Events and insight for sustainability

Sustainability for smallholders

Sustainability for smallholders

How to build supply security and resilience with smallholder farmers

22nd - 23rd March 2016, London

Two days of leading analysis, debate, discussion and networking.

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. 

This conference will provide you with:

  • A holistic debate on the state of smallholder farming and the action needed to create scalable solutions to future supply chain vulnerabilities.
  • An understanding of what future models of collaboration between stakeholders will look like and how to create them.
  • Insights into the latest financial innovation and access to finance for smallholders through microfinancing, insurance and the latest approaches to different funding models.
  • Supply chain strategies that promote access to market for smallholders and what procurement practices companies need to adopt to help farmers grow.
  • How to proactively prepare smallholder farmers to be climate-resilient.

A range of breakout sessions will deliver practical, participatory discussions on:

  • Key technological innovations in telecommunication and agronomy. 
  • Responding to severe human rights issues such as labour practices, migrant exploitation and modern slavery.
  • Technical assistance programmes for farmers and building community support infrastructure. 

Speakers include

Nicko Debenham

Nicko Debenham

vice president, global sustainability

Barry Callebaut

Nico Roozen

Nico Roozen

executive director

Solidaridad Network

Anne Roulin

Anne Roulin

vice president, nutrition, health & wellness & sustainability


Kate 	Wylie

Kate Wylie

global sustainability director


Cheryl Pinto

Cheryl Pinto

global values led sourcing

Ben & Jerry's

Peter-Erik Ywema

Peter-Erik Ywema

general manager

Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform

Sarah Roberts

Sarah Roberts

executive director

Ethical Tea Partnership

Bastien Sachet

Bastien Sachet

chief executive officer



This conference builds on the work of several Innovation Forum commodity-related business conferences covering sectors including palm oil, sugar and cotton that have identified smallholder farming as a critical factor for sustainability. This conference is a platform for discussion on the major risks to smallholder farmers across different crops, and how business can help to build scalable, effective resilience.

Confirmed speakers

We have 50 top-level speakers, among those confirmed are: 

Bruce Wise, global product specialist, IFC

Daniel Hulls, chief executive officer, AgDevCo

Tony Hill, director, SHARP

Mark Wong, director, strategic communications & corporate affairs, Sime Darby

Sarah Schaefer, global sustainability director, Mars

Iris van der Velden, manager, innovation finance, IDH

John Magnay, global head of agriculture, Opportunity International

See the full confirmed speaker list here


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 150-250 senior professionals attending.  

How is this conference different?

  • More time for genuine discussion – the agenda and timings has been built to provide time for deeper 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.

Please contact Boris Petrovic, details below, if you would like to discuss being a sponsor for this event.


If you would like to discuss further being involved as a speaker, sponsor, media partner or delegate. Please drop an email to Boris Petrovic:

Boris Petrovic

Project director

Innovation Forum

Office: +44 (0)20 3780 7430

Direct: +44 (0)20 3780 7434  



Founding Sponsors

TFT Rurality

Supporting Partners

Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform
Initiative for Smallholder Finance
FAST International
Brochure thumbnail

Download the conference brochure