May 2011 Volume 10, Issue 3
The ChainLetter International Food & Agribusiness Management Association Newsletter
IFAMA President Report Paul T. Jasper, CEO Covered Logistics Transport, LLC
Pre-Co nference Issue Frankfu rt 2 0 1 1
Dear Colleagues, The 21st Annual World Forum and Symposium June 20-23 in Frankfurt, Germany, will be an outstanding conference. ‘ The Road to 2050: Sustainability as a Business Opportunity’ will bring agriculture leaders from food, finance and policy to share strategies with you. The conference will be very interactive so you can collaborate with other industry professionals, policy makers and academics to discuss how to feed the growing population in a sustainable way. You will be able to contribute your thoughts with peers to discuss how to meet the demands with limited economic resources. One of the highlights will be that you can meet the brightest multi-national students who have chosen careers in the food and agribusiness sector. You can be part of recruiting, educating and developing our future leaders for your management teams. This conference will be worth your time. IFAMA is continuing to provide leadership in the food and agribusiness industry. We have a unique role to play because we can pull together the resources from academic, industry and government programs that will educate, train and supply the human capital needed to make feeding the growing world population a reality. The IFAMA Human Capital program has been well defined in the Strategic Plan, and it is on the way to becoming operational. In addition to our ongoing platform, the Human Capital platform will provide a major asset to our membership. You will be seeing a great deal of activity on this program and we will need your help to bring this to reality. IFAMA is also engaged in a program of Strategic Alliances with other organizations which will make IFAMA even more relevant and engaging with the global food and agriculture sector. The first strategic alliance is with the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and the intent is to enable PMA members to tap into the vast amount of expertise that exists within the membership base of IFAMA, particularly related to fresh produce growing, production and marketing. This will involve many of you and your research
and industry experience. I think you will find this a challenging and rewarding project with which to participate. Many thanks to Eluned Jones, Mike Boehlje and Richard Owen for developing this program. A full introduction of this program follows on page 9. Your participation is greatly appreciated. See you in Frankfurt! Best regards, Tuck Jasper, IFAMA President
Inside This Issue IFAMA’s President’s Report...........................................................................1 Collaboration Opportunities......................................................................2 2011 Conference Sponsors & Supporters..............................................2 2011 Conference Updates...........................................................................3 Hot Topic Session is Shaping Up...............................................................6 Student-Industry Mini Agribusiness Seminar..................................... 7 A Vision for 2050 ........................................................................................... 8 Harvard Style Showcase: Three Cases.....................................................9 Top 10 Best Paper Finalists Announced ..............................................10 Executive Interview: Mary Shelman By Kateryna Goychuk.............................................................. 11 The Human Capital Initative: What’s Ahead?.....................................13 Executive Interview: Emmo Meijer: By Aleksan Shanoyan.............................................................. 14 Growing Talent: Together Making a Differnce...................................16 Contribute to the ChainLetter & IFAMR.............................................. 17
Connecting Members to Collaboration Opportunities Send Us Your Profile! IFAMA is developing a way to put your unique expertise and experience to work for you. “This new intitative is designed to make your IFAMA membership even more relevant,” says IFAMA President, Tuck Jasper. We want to facitate the process of connecting people to projects globally. We know there is a tremendous amount of expertise that exists within IFAMA’s membership database which we gathered for 20 years. The leadership of the organization has made it a priority to develop a system for cataloging this expertise and matching it with partners that could benefit from the information. Eluned Jones, Texas A&M University, and Michael Boehlje, Purdue University, have developed a model for soliciting this information by industry sector. The first sector we will focus on is fresh produce (fruits and vegetables), and our partner is the Produce Marketing Association (PMA). The PMA is a trade association with 3,000 member companies in 50 countries, whose base extends from grower/shippers all the way through the supply chain to retailers. PMA would like to utilize IFAMA’s member expertise on sustainability, global economics, food safety and other industry topics that could improve the sector.
The Chain Letter May 2011 Page 2
To begin the process, we need to know who within IFAMA has an interest/background in fresh produce, and your particular areas of expertise. If you have an interest, please follow the link below to take a survey that will provide us more specifics. Once we collect this information, IFAMA and PMA will be back in touch with all respondents about areas for collaboration. The end product could be presentations, articles, social media tools, webinars and other methods of knowledge dissemination. Remember this is a model prototype, and fresh produce happens to be the first sector for collaboration. We expect other sectors, such as animal agriculture or retailing, to follow. Thank you in advance for your interest. We are happy to answer any additional questions you may have. Email: Ifama@ifama.org.
Click Here to Send us Your Profile
Thank You 2011 Conference Sponsors and Supporters
Conference Update: Frankfurt 2011
The Chain Letter May 2011 Page 3
21st Annual World Forum and Symposium
Josef Haber, BASF, Forum Co-Chair and Gerhard Schiefer, University of Bonn, Forum Co-Chair
THE ROAD TO 2050 SUSTAINABILITY AS A BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY Conference Overview Harvard Style Teaching Cases Wednesday and Thursday, June 22 - 23 The 21st Annual World Forum and Symposium is just a month away and we are excited about the depth and breadth of the speakers and program. Day one explores some of the long-term thinking and strategies leading food, finance and agriculture leaders are employing for the future. Other sessions will include the rising volatility of commodity prices, private standards, and ethics in sustainability, how to balance growth with creation and a specific look at building consumer brands. Plus, conversations on the top issues will be cultivated by directors, presidents and overseers of the most recognizable organizations on the globe. Day two will examine how the policies of governments, increased competition and business governance will affect the road to 2050. Agro-enterprises ranging from small start-ups to world leaders in restaurants mark this second day of meetings that pit powerhouses together to join forces on the challenges of sustainability. Multiple discussion topics include assuring scarce resources and the difficulties of safely feeding hundreds of millions of diverse appetites. Join us in Frankfurt for the 21st Annual Forum and Symposium The Road to 2050: Sustainability as a Business Opportunity.
