Principal Agribusiness advisor
Iride Ceccacci is an expert in Food and Agriculture. She currently works for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in the Agribusiness Department, where she leads on the EBRD Value Chain Competitiveness Program and other advisory programs of the Bank. She provides advice on both, agribusiness investment projects and advisory programs across EBRD’s countries of operations and she is one of the main authors of the EBRD’s Agribusiness Strategy 2018-23.
She is responsible of policy dialogue projects implemented in coordination with the Food and Agriculture Agency of the United Nations (FAO) under the EBRD Private Sector for Food Security Initiative.
She previously worked in the Strategy and Policy Unit of the World Bank, Agriculture and Rural Development Department in Washington DC. She started her career at the UN World Food Program about 15 years ago. Her work brought her in Eastern European countries, Africa, Middle East, Latin America and East Asia. She holds an MA from SAIS Johns Hopkins University in International Economics.
Daniel is an investment, public policy and development professional with over 25 years of experience in both the private and public sectors. Daniel is an experienced investor and senior manager who has played an important role in AgDevCo’s development since 2011. He has strong ties with Africa having been born in Tanzania and having worked across the continent since 2001. Daniel was the founding director of CEPA (a UK-based finance and economics consultancy) and was Managing Director until 2009. Prior to that, he worked for N M Rothschild in project finance and asset sales; and at the UK Treasury. Daniel has a BA in History and Economics from Oxford University and an MSc in Economics from University College London. He was a non-executive Director and Chair of the finance and audit committee at Community Housing Group.
Small Holder Farmer Expert, Independent Agricultural Consultant
Darío Soto Abril
Dario Soto Abril is the CEO of Fairtrade International. He champions Fairtrade as an alternative to conventional trade, strengthening the position of farmers and workers in the supply chain. Since joining Fairtrade in 2017, Dario has pushed an agenda focused on living incomes and living wages to support attainment of the UN’s SDGs, and to address the top cause of human rights violations in agriculture: poverty. During his tenure, Fairtrade has taken decisive actions in coffee, cocoa and bananas, and implemented innovate collaborative solutions in these sectors. Dario seeks to inspire companies, governments and consumers to choose Fairtrade.
Maria joined the FAIRR Initiative in September 2016 and oversees the creation and execution of FAIRR’s strategy and work plans.
Prior to this, Maria has worked for the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), where she managed the PRI’s signatory relations and outreach strategy while raising awareness of material ESG issues amongst the institutional investor community. Maria has over twenty years of experience in global investment banking, business and finance, and has worked at both J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank.
Currently, she serves on the Sustainability Accounting Standard Board (SASB) and the Standards Advisory Group. She is also a member of the Intentional Endowment Network’s (IEN) Steering Committee.
Maria is based in London but has lived and worked in San Francisco, New York and Madrid. She holds a MA (Distinction) in Environment, Politics and Globalization from King’s College London and a BA in International Business, Latin American Studies and Spanish from San Diego State University.
FAO Investment Centre
The Great Food Challenge
Mike is a leader in sustainable change. One of the pioneers of green business in the corporate world he helped to develop, launch and implement Marks and Spencer’s ground-breaking sustainability programme, Plan A (because there is no Plan B for the one world we have). In ten years, Plan A delivered £750m of net business benefit and over the years won 230 awards.
During his time at M&S he helped evolve Plan A to become a change management programme designed to make sustainability ‘how M&S did business’. The business achieved zero-waste-to-landfill status, moved to 100% renewable electricity and achieved carbon neutrality across its global estate of stores, offices and warehouses.
He helped the business engage in some of the world’s leading collaboration platforms for sustainability such as the World Economic Forum, the Consumer Goods Forum and Business in the Community. His external leadership ensured that Plan A leadership and learning was leveraged into wider change throughout the global economy, including:
Inaugural winner of the Guardian Sustainable Business Innovator of the year in 2011 after a public vote;
Co-chair of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Sustainability Steering Group;
Chair of the World Environment Centre;
Member of Business in the Community’s Environmental Leadership team;
Business Fellow at the Smith Centre Oxford University;
Senior Associate Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership
Ethical Corporation Honouree 2019
Trustee at Blueprint for Better Business
Having worked at an international level of business, with charities, with think tanks, and with start-ups he has a broad array of experience. He has proven the necessity of dialogue, trust and the willingness to develop engagement into wide ranging mutually beneficial partnerships. This is vital for the interconnected world we live in.
