ExCo 2020-2022: A conversation with Katharine Teague

30th June 2020

Katharine Teague is Head of Advocacy and Sustainability for AB Sugar and is one of two new members to take a position on the SAI Platform Executive Committee.

Already a familiar face within SAI Platform, particularly with her involvement on the FSA Steering Committee, Katharine decided that now was the moment to engage and initiate conversation within the SAI Platform Executive Committee and drive change into a wider agricultural space.

“I think the key is that we don’t need to be alone, we need to come together, and we need to take on others’ expertise and thoughts and then embed them within our own supply chains for the benefit of agriculture worldwide.”

In this recorded conversation, exclusively for SAI Platform members, Katharine explains her motivation to drive real change and to develop new stakeholder relationships. She talks about her involvement in various campaigns within AB Sugar, including the development of the ‘Global Mind, Local Champions’ sustainability framework and subsequent 2030 commitments that are key to staying on track, maintaining focus and ultimately delivering change.

“The biggest benefit that I’ve personally had in SAI Platform is the ability to look at similar issues that we’re all challenged with and create new ways of operating with the scale and impact that we need across large supply chains and to do that together.”

Since the lockdown, Katharine Teague has become well accustomed to the new routine of working from home. For Katharine this has been a time for reflection. A moment to think clearly about impact, solving issues at scale, and looking at new ways of working both now and into the future. AB Sugar stands firm with the position that people need to keep safe, stay connected and work together. As a result, new techniques and different ways of working together are now in practice. Decision making is quicker and there is a growing diversification and connection across their networks and businesses.

“I think that climate change is one of the big issues, if not the issue that we can all galvanise round to really work together with governments and other stakeholders in society.”

The coronavirus pandemic has brought to the fore the importance of food and Katharine feels this strongly. In the conversation she highlights how discussions regarding where food comes from as well as food security are more central now than ever in policy makers’ minds. She feels that right now there is recognition of just how critical and crucial agriculture, food and the workers who deliver essential products really are to governments and the wider society. As an optimist Katharine hopes that this will continue as part of the narrative as the process starts to build back better with a green revolution and green jobs along with strong agricultural supply chains that are able to deliver food.

Click here to hear the full conversation with Katharine and her views on transformational change in the global food system, improving supply chain relations and what’s behind the data-driven FSA 3.0.