2011 Symposium Monday and Tuesday, June 20 - 21 On June 19th and 20th IFAMA will host itâ€™s 21st Annual Symposium featuring more than 180 scientific papers appealing to a broad spectrum of interests and timely topics impacting every aspect of the global food system. A complete schedule of the papers presented and presentation times will be available by June 1. Research will be presented in the following topic areas: vGlobal Economic and Financial Crisis vEnvironmental Conflicts within the Food System vTechnology and Innovation in Meeting Food System Challenges vGlobal Food Outlook vCustomer Orientation and Marketing vResponsible Food Supply System vHuman Capital Development and Management Issues
Best Paper Competition Thirty-nine papers were submitted to the 2011 Best Paper competition. Ten finalists have progressed to compete for the coveted award. Each paper received two comprehensive blind peer reviews managed by a Managing Editor. Read more on page 10.
Case Conference Co-Chair: Jose Antonio Boccherini, Director, Instituto Internacional San Telmo, Spain Case Conference Co-Chair: Melanie Lang, University of Guelph Three cases were selected to present in a special Harvard-Style Showcase this year. The purpose of the Case Seminar is to provide constructive feedback to the authors on case writing, discussion, and leadership skills. In addition, by modeling case discussions we hope to encourage others to become interested in writing cases or in using cases (and case discussions) in their classes. Conference participants are invited to attend. The complete cases will be available for those interested in attending the sessions prior to to the conference. A description of each case is provided on page 9.
Student Case Competition Chair: Gregory A. Baker, Santa Clara University Ten teams will participate in the Student Case Competition in Frankfurt. Teams include: INHolland University (The Netherlands), Santa Clara University (USA), University of Guelph (Canada), 2-New Mexico State University (USA), Kansas State University (USA), an international team consisting of students from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad in Iran, Kansas State University, USA and the University of Minnesota, USA and a South Africian Team with students representing Fort Hare and the University of Pretoria. Preliminaries: Sunday, June 19 8:00-17:00 Finals: Tuesday, June 21 16:00-17:00
Student-Industry Agribusiness Seminar Organizers: Eluned Jones and Victoria Salin, Texas A&M University
Building upon the success of 2010 conference Student-Industry Luncheon, Novus International will host a Student-Industry Case Seminar during the 2011 conference in Frankfurt. The group-based format is designed to allow industry and student attendees to exchange information in depth, and debate alternative approaches to a timely issue in small groups. After a sustained dialogue in small groups, over breakfast and lunch on Tuesday, June 21, a plenary gathering for a facilitated case discussion will conclude the Case Symposium. Registered participants for this symposium will receive the case two weeks prior to the event, to allow time to prepare for the analysis. Read more on page 7.
The Chain Letter May 2011 Page 4
2011 Forum: Day 1 Sustainability as a Business Approach Wednesday, June 22 09:00 Session 1: Opening Remarks Paul Tuck Jasper, CEO, Cover Logistics and President IFAMA Jesus Serafin Perez, President CIAA
Long-Term Visions 09:30 - 10:45 – Session 2 The panelists from Sessions 2 and 3 will provide long-term visions for food and agriculture from their unique perspectives. Can the industry from a business perspective provide a sustainable approach to meeting world food demands by 2050? Can industry self-regulate, what role will governments take in the sustainability debate and implementation? As more investment flows into agriculture, will investors be satisfied with agriculture returns? Will national interests supercede the sustainability efforts? Session Moderator: Gerhard Schiefer, University of Bonn Industry: Michael Mack, CEO Syngenta Food Sector: Felix Ahlers, CEO FROSTA Commodity Trade: Dirk Bensmann, Board, Agravis 11:30 – 12:45 Session 3 Session Moderator: Josef Haber, Value Chain Manager, BASF Coping with Financial Risks: Thomas Rueschen, DWS (Deutsche Bank) Value Creation through Sustainability: Peer Ederer, Scientific Director, EFAS Long-Term Vision for Financing: Carel van der Hamsvoort, Global Head for F&A Research and Advisory, Rabobank 14:00 – 15:30 Session 4: CONCURRENT SESSIONS
Commodity Price Volatility: Needs and Regulation World food prices in January 2011 surpassed the 2008 peak and are at their highest level since 1990. The effects of high food prices are significant especially on low-income food deficit countries – diminishing supplies in some countries, sharp inflation in others and an overall negative impact on economic growth and performance in all countries. Do policy makers understand agricultural futures markets, price formation and volatility? How are food industry companies handling the volatility? Does industry need more regulation? Is there too much or not enough speculation? Session Moderators: Francesco Braga, University of Guelph and Francis Declerck, Essec Business School Andreas Rickmers ,Senior Business Leader, Cargill International SA Sascha Siegel, Vice President Product Dev. Eurex Frankfurt AG Carole L. Brookins, Managing Director, Public Capital Advisors Jacob R. Robbins, Managing Director, Global Sweeteners, The Coca Cola Company
Private Standards vs. Public Regulations Prof. Ray Goldberg projected during the 20th IFAMA Forum, that standards and certification will become the most growing service sector of the next decade. While retailers push for more standard compliance through certification, many food companies and governments focus more on capacity building and regulation. Will we see a competition of approaches which culminate into a nightmare for the food sector, or is the global food system able to converge in its efforts to transmit sustainability objectives throughout the supply chain? Session Moderators: Kristian Moeller, Secretary, GlobalGAP and Antoine Meyer, BASF SE Johann Züblin, Head of Standards and Social Compliance, Migros Bund Martina Fleckenstein, Director of EU Policy, WWF Peter Funk, General Manager, SGF International Christoph Guenther, Head Business Development, Nutritional Ingredients Europe, BASF SE
