Annual Event 2022: People Powered Agriculture

31st October 2022

SAI Platform’s Annual Event 2022

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In celebration of SAI Platform’s 20th anniversary, over 100 members from across the global food and drink industry came together in Cambridge, United Kingdom between 4th and 6th October 2022 for SAI Platform’s Annual Event. 

#SAIPlatform2022 gathered a broad audience of members from across the food and drink value chain for field visits with a strong focus on research and experimentation and a day conference where keynote speakers and panelists led discussions on SAI Platform’s legacy, the current challenges and opportunities facing farmers and how to de-risk the transition to regenerative agriculture.

Must read: 7 highlights and key talking points #SAIPlatform2022

Hosted by Sasha Twining, the theme, People Powered Agriculture formed the basis for an intimate, inspiring and interactive three-day event examining key themes such as regenerative agriculture, food-system transition, market incentives, and investment. There was a strong focus on the farmer’s perspective with keynote speeches from John Jefferies, a UK based farmer and Juan Carlos Ardila, a coffee farmer from Colombia sharing their first hand experience of the risks and benefits associated with implementing regenerative agricultural practices. 

Day one of the event kicked off with field visits with a focus on research and experimentation. One group had the opportunity to visit The Allerton Project, a demonstration farm in Leicestershire, that has been researching the relationship between productive land use and wildlife conservation for 30 years. The field trials and soil sampling sparked lively discussions on carbon sequestration, building climate change resilience and farm economics.

The second group spent the morning at Rothamsted Research, a world-leading research centre and soil archive that has had significant international impact, from farm to policy level. The afternoon was spent at Groundswell Agriculture Ltd where delegates had the opportunity to see firsthand the challenges and opportunities associated with implementing the 5 principles of regenerative agriculture.

The SAI Platform conference took place on Day two kicking off with our three founding members, Danone, Nestle and Unilever, taking to the stage for an open discussion about SAI Platform’s progress to date and ambitious plans for the future. Highlights from the conference included a lively debate on the motion, This house believes that humanity cannot meet our NET Zero ambitions by 2050, an insightful panel discussion focused on how to de-risk the transition to regenerative agriculture and a thought provoking closing address from Rob Meyers, VP Sustainable Agriculture at PepsiCo.

Delegates were introduced to SAI Platform’s latest initiative currently in development, Regenerating Together, a programme which aims to unite the industry behind a global framework with measurable outcomes and implementation guidance for regenerative agriculture. They also had the opportunity to take part in interactive breakout sessions to help define SAI Platform’s strategic themes: Climate, Nature and Livelihoods.

Day three concluded with the SAI Platform General Assembly where members had the opportunity to meet the new Executive Committee who were sworn in during the event and to hear from Director General, Dionys Forster about SAI Platform’s achievements to date and strategic direction as we look forward with a continued focus on collaborative action, industry solutions and theme leadership.

All presentations from the three day event are now available for download on My SAI Platform. Members can also access the photo gallery and videos from the Allerton Project field visit, the Rothamsted and Groundswell field visits and the day conference on Flickr.

The SAI Platform Executive Committee and Secretariat would like to thank our members for their energy and enthusiastic contributions throughout the event. 

We also give a special thanks to our key speakers, panelists, debaters and our moderator and host, Sasha Twining, who made the event the success that it was.  

A very big thank you also goes to Platinum sponsors, PepsiCo and Syngenta and our Silver sponsor, Cargill for their support and contribution to the organisation of this event.