***This interview is taken from the SAI Platform Annual Report 2021. To find out more about the Americas Working Group, go to the Annual Report 2021***
Jennifer Bowe was Global Sustainability Lead at Ocean Spray and Co-Chair of the Americas Working Group before joining Quantis earlier this year as US Lead Climate Expert.
As it’s the first time we’ve spoken, can we start by asking when and why you joined the Americas Working Group, Jennifer?
I joined the Americas Working Group shortly after Ocean Spray became members of SAI Platform in 2020 because I wanted to learn how other brands and farmers were advancing regenerative agriculture and to share what we were doing at Ocean Spray.
How would you describe your role as co-chair?
As the Americas Working Group co-chair I try to listen to the needs of other companies, SAI Platform leadership, and trends in the sustainable agriculture industry to identify strategic partners and solutions for agricultural stakeholders in the Americas.
How do you and your co-chair, Kevin Ogorzalek from Barry Callebaut interact?
I really enjoy working with Kevin as he is extremely personable, smart, and passionate about sustainable agriculture. Our personalities and skills blend nicely together as co-chairs. Kevin brings deep industry experience and drive for on the ground projects, while I provide a high level strategic lens from my corporate sustainability experience.
The group seems to have gained a lot of momentum in 2021. What do you think the reason for that is?
In recent years agriculture has increasingly been recognised as a key lever for addressing global issues like climate change, economic resilience, and water stress in the Americas, especially the United States. As more and more companies have incorporated sustainable agriculture into their ESG strategies, brands have joined SAI Platform because they recognise the organisation as an effective network and resource for advancing sustainable agriculture.
The Americas Working Group has also particularly championed the concept of regenerative agriculture principles which has grown into a global initiative fuelling further commitment and excitement from our region.
How would you describe the mood of the group?
I’m pleased to say we’re all driven, energetic, and creative.
What do you think the group achieved in 2021?
For me, the fact that we recruited seven new members – bringing our total to 46 – and launching the regenerative agriculture programme were the highlights.
What were the biggest challenges the group faced?
The ongoing supply chain challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What did you personally enjoy the most about being co-chair in 2021?
I am humbled to represent the region and personally enjoy learning from my peers.
What did 2022 look like to you at the end of 2021?
An opportunity for a fresh start building on the past year’s success and challenges.
This interview is taken from the SAI Platform Annual Report 2021. To read the full interview, go to the Annual Report 2021.