During his career he has shown exceptional drive, integrity and personal resilience throughout periods of management change, takeover battles and challenging trading. He has developed excellent leadership skills and has demonstrated his ambition and passion to build a more sustainable future.
Upon leaving M&S he formed mikebarryeco ltd in order to support organisations across society and the economy to deliver sustainable change.
Soil Health Consultant
Willie Pretorius received his B.Sc. (Agric) and M.Sc. (Agric) from the Universities of Pretoria and Stellenbosch in 1966 and 1970 respectively majoring in Fruit Science, Horticulture, and Plant Physiology. He also obtained a Hons. B (B & A) from the Stellenbosch Business School in 1984. His background is agricultural research, managing food companies, and soil health.
Dr. Eduardo Mansur
Director, Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environmrnt (OCB)
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Eduardo Mansur is the Director of the Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment (OCB) and Officer in Charge of Land and Water Division (NSL). His career started in 1981 as a Researcher (Silviculture) in a collaborative programme of the Federal University of Paraná and the Eduardo Mondlane University of Mozambique and led the Natural Resources Division of the Environment Institute of Paraná State, Brazil. Thereafter, he joined FAO as Project Officer in Mozambique and Ecuador; then as Chief Technical Adviser (FAO Representation in Mozambique); as Policy Officer (Forestry; 2002-2007); as Senior Forestry Officer, Regional Office for Africa, Accra, Ghana (2007-2008); as Director of the Forest Assessment, Management and Conservation Division (2012-2016); and as Director, Land and Water Division (NSL; 2016-2020).
Dr. Zitouni Ould-Dada
Deputy Director, Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Dr. Ould-Dada is currently Deputy Director in the Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome. Before joining FAO, he worked as Head of Technology Unit at UNEP in Paris for 5 years. Prior to that, he worked for the British Government for 15 years holding several senior positions at Department of Energy and Climate Change; Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Food Standards Agency; Environment Agency; and Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food. He also worked for the French Government on international climate change during France Presidency of the European Union in 2008.
His 23 years international work experience covers a wide range of fields including climate change; energy policy; technology and innovation; agriculture and food security; environmental policy; radiation protection; and the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
Dr. Ould-Dada is renowned internationally for his strong diplomatic and moderating skills and ability to build collaborative partnerships. His international responsibilities include UK Lead Negotiator on technology and Chair of climate change negotiations under the UNFCCC; Chair of European Union Expert Group on Technology; Chair of IRENA’s Policy and Strategy Committee; Member of International Energy Agency’s Renewable Energy Working Party; Member of UN Inter-Agency Task Team for implementation of Technology Facilitation Mechanism under the 2030 Agenda; and Member of UN Inter-Agency Task Team to develop a UN System-wide Approach to Climate Action for the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit 2019.
Dr. Ould-Dada has a BSc in Environmental Engineering from Institut Universitaire de Technologie, Perpignan, France; Master Degree in Environmental Management and Planning, Université de Rennes, France; and PhD in Radiation Protection from Imperial College, London, UK.
Giulia M. Stellari
Director, Sustainable Sourcing, Digital and Carbon Solutions
Director of Agriculture
Nikki Pilania Chaudhary
Young Farmer – India
Chaudhary Agriculture Services
A postgraduate in Business Economics and Finance from University of Surrey, U.K, Nikki is involved in agriculture since 2011 and founded Chaudhary Agriculture Services Pvt. Ltd in 2014.
The Company currently serves farmers on more than 20,000 acres in North India and helps farmers make a transition to Conservation Agriculture based Crop Intensification which is a set of climate resilient, regenerative and sustainable agronomic systems for grain production. During the crop production process, we provide them with all the crop inputs (seeds, fertilizers and crop protection), crop advisory and crop-input credit. Her Company’s vision is “Responsible Agriculture for Better India”.