Value Creation through Sustainability A fundamental shift in corporate strategies occurring globally is the belief that greater social, economic and environmental responsibility is good for business. This session examines how to grow Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability from a compliance based risk mitigation effort into a business opportunity for sustainable growth and value creation. Using the EFAS FrieslandCampina CSR Business Case, participants will have an opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities of climbing the CSR value curve. Attendees of this session should sign up and prepare by reading the case Case Study study in advance. Session Moderators: Peer Ederer, Scientific Director, EFAS Kees Wantenaar, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, RoyalFrieslandCampina
The Sovena Group In less than 10 years, Sovena Group has changed dramatically from a local Portuguese food manufacturer to become the second biggest bottler of olive oil in the world. Yet, many questions and challenges lie ahead: How to consolidate and improve Sovena’s leadership position? Should Sovena concentrate on growing the private label business or should it focus on developing strong consumer brands? Which world markets and strategies should be a priority? This session will use the case method to discuss Sovena’s strategic challenges. Participants should sign up for the session and prepare by reading Case Study the case study in advance. Session Moderator: Jose Antonio Boccherini, Director of the Agribusiness Department at Instituto San Telmo 16:15 - 17:30 Session 5
Panel Discussion Feedback Henk van Latesteijn will facilitate moderators and invited panelists as they recap the highlights and essential takeaways from each concurrent small group discussion for conference attendees. Session Moderator: Henk van Latesteijn, CEO, TransForum
2011 Forum: Day 2 Sustainability Policy and Governance Thursday, June 23 08:30 - 09:30 Session 6 Session 6 and 7 examine the policy and governance side of the agricultural sustainability debate. Can the agriculture industry provide strong leadership and input into the governance debate? Will national interests trump sustainability efforts? Are there vulnerable areas in the food chain given the rapid changes and demands on the food and agriculture industry? The second day of the forum will address some of these issues with remarks from several panelists. Session Moderator: Harald von Witzke, Humboldt University of Berlin EU Policy Vision: Martin Scheele, Environment Unit Head, EU Directorate Ag & Rural Development The Global Perspective: Wilfrid Legg, OECD, Former Head of Agricultural Policies and Environment Division EU Farmer Perspecitive: Shelby Matthews, Chief Policy Advisor, Copa-Cogeca 09:30 - 10:30 Session 7 Session Moderator: Harald von Witzke, Humboldt University of Berlin Business Governance: Sarah Lewis, The Sustainable Consortium (TSC) Assuring Production Resources: Derek Byerlee, formerly World Bank Competitiveness Challenges for Small and Medium Agro-Enterprises: Ralph Christy, Cornell University 11:15 - 12:45 Session 8: CONCURRENT SESSIONS
Competitive Challenges for Small & Medium Agro-Enterprises (SMAEs) Survival can be precarious for SMAEs caught between pro-small farmer government policies and large companies (with market and political power, resources and know-how). Yet, SMAEs account for a large and growing share of agricultural sector value addition and employment in developing regions. What specific challenges are SMAE business managers facing? Are these the same in different regions? What initiatives are they taking to overcome the disadvantages? The SMAE business managers in this roundtable will give us a glimpse of the challenges they face and their business strategies for growth and survival. Session Moderator: Doyle Baker, FAO and Carlos da Silva, FAO
Business Governance How can we efficiently organize a food supply chain? How does supply chain design contribute to the cost efficiency of production and the quality and safety of food products? Managers from some of Europe’s leading meat companies share their insights into the governance of meat chains with the audience. How will partnerships with customers and suppliers develop in the future? How does the governance of supplier relationships contribute to food safety? How do meat companies meet the ever growing challenges with regard to the sustainability of food supply chains? Session Moderators: Ludwig Theuvsen, Professor, University of Göttingen
The Chain Letter May 2011 Page5
Onno Omta, Professor, Wageningen University Christoph Willers, Director, Institute for Sustainable Management Rainer Kühl, Professor, University of Gießen
Assuring and Managing Scarce Resources Land markets are suffering a deep reorganization on a global basis. Who are the players controlling this reorganization? The expansion of the agriculture worldwide and the growth of the urban areas have an impact on the amount of land available and the prices to access this resource. How does the control of land by foreign governments impact food production for a country? Investment funds are available to buy land in different parts of the world. Does this mean significant increases in arable land values? Session Moderators: Decio Zylbersztajn, Professor,University of Sao Paulo and Jacques Trienekens, Associate Professor, Wageningen University Gustavo Grobocopatel, President, Los Grobos, Argentina Julio Toledo Piza, CEO, BrasilAgro, Brazil
YUM! China As China’s middle class grows, so does its appetite for different food choices. Yum is the parent of KFC and Pizza Hut. By sheer number of units, it is the largest restaurant company in the world. In China alone, it has over 3,800 restaurants and is opening one new store every 18 hours.What does a middle class of 800 million people in China by 2025 hold for a fast-food enterprise like Yum? How will China deal with food safety, food security, sustainability, and obesity issues? Can Yum position itself as a healthy place to eat in China? This Harvard Case Discussion, which will be led by Mary Shelman, Harvard Business School and 2011-2013 IFAMA President will set the stage for the upcoming 2012 IFAMA Conference that will be held in Shanghai. Conference registrants will receive the Yum! case in advance of the conference and have an opportunity to participate in this exciting case discussion. Session Moderator: Mary Shelman, Director Agribusiness Program, Harvard Business School Case Study 14:00 – 15:15 – Session 9
Panel Discussion Feedback Henk van Latesteijn will facilitate moderators and invited panelists as they recap the highlights and the essential takeaways from each consecutive small group discussion for conference attendees. Session Moderator: Henk van Latesteijn, CEO, TransForum 15:15 – 16:00 – Session 10
Hot Topic Session This session is intentionally reserved to respond to a food system issues currently making headlines. The topics will be announced closer to the final program date. Session Moderator: Carole L. Brookins, Man. Director, Public Capital Advisors 16:00 - 16:15 – Session 11 – Wrap up Forum Closing: Presidential Transition Tuck Jasper, IFAMA President 2009-2011 Mary Shelman, IFAMA President 2011-2013
