Advancing sustainability learning with the 3rd International Executive Programme

29th November 2021

A successful third edition of the International Executive Programme (IEP) on Sustainable Sourcing and Trade was held between 8th September and 14th October, facilitated by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in partnership with SAI Platform and the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

This year’s edition took place exclusively online, attracting 80 food and drink industry professionals from around the world and from diverse backgrounds including sustainability, procurement, marketing and branding. Built in collaboration with a network of leading academic institutions in the field of sustainable agriculture and global value chains, the IEP was organised around four key modules:

With speakers from the World Economic Forum, the World Wildlife Fund and The Nature Conservancy, participants had the opportunity to engage with experts on critical sustainability topics. The four key modules were complemented by interactive Peer Learning Groups to help participants define and drive action on a specific aspect of sustainability relevant to their own organisations’ context.

“By focusing on new approaches and practical tools, the IEP is becoming an annual ‘rendez-vous’, offering participants an opportunity to learn about new techniques and carve the space to think through critical issues in a supportive environment.” commented Dr. Gabriela Alvarez, Professor of HEC University of Lausanne, contributor to the ITC’s Standards Map and co-founder of Colcocoa-Hacienda La Tentacion and No Name Chocolate.

Attendees were provided with a practical set of tools to identify sustainability risks and opportunities within global value chains, to understand climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies and to integrate sustainability with corporate agendas and personal development.

The third module, focusing on technical solutions and moderated by Mathieu Lamolle from ITC and Sven Sielhorst from SAI Platform, provided participants with practical information about how to compare sustainability standards and how to use tools such as the Farm Sustainability Assessment to develop and implement sustainability procurement strategies. Participants were given a live demo of the  ITC Standards Map, the world’s largest database for sustainability standards relating to environmental protection, worker and labour rights, economic development, quality and food safety and business ethics.

Two of SAI Platform’s members, Megan McKerchar, Sustainability Manager Agriculture at Nomad Foods and Hamish Taylor, Sustainability Advisor at Symrise, added a practical perspective by sharing first-hand experience of implementing the FSA. They each highlighted how the global reach of the FSA allows for a consistent approach and common language when engaging externally with supply chain partners and other stakeholders as well as internally within their own companies to foster cross-functional alignment and buy-in. 

“ITC is very pleased with the success of this 3rd edition of the International Executive Programme. This year again, more than 80 participants joined us in active discussions with sustainability leaders from various backgrounds. The collaboration with Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership has brought the programme to yet another level of accomplishment and excellence. ITC is very grateful to SAI Platform for the partnership and we are looking forward to our next edition in 2022” (Mathieu Lamolle, Senior Advisor, International Trade Centre)

SAI Platform members wanting to learn more about Nomad Foods’ and Symrise’s experience in implementing the FSA across their supply chains, will find the presentation and video in the knowledge base on My SAI Platform.

Stay tuned to receive updates on the next edition of our International Executive Programme!