Nikki also founded Chaudhary Farms Dairy and has led it to become one of the leading dairy farms in the region. India is the world’s largest milk producer in the world but its cattle milk productivity is amongst the lowest in the world. She aims to take leadership role in creating highly efficient Centre of Excellence dairy farm and promoting organized dairy farming amongst farmers.
She has represented her work in agriculture, agribusiness and dairy at several National and International Conferences- International Poplar Commission-2012, World Congress on Agroforestry-2014, Global Conference on Agricultural Research-2016, South Africa, Emerging Technologies for Global Food Security-2018, Canada, Food and Agriculture Organization headquarters, Italy-2018,2019 and Global Forum for Food and Agriculture-2020, Germany.
Nikki is a member of Youth Alliance for Zero Hunger. She strongly believes that young people can bring transformation in agriculture through their innovative approach bringing outcomes with positive impact on food security, nutrition and in ending hunger.
Young Farmer – Latin America
Graduated in Agribusiness Management at the Federal University of Viçosa – MG – Brazil, with a MBA in Agribusiness Strategic Management at Fundação Getúlio Vergas (FGV) and a postgraduate degree in Strategic Business Leadership at Ohio University in the United States. In addition, it has specific training in people management, strategic planning, balanced scorecard (BSC), among others.
From 2009 to 2012 Worked in New Zealand on the management of dairy farms associated with Fonterra and projects in the European Union to develop management tools for the soybean and beef cattle chains. He is a founding partner of Infield, a business management consulting firm for agribusiness, focusing on farming professionalization, management and family succession and also occupies de CEO position at Sapé Agro group, focused on soya, maze, sugar cane, poultry, beef cattle and milk production.
In 2018 was selected by Nuffield to get an Ag Scholarship. Traveled over 30 countries studying topics regarding diversification in agribusiness and the future of farmers association along the world. Represented Nuffield and Brazil at FAO during the CFS (Committee on Food Security) in 2019, speaking in plenary and also meeting with the general director together with 7 colleagues from the PSM (private sector mechanism).
Senior Vice President Digital Farming
Stefan Fürnsinn is Senior Vice President Crop & Digital Solutions, at Yara International.
Passionate about responsibly feeding the world and protecting the planet, Stefan is in charge of managing and scaling the global digital and precision agriculture business in Yara, and for innovating and commercializing digitally-enabled business models. His role is truly global, leading a dynamic and fast growing digital team across all regions and key agricultural markets. The focus lies on designing innovative services and solutions that speak directly to the farmer’s, agronomist’s and food chain’s evolving needs in a shifting world, towards more productive, prospering and sustainable food production.
Stefan holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering as well as a Master Degree in International Business. Before joining Yara, Stefan was a Partner at McKinsey & Company focusing on agriculture and food, and an entrepreneur and scientist in renewable energy.
Farrelly & Mitchell
Malachy is co-founder and Managing Director of Farrelly & Mitchell. He works with CEOs, executives and leaders from private enterprises and public sector institutions helping to grow their food sector companies and agribusinesses.
Having spent 30 years working in the European, Middle East and international food sectors in various senior management and consulting roles, Malachy knows what is required to strategically organise projects in largescale farming, consumer foods and agri-processing and logistics. His experience in supply chain optimisation across complex market geographies informs the company’s approach of working with clients from planning right through to execution and beyond.
As the Managing Director of Farrelly & Mitchell, he has developed and executed numerous domestic and international market entry, expansion and M&A transactions worldwide on behalf of corporate and government clients.
Prior to co-founding Farrelly & Mitchell, Malachy worked in various senior operational and policy roles in Ireland, UK and the Middle East in poultry meat, produce and dairy sectors for the Kerry Group, Fakieh Poultry, Carton Bros. Ltd and Irish Farmers’ Association.