Topic Session Shaping up for Frankfurt
The Chain Letter May 2011 Page 6
Session 10 of the 2011 Forum is an open discussion on current “Hot more unpredictable weather/climate cycle with greater uncertainty/ Topics”. Its purpose is to focus on front burner topics currently making extremes in adverse weather impacts? How much are “speculators” headlines in the global food industry. The session will be facilitated to blame? by the Honorable Carole Brookins, Managing Director, Public Capital 4 If this food “super cycle” is a reality for investors, how do you best Advisors. The following comments are intended to set the stage for engage in the markets? Do you invest in commodity funds, discussion in this session and are not all inclusive. They will hopefully agricultural/agribusiness companies, agricultural land? elicit further comments both in the session and in future Chain Letters. A number of issues arise under the overarching umbrella of “food security and food insecurity” at the global, national and local levels. It appears that the world is in a new age of turbulence and higher volatility in commodity markets. Basic food commodity prices have not driven food inflationary trends for several decades since the 1970s. Now the value of the raw material plays a much more significant role in food prices, with commodity sourcing and risk management pushing the power “up” the value chain. There is a general view that we may be in a food “super cycle”, a long-term bull market driven by both supply constraints in the short to medium term (technology lags, more adverse climatic shocks, etc). Demand for assets in the food system is expanding, with new players owning land and other businesses in the supply chain. Within this scenario, there will still be a focus at the local level on organics, small scale agriculture, food safety and quality. However, the global food security situation will be driven by policy and markets. Below are some questions and issues important to the discussion:
4 What are the real supply and demand issues facing the world in 2011 in regards to market prices globally and managing volatility? 4Food trade faced serious challenges in the 2008 tight markets for grains and oilseeds. Will that happen again in 2011 with embargoes or export restraints? Do we need new rules in the trading system to create more reliable supplies globally? 4How rapidly can new technologies increase productivity and improve crop yields? While cereal yields expanded at a rate higher than population and demand through 1990, in the last two decades demand has outstripped yield improvement. Are we entering a world when ending stocks will remain tight on a year to year basis? 4What happens in 2011 if there are problems getting corn planted in the U.S. Midwest due to excessive moisture and flooding? 4What is the impact of climate change? What steps need to be taken both on a policy and firm management level to mitigate expected impacts?
4In general, is this latest basic commodity “shock” just a one- time event or a sign of a super cycle and a new age of turbulence in global agricultural/food markets? Are we in a long-term bull market 4How does the increased demand for energy impact the global food situation? Does it raise the price floor? and what implications for the global food system does that pose? 4What is driving these price spikes? Stagnating productivity? Accelerated demand growth for both basic grains and value added livestock/protein and diversified consumer food products? Agricultural/food crops used for energy (bioethanol, biodielsel)? A
4How do you smooth aid delivery to food deficit countries in the wake of the economic crisis? Can innovative policy and financing mechanisms help alleviate some of the burden, such as catestrophic insurance or hedging, or emergency stocks (G 20 proposal by Sarkozy)?
The Chain Letter May 2011 Page 7
Novus Sponsored Student-Industry Mini Agribusiness Seminar Who Will Lead Your Company in the Future?
Facilitators: Eluned Jones and Victoria Salin, Texas A&M University
Tuesday June 21st 7:45-9:15 Breakfast and 12:15-1:30 Luncheon 1:45-3:20 Case Seminar Many Senior Executives are concerned with the lack of bench strength inside their companies today. There is a shortage of ready-now candidates who are able to replace planned and unplanned losses of key leaders. As a result the future continuity and performance of businesses is at risk. Succession development is a front and center topic on the minds of many agribusiness leaders. Where will we find the talent to lead our companies in the future? Developing talent is a process. If leadership development is not enough of a priority for the company to establish goals and track progress against those goals, it will be difficult to make any succession planning process work. Furthermore, the act of engaging with senior executives to establish these goals will build support for succession planning and ownership for leadership development.1 IFAMA, is a conduit for facilitating this exchange and is taking the lead to bring the industry’s brightest students together with executives in order to provide this opportunity. Building upon the success of the Student-Industry luncheon in 2010, Novus International will again sponsor a Student-Industry Executive Case Seminar during the 2011 conference in Frankfurt. The format has changed from last year in order to facilitate a broader information exchange between students and executives. Prior to the conference, registered participants for the seminar will receive the case, (a top-of-mind global issue) two weeks prior to the event. This will allow students and executives an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the topic and prepare for a thoughtful analysis. A roundtable format will be utilized to combine a structured learning environment with the opportunity to share ideas in informal discussions. After a sustained dialogue which includes breakfast and a luncheon on Tuesday, June 21, a plenary gathering for a facilitated case discussion will conclude the Case Seminar. “This process provides a unique opportunity for both student and industry leaders,” says Thad Simons, President and CEO of Novus International, Inc., a major corporate sponsor of the event. “It gives students rare access to forward thinking leaders in our industry and it gives industry leaders an opportunity to engage with some of the brightest emerging front-runners in our industry through a sustained dialog.”
Goldsmith, M. 4 Tips for Efficient Succession Success, Harvard Business Review. http://blogs.hbr.org/goldsmith/2009/05/change_succession_planning_to.html
A Vision for 2050?
