportunities & Minister for Nordic Cooperation, Government of Denmark

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Stephen Censky

Mr. Censky is the Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He was sworn-in on October 11, 2017 after being unanimously confirmed by the Senate. Mr. Censky previously served for the past 21 years as CEO of the American Soybean Association, a national, not-for-profit trade association that represents United States soybean farmers on policy and trade. Mr. Censky began his career working as a legislative assistant for Senator Jim Abdnor (R-SD). Later he served in both the Reagan and George H. W. Bush Administrations at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, eventually serving as Administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service where he was involved in running our nation’s export programs. Mr. Censky received his B.S. in Agriculture from South Dakota State University and his Postgraduate Diploma in Agriculture Science from the University of Melbourne, Australia. He grew up on a soybean, corn, and diversified livestock farm near Jackson, Minnesota. He and his wife Carmen have two daughters.

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Anna-Karin Modin-Edman

Senior Sustainability Manager, Arla Foods

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Denise Osterhues

Senior Director, Corporate Affairs, The Kroger Company

Denise leads Kroger’s sustainability, philanthropy and community engagement efforts as part of the company’s Corporate Affairs team. Her responsibilities include leading and promoting positive change through Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact plan, the company’s commitment to end hunger in its communities and eliminate waste by 2025. This includes shaping plans for The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation and the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Innovation Fund, which aims to find and fund new solutions to the complex issues of food insecurity and food waste in the U.S. Denise joined Kroger in 2008 in Cincinnati. Before Kroger, she served in public affairs, community development and social responsibility roles at First Union National Bank in Charlotte, N.C., and Dow Chemical in Midland, Mich.

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Darci Vetter

Ambassador Darci Vetter is general manager for public affairs and vice chair for food, agriculture and trade at Edelman, where she supports clients in the commodities, supply chain, agribusiness and global trade arenas. She recently served as a diplomat in residence at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, where she is working to launch the Yeutter Institute in International Trade and Finance. From 2014-2017, Ambassador Vetter served as chief agricultural negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative a Senate-confirmed Presidential Appointment with the rank of ambassador. In this role, she was responsible for bilateral and multilateral negotiations, including the Trans Pacific Partnership agricultural package, and significant bilateral negotiations with Japan, China, Brazil and other countries. Ms. Vetter was the deputy under secretary of agriculture from 2010-2014, where she oversaw the Foreign Agricultural Service, led the department’s international trade negotiating team, directed USDA’s export assistance programs, and coordinated USDA’s role in international food aid and trade capacity building.

Ambassador Vetter is a member of the board of directors of the Neogen Corporation and the Farm Foundation. She received her Master of Public Affairs degree and a Certificate in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton, and her undergraduate degree from Drake University in Des Moines. She grew up in Nebraska on a family farm, and lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two small children.

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Craig Hanson

Craig Hanson is the Vice President of Food, Forests, Water & the Ocean at World Resources Institute. In this role, he guides programmatic strategy, catalyzes projects, and ensures a focus on results, financial development, and strong staff capacity. Craig has co-developed a number of leading initiatives, including Global Forest Watch, the Global Restoration Initiative, the Forest Legality Alliance, the Food Loss and Waste ProtocolChampions 12.3, the Better Buying LabResource Watch, the Food and Land Use CoalitionCities4Forests and the Ocean initiative. He is a co-author of the current World Resources ReportCreating a Sustainable Food Future, and lead author on publications such as The Restoration Diagnostic and the Corporate Ecosystem Services Review.

Previously at WRI, Craig managed the Green Power Market Development Group, a coalition of a dozen Fortune 500 companies that helped pioneer corporate energy markets in the United States.  This initiative won a U.S. EPA Innovation Award in 2004.

Craig spent five years as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. Craig holds a Master’s in Environmental Change & Management from Oxford University. While at Oxford, he also earned a Master’s degree in Philosophy, Politics, & Economics with an emphasis on environmental economics while on a Rhodes Scholarship.

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Rob Vos

Director of Markets, Trade and Institutions Division

Rob Vos, a national of the Netherlands, holds a Ph.D. and an M.Sc. with honors in Economics from the Free University of Amsterdam, Netherlands. He is Director of the Markets, Trade, and Institutions Division (MTID) at IFPRI since September 2017. Previously, he was Director of Agricultural Development Economics at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), responsible for economic analysis and policy support for sustainable agricultural development and food security. In that capacity, he was responsible for FAO’s flagship publications the ‘State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI)’ and the ‘State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA).’ Since joining FAO in 2013, he has also served as director for social protection, rural employment, and gender equality and as coordinator of FAO’s strategic program for rural poverty reduction.

Prior to his appointment to FAO, Rob was the Director of Development Policy and Analysis in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), New York. In that capacity he was responsible for the UN flagship publications “World Economic Situation and Prospects” and the “World Economic and Social Survey”. He also served as Secretary of the UN Committee for Development Policy and coordinated the Secretary-General’s Millennium Development Goals’ Gap Task Force as well as the UN Task Team for the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda.

Rob was also Professor of Finance and Development at the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University, where he still holds an honorary professorship.

In addition, Rob has extensive academic and advisory work experience covering a broad range of development issues, including trade policy, inequality and poverty; financing for development; poverty and social policy analysis; and macroeconomic and general equilibrium modeling for development policy. His most recent book publications include Climate Protection and Development (with Frank Ackerman and Richard Kozul-Wright; Bloomsbury Academic, 2012), Retooling Global Economic Governance (with Manuel F. Montes, Bloomsbury Academic 2013), Financing Human Development (with Marco Sánchez, Bloomsbury Academic 2014), and Development Strategies for the Post-2015 Era (with J.A. Alonso and G. A. Cornia, Bloomsbury Academic 2014) and Technology Change for Sustainable Development (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016).

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Rajul Pandya-Lorch (moderator)

Director, Communications and Public Affairs & Chief of Staff, Director General’s Office, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 

Rajul Pandya-Lorch, a Kenyan citizen of Indian origin, was appointed Director of Communications and Public Affairs in September 2017.  She concurrently serves as Chief of Staff in the Director General’s Office since 2005.

From 1998 to 2017, Rajul served as head of IFPRI’s 2020 Vision for Food, Agriculture, and the Environment Initiative, a global initiative that seeks to identify solutions for meeting world food needs while reducing poverty and protecting the environment. She has facilitated five major international conferences on (1) “Building Resilience for Food and Nutrition Security,” in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on May 15-17, 2014; (2) “Leveraging Agriculture for Improving Nutrition and Health,” in New Delhi, India, on February 10-12, 2011; (3)“Taking Action for the World’s Poor and Hungry People,” in Beijing, China, on October 17-19, 2007; (4) “Assuring Food and Nutrition Security in Africa by 2020”, in Kampala, Uganda on April 1-3, 2004; and (5) “Sustainable Food Security for All by 2020,” in Bonn, Germany on September 4-6, 2001. Other major projects she has led include “Millions Fed: Proven Successes in Agricultural Development” that documents evidence on policies, programs, and investments in agricultural development that have significantly reduced hunger.

In recognition of her achievements, the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) presented Rajul and David Spielman with its 2010 Quality of Communication Award for their work on Millions Fed: Proven Successes in Agricultural Development. She has also received the American Agricultural Economics Association’s 2002 award for Distinguished Policy Contribution, along with Per Pinstrup-Andersen and Mark Rosegrant. Rajul earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wellesley College and a master’s degree in public and international affairs from Princeton University.

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