Events and insight for sustainability

How business can engage smallholder farmers

How business can engage smallholder farmers

Building resilient supply chains, improving environmental sustainability and boosting economic growth for smallholders

19th - 20th October 2016, Pew Conference Center, Washington, DC

Two days of leading analysis, debate, discussion and networking

Following Innovation Forum’s sustainability for smallholders forums in London and Jakarta in 2016, this multi-stakeholder conference will address the major risks for smallholder farmers across agricultural sectors, and focus on how to create scalable solutions to tackle future supply chain vulnerabilities.

The agenda is structured to provide high-level insight and practical, actionable guidance for the development of programmes that will boost the resilience of smallholders. We will focus on how US-based companies can engage, and are engaging with, smallholder farmers in key agricultural areas to drive sustainability, improve yields and become more sustainable.

We will have focused debates and practical working sessions on:

  • The state of smallholder farming and the actions needed to create scalable solutions to future supply chain vulnerabilities.
  • Make your business case: What your board presentation on why engage smallholders should look like.
  • Smallholders and deforestation: How to work with smallholders to reduce/eliminate deforestation from your supply chain
  • How major food brands, traders and processors are responding to the smallholder sustainability agenda 
  • How they create a business case and measure change that lasts
  • Current performance of brands vs. ambitious targets: How are companies performing towards 2020 objectives now? 
  • Who pays? How far can big company financing of smallholders legitimately go? 

Speakers include

Brittni Furrow

Brittni Furrow

senior director, sustainability – global food businesses


Jonathan Maher

Jonathan Maher

vice president corporate social responsibility & sustainability

L'Oreal USA

Michael McManus

Michael McManus

VP, corporate, government affairs & stakeholder engagement

Asia Pulp & Paper

David Piza

David Piza

director of corporate social responsibility and sustainability

S&D Coffee

Henriette Kolb

Henriette Kolb

head gender secretariat

International Finance Corporation

Judy Gearhart

Judy Gearhart

executive director

International Labor Rights Forum

Who will be there?

This conference is designed particularly 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
  • Government, aid agencies and inter-governmental organisations

There will be 100-150 senior professionals attending

How is this conference different?

  • More time for genuine discussion –  the agenda and timings have been built to provide time for in-depth debate and meaningful exchange beyond introductions and superficial outlines of initiatives. There will be a lot of experience in the room and therefore we intend for the discussions to be participatory.
  • Held under the Chatham House rule – this event is not intended as a PR platform – we hold the event under a covenant of confidentiality to promote honest exchange.
  • Content is designed for action and practice – the agenda and event structure is designed to provide actionable tools and practical insights that can be applied. We will also be sharing post event notes from all sessions to all participants.


We are currently looking for a small number of sponsors to work with, to push forward progressive discussion on sustainable agriculture.

If you would like to discuss further being involved as a speaker, sponsor, media partner or delegate. Please contact Charlenne Ordonez:

Charlenne Ordonez
+ 44 (0) 203 780 7433
+44 (0) 795 649 7294  

Sponsors and Partners

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Supporting partners:

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