The Chain Letter May 2011 Page 8
The challenge of sustainablity coupled with feeding 9 billion people on the planet is a topic that Michael Mack, CEO of Syngenta has given some thought. Michael Mack, CEO, Syngenta, will be one of the lead-off speakers at the 2011 Forum session on “Long Term Visions”. He is CEO of Syngenta and one of the four co-chairs of a study released during the World CEO Forum in New Delhi India, “Vision 2050: The New Agenda for Business”. The study lays out a pathway leading to a global population of nine billion in 2050 living well within the resource limits of the planet. Vision 2050 calls for a new agenda for business: to work with government and society worldwide to transform markets and competition. Mack states that “Humanity has largely had an exploitative relationship with our planet; we can, and should, aim to make this a symbiotic one.” According to the report, the transformation ahead represents vast opportunities in a broad range of business segments as the global challenges of growth, urbanization, scarcity and environmental change become the key strategic drivers for business in the coming decade. Opportunities range from developing and maintaining low-carbon, zero-waste cities, mobility and infrastructure to improving and managing biocapacity, ecosystems, lifestyles and livelihoods. Enabling these changes will also create opportunities for finance, information/communication technology and partnerships. There will be new opportunities to be realized, different external priorities and partners to be engaged and a myriad of risks to navigate and adapt to. Smarter systems, smarter people, smarter designs and smarter businesses will prevail. There will be a new agenda for business leaders. Political and business constituencies will shift from thinking of climate change and resource constraints as environmental problems to economic ones related to the sharing of opportunity and costs. A model of growth and progress will be sought that is based on a balanced use of renewable resources and recycling those that are not. This will spur a green race, with countries and business working together as well as competing to get ahead. Business leaders will benefit from this change by thinking about local and global challenges as more than just costs and things to be worried about, and instead using them as an impetus for investments that open up the search for solutions and the realization of opportunities. The transformation will bring with it huge shifts in terms of regulation, markets, consumer preferences, the pricing of inputs, and the measurement of profit and loss; all of which will impact business. Rather than follow change, business must lead this transformation by doing what business does best: cost-effectively creating solutions that people need and want. The difference is that the new solutions will be based on a global and local market place with “true values and costs”, the “truth” being established by the limits of the planet and what it takes to live well within them. Business, consumers and policy-makers will experiment, and, through multi-stakeholder collaboration, systemic thinking and co-innovation, find solutions to make a sustainable world achievable and desirable. This is opportunistic business strategy at its best.
Business leaders must also run their companies successfully under present framework conditions while helping to lead society toward the new framework conditions of sustainability, working closely with political and social leaders in doing this. It will mean new partnerships for business with governments and civil society groups and more systemic thinking and approaches to manage challenges and opportunities such as a doubling of urban populations by 2050. Business leaders will need to manage companies through unprecedented transformational change, in parallel with governments getting the right policies and incentives in place. The participating companies in the study strongly believe that the world already has the knowledge, science, technologies, skills and financial resources needed to achieve Vision 2050. However the foundations for much of what is required will need to be laid at speed and scale in the next decade. At the same time, the map is far from complete. There are still many significant questions to be answered about governance, global frameworks for commerce, roles and responsibilities, and risks. Nevertheless, it is believed that these can be answered in time for progress to be made. Michael Mack summarized the findings of Vision 2050 in a talk before the American Swiss Foundation, where his comments centered on the intersection of food security, energy, and water and described the kinds of changes that would have to be made so that a population of 9 billion people by 2050 can not only live, but live full productive lives within earth’s limits. He stated “One of the key findings of Vision 2050 is that we can get there from here, and we can do it with the knowledge, skills, science and resources we currently posses.,” For example, take agriculture in America. Starting from a very high base-line, with some of the most advanced agricultural practices in the world, the United States has been able to continually increase the productivity of many of its staple crops. Of course, modern agricultural technology applied to less advanced regions can produce even more.” The report was compiled by 29 leading global companies representing 14 industries. This work results from an 18-month combined effort with CEOs and experts, and dialogues with over 200 companies and external stakeholders in some 20 countries. Read the complete report by going to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD): http://www.wbcsd. org/templates/TemplateWBCSD5/layout.asp?MenuID=1
Symposium will Showcase Three Harvard-Style Case Studies
The Chain Letter May 2011 Page 9
Three authors were selected to present their cases in the Harvard-Style Showcase during the Symposium. The purpose of the Case Seminar is to provide constructive feedback to the authors on case writing, discussion, and leadership skills. In addition, by modeling case discussions we hope to encourage others to become interested in writing cases or in using cases (and case discussions) in their classes. The full cases will be available on our website on June 11th for download. The sessions will be presented on Monday and Tuesday, June 19th-20th. Check the Symposium program schedule for times. New Zealand Wool Inside Daniel Conforte, S. Dunlop and Elena Garnevska , New Zealand After two decades of decline in wool prices, New Zealand farmers, disillusioned with many years of generic wool advertising, had recently voted to stop financing industry good promotional activities. Meanwhile, three companies had started their private value added and wool branding initiatives, aimed mostly at the USA and European carpet and rugs markets. Although some wool farmers and industry participants viewed these private marketing initiatives with optimism and as a sign of vitality in the industry, others thought that the industry was still too fragmented and that a more unified approach was required. Yet another view was that farmers had little to contribute to, and gain from, any sort of international wool branding and value adding efforts, and that they should focus on what they do best: farming. The Wairarapa Wool Farmers Group had been meeting with representatives from the three main wool marketing groups to understand their initiatives more clearly. When the meeting was over one farmer expressed the general spirit. “There is a shared view that something must be done to revive the wool industry but there is not a clear consensus about what, if anything farmers should do. It is not clear whether any of the branding initiatives out there will make any difference back at the farms.“ At the end of the meeting, farmers had divided themselves in three groups; each group was assigned to study one company and its respective branding value adding and branding initiative. They had agreed to meet again in two weeks when each group would present the pros and cons of each initiative to the plenary. Then they would decide what was best for the farmers. Learning Objectives: To dissucss (a) the value of past and current generic promotion campaigns in the wool industry; (b) the viability of recent private value adding and branding campaigns, as well as of the organisations behind such initia-
tives; (c) the likely impact of the initiatives in the economy of the farmers; (d) if farmers should invest in any of the value adding companies or not (d) if farmers should engage collectively in supporting any of the initiatives, and if so how. Cybenza – Launching a New Product during the Financial Crisis Erik Dahl, USA This case deals with a management team reevaluating of its marketing strategy in the face of the 2008 financial crisis. It was November 2008, and Novus International, a leading animal nutrition and feed additive manufacturer, was trying to turn around a struggling new product line. After only six months on the market, the new enzyme product line was well behind its sales targets after being met with skepticism by customers who were struggling to cope with a combination of high commodity prices and low meat prices, as well as strong resistance from sales people who felt it was a distraction from the company’s core products. The enzyme product manager must decide whether the enzyme product line was still viable in the midst of a challenging market environment, and if so how to communicate its benefits in a way that addressed customer pains and won support from the sales force. This case puts students in the product manager’s shoes to analyze the benefits of a new product, asks students whether they would continue the product line, and if so how they would go about marketing the product to customers as well as the internal sales team. The case allows data for computation of economic benefits of the product to farmers and processors, which will be valuable in crafting a successful marketing and sales strategy. Learning Objectives: To help students identify and quantify product benefits, and discuss how to communicate these benefits in a B2B environment. Subjects covered: Market analysis; Market positioning; Marketing strategy; New product marketing.
