The Seas of Change international learning workshop has been a success because of the participation and input from a wide range of participants coming from businesses, government, research and NGOs from different parts of the world. Specific inputs and presentations were given by the following contributors:
Mr. Ben Knapen, Dutch Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation
Ben Knapen began his career as a history teacher in 1976. In 1977 he was hired as foreign desk editor at the NRC Handelsblad national newspaper and worked as a correspondent for the NRC in Germany and the United States until 1990. From 1979 to 1984 he also served as a broadcast news correspondent for the NOS news in Germany. In 1990 Mr Knapen was appointed editor-in-chief of the NRC Handelsblad.
In 1996 Ben Knapen was appointed Senior Director of Corporate Communication, Marketing and Institutional Relations at Philips. In 1999 he joined the Board of Management of publishing company PCM Uitgevers, where he was responsible for the book division.
As a freelance correspondent in South-east Asia he wrote for the NRC Handelsblad from 2006 to 2008.
Until taking office as Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation, Ben Knapen was a council member of the Advisory Council for Government Policy (WRR) (since 2008) and Professor of Media Quality and Ethics (endowed chair) at Radboud University Nijmegen (since 2008).
Professor Knapen was appointed Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation in the Rutte-Verhagen government on 14 October 2010.
Ben Knapen has held many other positions. He has been a member of the Executive Committee of Vereniging AEGON, supervisory director at Goede Doelen N.V, member of the supervisory board of the KRO broadcasting company and member of the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV).
Mr. Martin Kropff, Rector Magnificus Wageningen UR
Martin Martin Kropff was appointed Vice-chairman of the Executive Board, rector magnificus of Wageningen University from 2005 up till now.
Formerly, he was President of WOTRO-NWO and before that in 2001 Martin Kropff was the General Director of the Plant Science Group of Wageningen UR. From 1998 to 2005, he was a professor in Crop and Weed Ecology at the Wageningen University. At the same time, he was also a scientific director of the C.T. de Wit Graduate School for Production Ecology and Resource Conservation of the
Wageningen University, till 2002.
In 1995 Martin Kropff was Professor of Applied Plant Ecology and Weed Science and Head of the Department of Crop and Weed Science, at the Institute for Agrobiology and Soil Fertility Research (AB-DLO), in Wageningen. He also held the position of a Program leader for Plant Production and Product Quality of the Institute for Agrobiology and Soil fertility Research (AB-DLO), in Wageningen
Furthermore, in 1993, he was a visiting assistant professor at the University of the Philippines, Los Baños, Philippines, at the Department of Agronomy. From 1990 onwards, Martin was a Systems agronomist, Deputy Program Leader Cross Ecosystem Program, SARP project leader (Systems Analysis and Simulation in Rice Production, with 14 interdisciplinary teams in 9 Asian Countries) at the International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, in the Philippines and Head of the Climate Unit. Five years before this, he was an Agroecologist of the Department of Theoretical Production Ecology, at the Wageningen University. In 1989, he completed his PhD in Theoretical Production Ecology, with a cum laude, at the Wageningen Agricultural University. Finally, in 1984 he was a Scientist at the Department of Air Pollution at the IPO-DLO and Wageningen University. In the same year, Mr. Kropff obtained his MSc in Biology, with a cum laude at the University of Utrecht.
Martin Kropff has held many other positions, of which being member of:
- The Supervisory Board of BLGG AgroXpertus (soil and crop analysis and advice)
- The Scholtenszathe Estate
- The Wetsus (centre of excellence for sustainable water technology).
- The Netherlands Acadamy of Science and Technolog
- The Bioscience Forum
- The Rectors Conference of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands
- The Board BE-Basic (Bio-Based, Ecologically Balanced Sustainable Industrial Chemistry),
- The UNIK expert Panel (Danish Agency for Science Technology and Innovation)
- The Supervisory Board LifeLines, the Supervisory Board FES High Tech Systems & Materials
- The International Advisory Board Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy
- The Advisory Board of the Netherlands Chemical Industry Association (VNCI)
- The Academia dei Georgofili, Florence, Italy
- The Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities
In addition, Martin Kropff was formerly the President of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG)-profs Platform. He has also been an Honorary Professor in the Agricultural University, in China and an Honorary Doctor at the National Agricultural University, in Ukraine.