Danone Ecosystem Fund
Eric SOUBEIRAN is Danone’s One Planet and Water Cycle Vice-President and member of the Cycles & Procurement Board. In this role, he is responsible for the company’s sustainability agenda and coordinating on climate change, water resource protection, regenerative agriculture, circular economy and human rights. Eric also serve as the new Chief Executive of the Danone Ecosystem Fund. Eric will promote synergies between Danone and Ecosystem to maximize the social and economic impact of the fund and ensure that innovations and best practices proven in the Ecosystem’s projects are scaled inside and outside Danone.
Eric joined Danone in 2010 in the group’s operations in the Indian sub-continent. During this period, he launched a range of nutritional products designed for the ‘bottom of pyramid’ customers, with an innovative route to market approach. In 2013, Eric joined Danone’s marketing team, in charge of Activia and Vitalinea brands for the French market. In 2014, Eric was appointed director of milk sourcing for Danone in Europe, managing a network of 4,000 dedicated farmers across six European countries during a period of deep transformation in the milk market.
Eric also serves as administrator of the Livelihoods Carbon Fund and the Gold Standards foundation.
Juan Lucas Restrepo
Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
Global Movement Coordinator & Food Waste Warrior
Too Good To Go
Lead Food Initiative
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Viktoria de Bourbon de Parme
Food Transformation Lead
World Benchmarking Alliance
Director of the Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division
International Fund for Agricultural Development
Margarita Astrálaga is the Director of the Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division (ECG) at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). She leads a dynamic team to mainstream environment, climate, gender and social inclusion solutions in IFAD’s operations and policies, while ensuring that the highest social, environmental and climate safeguards are applied. Examples of her leadership are found in her coordination and mobilization of environment and climate finance and the engagement with international trust funds, her participation and dedication to policy making, partnership development and program supervision in Member States.
Astrálaga joined IFAD’s team in Rome in June 2015 from Panama where she was UNEP’s Regional Director for Latin America & the Caribbean. Her career began as a devoted member of the Colombian Environmental Agency which led to over 25 years of experience and wide range responsibilities in several international organizations working toward environmental sustainability from many different perspectives.
Astrálaga is a Colombian biologist, specialising in Environmental Management from the Danish Water Institute, with a master’s in Regional Planning and Development.
Corporate Development and Communications Manager
Tess has spent over 4 years working in the meat alternative sector within research translation roles, utilising expertise in health psychology and its application to nutritional behaviours, dietary change, and food system sustainability. Prior to her role at Quorn Foods, Tess completed a masters focused on plant-based nutrition in long term conditions, has worked extensively within the hospitality sector, and grew up on a working farm.
World Farmers' Organisation
Ms. Arianna Giuliodori was appointed Secretary General of the World Farmers’ Organisation, WFO, in December 2017. After her degree in Communications Sciences, Ms. Giuliodori got a Master in Economics and Rural Development at Siena University in Italy. Farmers and Agriculture have always been part of her working life: she spent 10 years serving at the Italian farmers’ organisation Coldiretti, first in Rome and then in Brussels, acting as Economic Officer, Secretary General of Young Farmers, Head of the President’s Technical Secretariat and finally as Senior Policy Advisor at the European Representation. Four years’ experience in an American multinational research and consulting company in Paris and an executive MBA at Sorbonne University complete her profile, giving her a strong business-oriented approach.
In her present position as WFO Secretary General, she has been strongly promoting a solid governance of the association and a wide set of international partnerships to ensure that the farmers can fully play their fundamental role in the Sustainability challenge.