VION Food Group: Driving Change in the European Meat Industry Martijn F.L. Rademakers, The Netherlands VION, headquartered in the Netherlands, is a leading European meat processor and food ingredients company with 27,000 employees and annual sales exceeding €9 billion. Less than a decade ago the company surprised friends and foes by entering the industry through a series of major takeovers that changed the face of the European meat industry. The VION case focuses on new strategic directions for the company to take. While still digesting part of the acquisitions driving the fast growth of the company, VION is facing a rapidly changing competitive landscape. Competition in the meat industry is becoming increasingly global in nature, with a profound impact on the competitive dynamics in Europe. Major global players including Smithfield Foods (based in the USA) and Brazil’s JBS Swift and Perdigão, are penetrating and expanding into European territory. New geographical markets for meat companies emerge in Eastern Europe and Asia. Meanwhile, incumbent competitors such as Danish Crown (based in Denmark) and Tönnies (Germany) are beefing up their competitive efforts, while many market segments in Europe have reached maturity. The diversity of distinctive and hard-to-copy strengths of major competitors confronts VION with much food for thought. For instance, a number of competitors have important cost advantages over VION. Others enjoy a very strong supply base, or have outstanding technological capabilities. What strategy should VION pursue to maintain the initiative in changing the European meat industry, and stay ahead of the competition? Learning Objectives: To understand the dynamics of the European meat industry in a global context and analyze the impact of strategic developments in the European meat industry; to evaluate the strategic position of VION in a changing global meat industry.
The Chain Letter May 2011 Page 10
Top 10 Best Paper Finalists Announced The Symposium Team reviewed 250 paper and case submissions. Forty-one papers were reviewed and 10 of these papers were selected to compete in Frankfurt for the coveted award. Each papers has undergone two comprehensive blind peer reviews managed by a Managing Editor. Judges will attend the oral presentation of each author before selecting the winner. Best Paper Awards are given to one paper in each of the following categories: (a) Conference Theme: “The Road to 2050: Sustainablity as a Business Opportunity,“ (b) Innovation Award: Research which contributes by forwarding an innovative idea or solution (c) Relevance to Managers: Research presents solutions that are relevant to managers and management. (d) Communication and Marketing: Research provides novel communication or the marketing idea/product. The winners will be announced in Frankfurt during 2011 conference. Sustainability Strategies in Agribusiness: Understanding Key Drivers, Objectives and Actions
Allan W. Gray, Purdue University; Amber Rankin, Purdue University; and Michael Boehlje, Purdue University, USA. Determinants of the Use of Information Provided by Agribusiness Firms: An Empirical Study of German Pig Farmers Ludwig Arens, University Gottingen; Cord-Herwig Plumeyer, University Goettingen; and Ludwig Theuvsen,
University of Goettingen, Germany.
An Empirical Study on Governance Structure Performance in Supply Chain China’s Pork Chain Case
Chen Ji, Universidad Politacnica de Madrid, Spain; Haitao Wang, Nanjing Agricultural University, China; Isabel de Felipe, Universidad Politecnica Madrid, Spain; Jacques H. Trienekens, Wageningen University, The Netherlands. The U.S. Produce Traceability Initiative: Analysis, Evaluation, and Recommendations
Justin K. Porter, Santa Clara University and Gregory A Baker, Santa Clara University, USA. Attitudes of Maltese Consumers Towards Quality in Fruit and Vegetables in Relation with their Food Related LifeStyle Maurizio Canavari, University of Bologna, Italy; Marco Dimech, Ministry for resources and Rural Affairs,
Malta, Italy; Vincenzina Caputo, University of Bologna, Italy.
Farm and Retail Prices in the South African Poultry Industry: Do the Twain Meet?
Thulasizwe Mkhabela, National Agricultural Marketing Council, Market & Economic Research Centre; Bonani Nyhodo, National Agricultural Marketing Council , South Africa. Effective Marketing of Hass Avacados
Hoy Carman, University of California-Davis, USA. Integration of smallholders in modern agri-food chains: lessons from the KASCOL model in Zambia
Sepiso Mungandi, Massey University and Daniel Conforte, Massey University, New Zealand. The Innovation Process: Practices in Food and Agribusiness Companies
Maud Roucan-Kane, Sam Houston State University; Michael Boehlje, Purdue University and Allan W. Gray, Purdue University, USA. Technical Efficiency in Milk Production of the Dual-purpose Cattle System in El Salvador during Dry and Rainy Seasons Angel Amed Duron Benitez, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST) and
Wen-Chi Huang, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Taiwan.
