IAAS Agribusiness Mission Trip to the United Kingdom Explores Innovation and Sustainability in Agriculture

By: IAAS Secretariat

The International Association for Agricultural Sustainability (IAAS) proudly announces the successful conclusion of its Agribusiness Mission Trip to the United Kingdom from 6th to 11th August 2023. This transformative mission brought together industry leaders, experts, and stakeholders to explore and exchange insights on cutting-edge innovations and sustainable practices in agriculture.

The mission commenced with an integral forum held at the University of Reading, bringing together thought leaders, researchers, and professionals in the agricultural sector. Dr. Tan Wee Liang, Head of the Delegation and Vice-Chairman of IAAS, alongside Dr. Ian Givens, the Conference Local Chair, inaugurated the forum, engaging in insightful discussions spanning the UK and EU sectors, as well as the Asia sector. Topics encompassed the development of agricultural education and ESG-based themes. Dr. Annie Koh further enriched the dialogue by sharing success stories of family business transformation in food manufacturing. These contributions added depth to the discussions on agribusiness trends, sustainable practices, and the transformative role of technology in shaping the future of agriculture.

Forum Topics and Speakers:

Session 1 – UK and EU Sector:

  1. Dr. Emily Pope, Director of Knowledge Exchange, Trinity Global Farm Pioneers

– Topic: “From Seeds to Sustainability: The Role of Agritech in Resilient Farm Businesses”

  1. Dr. Ian Givens, Professor and Director, Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health, University of Reading, U.K.

– Topic: “Sustainable diets-risks and benefits”

  1. Dr. John Hammond, Professor, Department of Crop Science, University of Reading

– Topic: “Inter-cropping in EU context”

  1. Dr. Steve Smith, Science Liaison Lead, Syngenta

– Topic: “Food, foresight, and the future of farming”

  1. Dr. Jennifer Bromley, Chief Research Officer, Vertical Future

– Topic: “Vertical Farming: Environment-led Technology and Operational Development”

  1. Ms. Martina Spisiakova, Strategy and Innovation Coordinator, APAARI

– Topic: “Empowering youth through innovative education models to become active drivers of change for sustainable agri-food systems”

Session 2 – Asia Sector:

  1. Dr. Annie Koh, Advisor of Asia Family Business Mission, Professor Emeritus of Finance (Practice) & Senior Advisor, Business Families Institute, Singapore Management University, Singapore and Board Director of Singapore Food Agency, Singapore

– Topic: “Family business transformation in food manufacturing: A case study with innovate 360”

  1. Dialogue sessions- “Built for generations: future-proofing your family office”

– Hosted by Dr. Annie Koh, Professor Emeritus of Finance (Practice) & Senior Advisor, Business Families Institute, Singapore Management University, Singapore, and Board Director of Singapore Food Agency, Singapore

– Guest Speaker: Matthew Norman, Chief Investment Officer at Kenjiro Private Office

  1. Dr. Sophie Kuo, Team Leader of EU Product Development Team, TCI Co., Ltd

– Topic: “TCI, the global beauty and wellness contract manufacturer”

  1. Dr. Chi-Ya Chang, Adjunct Visiting Associate Professor, Department of Business Administration, Chung Yuan Christian University, Taiwan, together with Dr. Ming-Jen Yen, Professor of Management at National Chengchi University, Taiwan cum President of Taiwan Chapter of the System Dynamics Society

– Topic: “Village reconstruction, Value-added innovation, and sustainable development – A single case study”

The mission’s momentum continued with a field trip to Syngenta-Jealott’s Hill International Research Centre, providing participants with firsthand exposure to cutting-edge agricultural research on the third day. The subsequent visit to The Waitrose & Partners Farm showcased sustainable farming practices and innovations in supply chain management.

Another enlightening field trip to Waltham Place Farm Biodynamic Farm allowed participants to delve into biodynamic farming practices, emphasizing holistic and sustainable approaches to agriculture. By planting a blend of ancient wheat varieties together as a landrace, the delegates acknowledged the importance of natural selection to create a resilient crop, particular to this very place.