Global Lead on Food
Maria Helena Semedo
Deputy Director General
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Maria is an economist and politician from Cape Verde. A leading expert in global development issues, she has worked in public service for over thirty years. Over the last decade, FAO has contributed to a new narrative, one where agriculture features more prominently in addressing increasingly complex emerging global issues– from climate change to conflict. By promoting a systematic integrated approach that takes a more inclusive view, Ms Semedo has fostered cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder exchanges, resulting in greater engagement and stronger strategic partnerships to better position FAO in its role to promote the transition towards sustainable food and agriculture systems to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Before taking up her current duties in 2013, Ms Semedo gained valuable experience and insight in Africa, first as FAO Representative in Niger (2003-2008), then as Deputy Regional Representative for Africa and Sub-regional Coordinator for West Africa (2008-2009) and Regional Representative for Africa (2009-2013). Prior to her international career, she worked as an economist for the Cabo Verde Ministry of Planning and Cooperation before becoming Secretary of State for Fisheries, then in 1993 Minister for Fisheries, Agriculture and Rural Affairs – the first-ever woman Minister in her country. After serving as Minister for Tourism, Transportation and Marine Affairs from 1995-1998, she became Member of Parliament, a position she held until 2003.
Honors and awards
• Receives the Crans Montana Forum Prix de la Fondation
• The Government of Brazil bestows the honorific Order of Rio Branco
• The Universidade Aberta in Lisbon confers the Honoris Causa doctorate for her work in global
• Named “Woman of the Year” at the commemoration of the 2018 Women Diplomats Day in
• Receives the Order of Niger for her distinguished service to the field of agriculture.
H.E. Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko
Commissioner, Rural Economy and Agriculture
African Union Commission
H.E. Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, from Angola, was elected as the new commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission. Mrs Sacko was the special adviser to the Minister of agriculture, assigned with the responsibility of advising on issues related to international cooperation both bilateral and multilateral.
Managing Director, Food & Nature
Diane Holdorf is Managing Director of Food and Nature at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), based in Geneva, Switzerland, since December 2018.
Before joining WBCSD, Diane was Vice President, Chief Sustainability Officer for Kellogg Company. She joined Kellogg in May 2008 as Senior Director, Environmental Stewardship and in 2009 was promoted to Vice President, Environmental Stewardship, Health and Safety. In 2011, she was promoted to Chief Sustainability Officer, Vice President Environment, Health & Safety and in 2015, in recognition of the increasing importance of sustainability across the Kellogg business, became Vice President, Chief Sustainability Officer to focus full time on advancing Kellogg’s sustainability leadership efforts.
In addition to her role at Kellogg, Ms. Holdorf served on the Advisory Board of We Mean Business, and on the Executive Advisory Board of the Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan.
Prior to joining Kellogg, Ms. Holdorf served as vice president for Delta Consultants (now Antea), a U.S.A-based environment, health and safety and sustainability consulting firm. During her 17 years with Delta Consultants, she served in numerous management and consulting roles, based in the US and in the UK, where she worked with many consumer packaged goods, forest products and manufacturing companies in development and implementation of global programs for corporate responsibility, environmental management and risk management.
Diane’s board experience includes serving as a corporate officer during her years as Managing Director of a UK-based joint venture while with Delta, as well as serving as secretary of the board for Inogen Environmental Alliance, a global business of which Delta was a member.
In 2015, Diane was recognized as a Maize and Wheat Super Woman by CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center) as part of the United Nation’s International Women’s Day in 2015. She is also recognized as an Oxfam Sisters on the Planet Ambassador.
Ms. Holdorf received Bachelor’s degrees in Public Communications and in German from Syracuse University. She also completed the Executive MBA Program at the University of St. Thomas.
Dr Dave Nabarro
Special Advisor to WHO
David Nabarro is the Co-Director of the Imperial College Institute of Global Health Innovation at the Imperial College London and supports systems leadership for sustainable development through his Switzerland based social enterprise 4SD. From March 2020, David is appointed Special Envoy of WHO Director General on COVID-19. He secured his medical qualification in 1974 and has worked in over 50 countries – in communities and hospitals, governments, civil society, universities, and in United Nations programs.
David worked for the British government in the 1990s as head of Health and Population and director for Human Development in the UK Department for International Development. From 1999 to 2017 he held leadership roles in the UN system on disease outbreaks and health issues, food insecurity and nutrition, climate change and sustainable development. In October 2018, David received the World Food Prize together with Lawrence Haddad for their leadership in raising the profile and building coalitions for action for better nutrition across the Sustainable Development Goals.