The International Executive Programme: how sustainable agriculture became an interactive learning experience

2nd December 2019

On 18-19 November SAI Platform held the first International Executive Programme on Sustainable Sourcing and Trade in partnership with the International Trade Centre (ITC). Two courses took place simultaneously in Matera, Italy led by Cranfield University and in Curitiba, Brazil by ISAE.

Facilitated by Dr Denyse Julien from Cranfield University in Italy and Guilherme Piazzetta from ISAE in Brazil, in-depth group discussions focused on mapping supply chains risks and creating resilience.

The participants at the Italian workshop were highly motivated and engaged and contributed positively to the overall atmosphere and learning points. It was a pleasure to have the chance to challenge them to think more deeply about some of their sustainability challenges” commented Dr Denyse Julien from Cranfield University. “I also learned many new things from them and found the workshop to be hugely stimulating”.

The International Executive Programme offers participants a unique and interactive experience. Prior to the face-to-face course, participants were invited to kick-start the programme with a pre-webinar introductory course. An online learning platform is available to access all course materials and case studies while an alumni network of food & beverage professionals offers the opportunity to share knowledge and discuss key learning points from the course.  

A special follow-up event will be organised to see how learning from the IEP has been applied to daily work.

One of the key highlights for this new and innovative International Executive Programme was the field visit.  Hosted by SAI Platform members Andriani S.p.A and PepsiCo, participants could take away first-hand insights into sustainability practices on-the-ground.

In Brazil, participants visited a potato farm involved in PepsiCo’s Sustainable Farming Program. On visiting the demofarm in Porto Amazonas, Gustavo Loiola from ISAE acknowledged that “we cannot achieve sustainability with the same thinking that was used when our companies were created. Innovation and a global mindset are essential skills for the new leadership models.”  

In Italy, participants visited the Andriani S.p.A. facility in Gravina, Puglia and saw the sustainability efforts of their gluten free pasta production. Hosted and sponsored by Andriani S.p.A., the Italian edition of the executive programme has been also an extraordinary experience from the food excellency to a guided tour in Sassi di Matera, the oldest city in Italy and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We learnt a great deal in SAI Platform’s International Executive Programme about the SDGs and how they impact agriculture and from what I have seen with Andriani and other participants we are working towards meeting those goals in a substantive way.”

Paul Watson, Director, Agriculture Research and Extension Council of Alberta, attendee of the Italian edition of the IEP

We are proud to have hosted the first International Executive Programme on Sustainable Sourcing and Trade in our region and to have worked together with SAI Platform. We would like to thank all the participants who have contributed with their interest and input to an even greater programme. We are pleased to have the opportunity to showcase our commitment to achieve the SDGs, which are an important framework for our company.” – Michele Andriani, President and CEO, Andriani S.p.A.

More information to follow on the next edition of the International Executive Programme on Sustainable Sourcing and Trade in the coming months.