Events and insight for sustainability

How business can make smallholder supply chains resilient

How business can make smallholder supply chains resilient

Practical ways to use the Sustainable Development Goals

13th-14th March 2018, London

The third in our smallholder series, this two-day conference will assess how business can connect the all-encompassing SDGs to their smallholder supply chains – and the business case for doing so.

Each agenda session will focus around specific goals, to avoid the overwhelming nature of the SDGs. By drilling down to the targets, discussion will maintain focus on clear, tangible outcomes and ensure business delegates receive as much practical insight as possible.

Some of the core themes include:

  • The business case: Is there a business case for pursuing the SDGs, and if there is, what is it?
  • How do you connect the SDGs with smallholder supply chains? The practical steps business can take to align company strategy and practices with the SDGs
  • The future of smallholder farming: The need to progress past subsistence level farming and support farmers’ entrepreneurial development
  • Market access and long-term stability for smallholders: Improved access to markets can help smallholders build their assets and incomes, so how can business help?
  • Farmer co-operatives: Improving farmer co-operatives for increased transparency, integrity, scale and the SDGs

We'll also look in-depth into specific goals, including:  

  • Goal 2.A: Farmer access to finance and funding Why is it so hard for smallholders to gain access to finance and funding, and how can business can make it easier for them?
  • Goal 2.4: The consequences of climate change Building farmer resilience to unpredictable weather patterns and droughts to ensure food security
  • Goal 5: Gender equality within smallholder farming How can business correct the severe inequalities between male and female farmers?
  • Goal 8.8: Working conditions and human rights on smallholder farms What can business do to ensure the farmers in their supply chains have a decent working conditions?
  • Goal 12.3: Reducing food waste at farm level Best farm management practices, technology and other solutions to reduce and eliminate food waste at the farm level.

You can see the timed program here. 

Speakers include

Sarah Schaefer

Sarah Schaefer

Global Policy Director


Mark Wong

Mark Wong

Senior Vice President

Sime Darby

David Croft

David Croft

Director, global sustainable development


Francesca New

Francesca New

Global sustainability manager


Chris Brown

Chris Brown

Vice president - corporate responsibility and sustainability


Tina Lawton

Tina Lawton

Regional director, APAC


See the full list of confirmed speakers so far

Who will be there?

This conference is designed specifically for organisations operating in the following sectors:

  • Food and beverage companies, agribusiness, soft commodity traders and retailers
  • Civil society organisations, certifiers and charities
  • Donors, financial service providers and insurers
  • Aid agencies and inter-governmental organisations

There will be 120-150 senior professionals attending. Below is a sample of attendees from last year’s conference:

  • Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, ACDI/VOCA
  • President, Agribusiness Systems International
  • VP Global Sustainability, Barry Callebaut
  • Global Head of Food Chain Relations, Bayer Food Crop Science            
  • Responsibility Project Manager, Burberry
  • Senior Corporate Partnerships Executive, CARE International
  • Corporate Responsibility Lead – EMEA, Cargill
  • Workplace Accountability Director, Africa and Europe, Coca Cola Company
  • Chief Executive Officer, Cotton Connect
  • Sustainable Raw Materials Specialist, Marks and Spencer            
  • Global Sustainability Director, Mars
  • Director, Sustainability, Mondelez
  • Senior Public Affairs Manager – Sustainability, Nestlé
  • Head of Group Corporate Communications, Olam
  • CEO, TFT
  • Vice President of Programs, World Cocoa Foundation


What’s different about Innovation Forum?

IF is NOT:

  • A PR platform: enthusiastic speakers are NOT given free rein to fill a session presenting their companies, allowing no time to actually get to the crux of the issues. 
  • A talking shop: this is NOT an opportunity for a group people in a room to simply agree with everything said, regardless of outcomes.
  • All promise, no delivery: we will NOT promise what we can’t deliver. The issues covered are complex. They won’t be solved at a two-day conference. But we will help deliver progress through in-depth, constructive and practical advice around specific issues.  

IF is:

  • Candid: Entirely off-the-record discussion that enables open and honest disclosure from speakers and genuine participation from the audience.
  • Practical: A clear focus on the practical and actionable guidance that can drive change throughout industries and supply chains.
  • Focused: We provide enough time, resources and expertise to the issues that really matter. We don’t skate the surface, but get to the crux of the issues to provide in-depth, constructive discussion.


Why attend?

  • Learn from industry leaders on best practices and get in-depth guidance on how to harness the SDGs to strengthen smallholder supply chains
  • Meet and network with an influential and highly relevant audience of key stakeholders, including NGOs, business, government and supply chain actors
  • Benchmark company performance amongst a room of your peers and discover where you should be focusing efforts



Innovation Forum is looking for sponsors who are able to support the forum, as well as associated research and analysis.

For sponsors, this presents the opportunity to support leading debate and progress, as well as providing a platform to highlight products and services in front of a large, diverse group of key stakeholders.

Contact Lewis Hudson at for sponsorship opportunities. 



This conference is hosted at the offices of our event partners, Diageo Plc.

Lakeside Drive

Park Royal


NW10 7HQ


How to sign up

Early-bird conference registration is now open, and you can register using the link below. 

Register here

The early bird discount deadline ends Friday 16th February.

If you are looking to attend the conference with two or more colleagues, please contact Narni Brooke-Adil on the details below to secure a group discount.



If you have any questions or would like to discuss being involved as a speaker, sponsor, media partner or delegate. Please feel free to reach out to the event manager on the details below.

Narni Brooke-Adil | Project Director

Direct: +44 (0) 203 780 7435


Hosted by and in partnership with

Media partner

Brochure thumbnail

Download the brochure here!