IFAMA’s Role in the Development of Human Capital
The Chain Letter May 2011 Page 11
An Executive Interview with Mary Shelman
By Kateryna Goychuk, PhD student from University of Missouri, USA Mary Shelman is the Director of Harvard Business School’s Agribusiness Program. One of her many responsibilities is to organize and lead an annual agribusiness seminar that is attended by CEOs and senior managers from all over the world. Her special research interests pertain to the forces of change shaping global agribusiness. One such change that Ms. Shelman kindly agreed to discuss is the increasing role of human capital development in the management of a company.
Q. Why are you interested in the issue of human capital developement in the management of companies?
A. I’m interested in human capital as a competitive advantage for a firm and also for an industry. I believe that the agriculture/agribusiness/food industry has done a poor job of “marketing” itself to young adults. Students do not see it as a promising career path and thus firms do not get the best talent. But it’s the most important industry in the world, as it impacts human health, the environment, economic development, political stability, etc. Q. In your opinion, what would be a good starting point for a company that decides to use human capital as its competitive advantage?
A. Human capital development requires strategic thinking. It also requires investment and time. The initiative should start with the CEOs and top managers. It should not be left solely to the HR departments. The focus should be on the attraction of talented personnel, but also on working with the employees within the company, making sure that people have clear vision of their individual roles in achieving the firm’s goals. Managers should serve as mentors who recognize the potential of their workers and provide
them with the opportunities to grow further. Companies should create training programs and help the employees move through their careers. However, responsibilities ultimately fall on both parties. Employees themselves also need to take initiative and be willing to work with the employer. Some companies, however, justify their decision not to invest in the development of human capital by emphasizing that employees may simply leave, taking with them everything they were taught. But this is a risk that cannot be eliminated. Accordingly, the companies need to be ready to face such risks and find ways to minimize them. They also need to remember that the more one is invested in the company and the more enjoyable one’s working environment, the greater the likelihood one would be willing to stay. One of the examples is Olam International. Its top management has been in place for a long time. Employees are excited to come to their offices, and to work towards the same goal of making their company successful. As a result, the company gets high performance results and has a high retention rate. Thus, one of the ways for the companies to make its people stay is to create a working environment that is more personal. Q. How would this strategy change for smaller agribusiness firms, since attracting human capital, like any other capital, requires resources to which small firms might not always have access?
A. If this is the case, the small firms should focus more on the activities at the local
level, such as involving themselves with local universities, offering internships, and, most importantly, telling a compelling story about their companies to create a positive image about the firm and the whole sector. Such companies need to persuade potential employees that their firms are the right place for them to work. Q. What are your thoughts on key players in the agribusiness industry positioning it as an exciting place to work?
A. The changes in the perception of the agribusiness sector should be initiated at a firm level, but should progress towards a collective effort. What we need to do is tell the right story about the agribusiness industry; we simply need to be more vocal about it. It is essential we have the right positioning. This will surely help attract young people to agribusiness. One of the examples I would like to mention is the Agri Aware program, established in Ireland in 1996, which aims to improve the image and understanding of Irish agriculture and farming among schoolchildren. This has been done through a number of initiatives, including website support, the organization of various events, and close collaboration with teachers and students throughout the country. The survey conducted in 2007 demonstrated that since 1997 the Agri Aware’s activities have had a positive impact on improving the perception of the agricultural industry. The program was founded by five member organizations, but over the years it has attracted a number of corporate supporters. One of them
The Chain Letter May 2011 Page 12
Mary Shelman-Continued from page11
I believe this is a good example of how simple actions can make a difference. Q. In June 2011 you will become IFAMAâ€™s president. What role, in your opinion, can IFAMA take in changing the perceptions of the agribusiness and food industry for young employees?
Of course, our annual IFAMA Forum and Symposium is a great chance to position the agribusiness sector as a promising place to be. This annual meeting also presents a lot of opportunities for students to network and make valuable connections. This is the time when students can easily approach high-level industry professionals and pose the questions that are not asked at the interviews, seek professional advice and success stories. We at IFAMA are constantly making this process easier.
One of the greatest advantages of IFAMA is that it is ideally positioned. Among its members are industry representatives, professors, students, and researchers, which gives us an opportunity to easily connect businesspeople with students. Additionally, last year we launched a human capital platform with the goal to increase studentsâ€™ involvement in agribusiness. This would be done through a number of steps, such as developing an understanding of the state of agribusiness education, introducing food agribusiness courses, etc.
This interview was conducted during the 2010 International Food and Agribusiness Symposium & World Forum in Boston, USA by Kateryna Goychuk, a PhD student from University of Missouri, Columbia. You may contact Kateryna at: email@example.com
CHS and CHS Foundation Offer U.S. College Students Career Development Resources CHS Inc., a 2011 IFAMA Conference sponsor, is providing generous support to the IFAMA Student Travel Grant program, thus enabling IFAMA to leverage allocations in order to get more students to the Frankfurt conference. Additionally, CHS offers scholarships, grants and career development opportunities to enrich the journey for domestic students pursuing agriculture majors at two and four-year U.S. educational institutions. CHS is a diversified Fortune 100 company providing essential grain, food and energy resources to businesses and consumers owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives, along with thousands of preferred stockholders across the United States. CHS supplies energy, crop nutrients, grain, livestock feed, food and food ingredients, along with business solutions including insurance, financial and risk management services. The company operates petroleum refineries/pipelines and manufactures, markets and distributes CenexÂŽ brand refined fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products. As a part of the CHS stewardship focus, the CHS Foundation is committed to investing in the future of rural America, agriculture and cooperative business through education and leadership development. 4More than $225,000 under-graduate scholarships are awarded by the CHS Foundation annually targeting agriculture. 4CHS Foundation mini-grants are available for up to $1,000 annually to agricultural-related college clubs to support academic, professional and leadership development of its members. 4Learn more about CHS on internships and other resources by visiting the Careers page at chsinc.com Visit chsfoundation.org for scholarship application and eligibility information.