Lastly, Martin Kropff has been author of more than 300 scientific papers and more than 120 refereed papers, H-index 28, > 2500 citations and has supervised 27 PhD’s. Martin has supervised PhD students from Asia, Africa and South America and has had further international experiences at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, for four years, where he worked on programs in nine Asian countries.
Mr. Bas Rüter, Director Sustainability Rabobank Netherlands
Since January 2012, Bas Rüter is Director Sustainability of Rabobank Netherlands. As Director Sustainability he takes care of sustainability processes within Rabobank and for companies and clients that Rabobank works with.
Between 2005 and 2012 Bas Rüter worked as managing director of Triodos Investment Management. From 2007 he was also member of the board of directors of Triodos SICAV I. Bas Rüter studied biology in Wageningen and was Member of Parliament for Utrecht Province.
Mr. David Bright, Head Business and Markets Oxfam GB
David Bright is the senior adviser and team manager on Business and Markets for Oxfam GB. His work and public speaking has focused on getting and keeping smallholders in supply chains with an emphasis on women, the development of sustainable rural enterprises in poverty affected regions and ICT solutions to poverty.
This has meant leading engagements with several companies ranging from Unilever to Vodafone. He has led on the development of a number of Oxfam global programmes, including the Enterprise development programme (EDP) and has written various publications, most recently co-authoring “Think Big. Go small” a briefing for businesses on developing smallholder based supply chains.
David is a member of three boards, including the Sustainable Food lab and Unilever sustainable sourcing, advisory boards. His previous career was as a Business developer for twelve years, working for French and British companies, having been an under-graduate in Business management and post-graduate in Environmental management.
Mr. Atul Mehta, IFC Director, Global Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services
Mr. Atul Mehta is presently IFC Director, Global Manufacturing, Agribusiness,and Services. He was appointed to this position on September 13, 2010 and is responsible for IFC’s global activities in health, education, manufacturing, services, and agribusiness.
Previously, Mr. Mehta was Director of Change Management for IFC 2013, an initiative to realign IFC to better serve clients in the changing global business context.
Before that, he was Director Latin America and the Caribbean, where he was responsible for leading IFC’s investment and advisory operations in the region. In this role, he oversaw the doubling of IFC’s activities and business in the region, including the establishment of an expanded presence in sub-regions, such as Central America and the Caribbean. Mr. Mehta also scaled up IFC’s advisory services in the region, focusing on increasing access to finance, infrastructure advice for the establishment of public-private partnerships, and corporate advice for improved environmental, social, and corporate governance standards.
Prior to being appointed director, Mr. Mehta was Chief Investment Officer at IFC, responsible for developing and structuring projects in diverse sectors, including general manufacturing, services, financial markets, information technology, power, oil and gas, and petrochemicals in Eastern Europe and Asia as well as Latin America.
Before joining IFC in 1989, Mr. Mehta worked at Ernst and Young in the United Kingdom. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a Masters degree in Mathematics from Syracuse University.
Ms. Eunice Mwongera, Director Hillside Green Horticulture Company, Kenya
Name: Eunice K. Mwongera, BA Hons, MBA, MDV
Company: Founder, CEO Hillsidegreen growers
- hillside founded in 1998
- A family business employing 25 permanent staff and 300 part -time and working with 5000 farmers organized in farmers groups-coops
- Products trade in mange tout (peas), sugar snaps, fine beans, baby corn, passion, avocado
- Markets: Europe and Middle East
- Networks: member of fresh produce exporters of Kenya, AAA Academy, Agribusiness women network (Awan) Kenya Private sector alliance (KEPSA) Alumnae (USDA programs)
Mr. David Rosenberg, Group Sustainability Advisor, Ecom Agroindustrial Corporation
David Rosenberg serves as Group Sustainability Advisor at Ecom Agroindustrial Corp., a family-owned, 160-year-old international merchant in cotton, coffee, cocoa and other agricultural commodities. At Ecom, Mr. Rosenberg works on sustainability projects around the world in cocoa and cotton. These projects are aimed to help farmers produce more and better quality products and trade into higher value markets. For Ecom, the business case is better supply, differentiated solutions for clients, lower risk, and better financing.
Mr. Rosenberg was formerly a co-founder and Executive Director of UTZ Certified, one of the leading certification programs for sustainability and traceability, initially in coffee and most recently expanding into cocoa, tea and other commodities. Mr. Rosenberg helped launch UTZ when he served as Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Royal Ahold, the international food retailer. Prior to that he consulted to a wide range of multinationals on sustainability issues. In a previous incarnation, Mr. Rosenberg ran a whitewater rafting company in Costa Rica and founded an NGO there to protect wild rivers. Mr. Rosenberg earned his bachelors degree from Princeton University and masters from Boston University. He is a board member of the Netherlands Committee of the IUCN. He lives in Lausanne, Switzerland, with his wife Isabelle and daughter Sarah.
Mr. Stephen Birungi, Director Farmer Support Ltd, Uganda
Dr. Stephen Birungi, BVM (Mak), Cert. FM, Cert ARM, MBA is the founder and current Managing Director of Farm Support Ltd, Importers and Distributors of Veterinary medicines and other livestock health products and inputs. Farm Support Ltd represents the interests of Alfasan International B.V (Holland) in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo and South Sudan. Dr. Stephen Birungi is also the Project Manager of Alfasan Uganda Ltd, a joint venture between Alfasan – Holland and Farm Support Ltd –Uganda. The project is an ongoing construction of a veterinary factory to manufacture veterinary pharmaceuticals, the first in Uganda supported by PSI/EVD of the Government of the Netherlands. He is a founder member of a platform of African Entrepreneurs in the area of Agribusiness called the Africa Agribusiness Academy (AAA) with the secretariat in Wageningen UR (The Netherlands) and Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania).
Mr. Kevin Cleaver, Associate Vice President, International Fund for Agricultural Development
Kevin Cleaver is the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)’s Associate Vice-President, in charge of its programmes. He joined IFAD in September 2006.
Before IFAD, he held several key positions in the World Bank, including: Director, Africa Technical Department, Africa Region; Director, Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development, Europe and Central Asia Region; and, the most recent position, Director, Agriculture and Rural Development for the World Bank Group. He represented the World Bank on the Executive Committee of the CGIAR and participated in mobilizing funds for all of the environmentally and socially sustainable development network’s global programmes.
While at the World Bank, Cleaver was recognized as an outstanding manager and was the recipient of the “Good Manager” award from the World Bank Staff Association in 2001. He helped create an effective system of knowledge sharing, knowledge management, and staff learning in the World Bank’s Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development Network.
Cleaver has a long and distinguished career in agriculture and rural development, with many books and articles published on agricultural development. He spent several years working and living in Sub-Sahara and North Africa. He holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy, and a PhD in Economics from the Fletcher School, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts. He has also completed an Executive Development Management Programme at the Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts.
Mr. Chris Brett, Senior Vice President Global Head of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability, Olam International
Chris was appointed as the Senior Vice President Global Head of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability for Olam International in 2007. He has a Master’s Degree in Management for Agricultural Development from Cranfield University in the United Kingdom. He has more than thirty years’ experience of working within the private, public and voluntary sectors in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Prior to working with Olam, He worked for 6 years in Central America as a Private Sector Development Advisor (1995-2001) for Department For International Development. From 2001 to 2007, he undertook a range of consultancies for a range of lead development organisations and the private sector, such as: the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, African Development Bank, European Union, United Nations Development Programme, commercial banks and infrastructural development companies. Chris is developing and implementing Olam’s Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability policies and practices that are fully integrated into the company’s business product models.
About Olam International
Olam International is a leading global integrated supply chain manager and processor of agricultural products and food ingredients, sourcing 20 products with a direct presence in 65 countries and supplying them to over 11,600 customers. With direct sourcing and processing in most major producing countries for its various products, Olam has built a global leadership position in many of its businesses, including cocoa, coffee, cashew, sesame, rice, cotton and wood products. Headquartered in Singapore and listed on the SGX-ST on February 11, 2005, Olam currently ranks among the top 40 largest listed companies in Singapore in terms of market capitalisation and is a component stock in the Straits Times Index (STI), MSCI Singapore Free, S&P Agribusiness Index and the DAXglobal Agribusiness Index. Olam is the only Singapore firm to be named in the 2009 and 2010 Forbes Asia Fabulous 50, an annual list of 50 big-cap and most profitable firms in the region. It is also the first and only Singapore company to be named in the 2009 lists for the Global Top Companies for Leaders and the Top Companies for Leaders in the Asia Pacific region by Hewitt Associates, the RBL Group and Fortune. More information on Olam can be found at www.olamonline.com