IFAMA’s Human Capital Initative - What’s Ahead? IFAMA has assembled a strong team to steer IFAMA’s Human Capital Initiative. The Human Capital Task Group, consisting of Alicia Calhoun, Dennis Conley, Aidan Connolly Michael Mazzocco, Mary Shelman and Eric Spell, each has a unique perspective on the opportunities and challenges of providing the best talent to feed the world. They have identified several areas in which IFAMA can uniquely fill a void. Task Group Co-chair Mary Shelman brings a frontline perspective to the project through her experience as Director of the Harvard Business School’s Agribusiness Program. Her work with high-level agribusiness executives from around the world gives her an inside track into what’s on the minds of top executives. “When I listen to CEO concerns,” says Shelman, “one of their biggest limitations I hear is how to attract the talent needed to lead their companies in the future. Clearly there is a gap. Because IFAMA membership consists of academics, industry and students—we sit at the intersection to fill an important niche.” Eric Spell’s company makes it their business to understand the recruitment needs of the top agribusiness companies. Spell is CEO of AgCareers (www.agcareers.com), an international e-recruitment business similar to Monster.com. Their online career resource service connects people to jobs in the agriculture, food, biotechnology, natural resources and life science sectors. Last year his company posted 38,000 jobs in the industry. Alicia Calhoun looks at the task from a produce perspective. Calhoun is Program Director for the PMA Foundation for Industry Talent, a group created to develop and retain talent for the produce industry (www. pmafit.com). “This gap is a huge issue,” says Calhoun. “It’s why our foundation was established. At first, we worked primarily on college recruiting—to raise the profile of the industry. Then our mission and goals expanded as we realized another challenge was to keep young talent from in the produce industry after a few years in the business. It’s not just about attracting talent but giving them training and opportunities to step into so they keep moving forward.” Michael Mazzocco, Director of Verdant Agribusiness Consultants (www. verdantpartners.com ), agrees that the challenge is not only to attract qualified talent but also to keep them. “I first noticed this while working with a multinational grain company when I was at the University of Illinois,” said Mazzocco. “The company, like many of its peers, was having a hard time keeping people after 5 to 7 years. The 30-years-olds would often jump ship because they didn’t see a progression and future. We worked with senior management to develop a skills-building curriculum for employees with focused backgrounds that were moving into management roles. It worked out well. Some people making investments in their education want credentials—such as an MBA—and others just need the knowledge. There are many different ways to deliver this.”
The Chain Letter May 2011 Page 13
Aidan Connolly, Senior Vice President of Alltech, a global animal health company employing more than 1,900 people worldwide (www.alltech.com), was instrumental in convincing his organization to develop its own “mini-MBA” program to address the need to build a talent pipeline for the future. Now over 10 years old, the program has been extremely successful. Connolly has written about the program in the IFAMR (see https://www.ifama.org/publications/journal/vol13/ cmsdocs/IS_Connolly_Formatted.pdf). Dennis Conley, Director of the Graduate Program in Agribusiness at the University of Nebraska, has worked across the academic spectrum from preparing students for careers in international agribusiness to delivering continuous education to agribusiness professionals wanting to stay relevant; to analyzing and revamping the Agribusiness core curriculum to include science, agriculture and multicultural aspects. Along with recruiting and retention, all of the Task Group members noted that agribusiness must do a better job at attracting the “best and the brightest” to the industry. “For young people who want to make a difference in the world, a career in Food and Agribusiness should be high on their list. It impacts so many critical areas, from economic development to the environment to nutrition and health.” The Group is looking at how IFAMA can play a larger role in making this an industry of choice. One idea being considered is to develop a short promotional video that could be distributed to high school science teachers and career counselors. Industry leaders would be invited to explain why food and agribusiness is the most important field in the world. The challenge is to make it appealing to today’s students. Another initiative the Task Group is pursuing is to structure an arm of IFAMA to provide training programs and certification. Often new managers hired into Agribusiness companies do not know what differentiates our sector from other industries. Other programs could be designed for developing managers that are transitioning into executive leadership. The IFAMA Local Chapter Network could play an important role in providing the needed training, services and skills to fill this need. The Task Group is developing a survey to assess the needs of industry. This survey will go to IFAMA corporate members and the top 100 global agribusiness companies. A beta version will be available in mid-June and tested at the Frankfurt meeting. A separate survey will be designed for students/younger employees to assess their needs for career development.
The Role Innovation Plays to Meet Consumer Trends Within the Food Industry
The Chain Letter May2011 Page 14
An Executive Interview with Emmo Meijer By Aleksan Shanoyan, Graduate Research Assistant, Michigan State University, USA foods. They do not want to spend too much time in their kitchens, they are busy and they want to prepare food in around 10-15 minutes. Another big consumer trend has to do with sustainability. There is an increasing demand for food produced in sustainable ways. Certainly, as one of the largest players in food industry, Unilever is facing all of these consumer trends. What are the challenges and opportunities that these trends provide to firms within global food and agribusiness industry?
Photo credit: LevenscmiddelenKrant
Editor’s Note: Dr. Emmo Meijer is formerly Senior Vice-President at Unilever where he reported to the CEO. While working with Unilever, his position was global responsibility for Food Research and Development, and later in Strategy. He has served on the IFAMA Board of Directors since 2005 and retired from Unilever in February. He is now Corporate Director of Research and Development at FrieslandCampina. This interview was conducted during the 2010 IFAMA conference in Boston, MA, USA.
While there are challenges and opportunities associated with all of these consumer trends, some of the major challenges are related to sustainability. Even though the food industry has taken the lead in sustainable sourcing initiatives there is still major work that needs to be done in order to truly understand what is sustainable and to develop appropriate certification programs. Unilever and its partners have achieved some progress in this area through its sustainable round table initiative in palm oil sector. We were able to create a global standard for certification to reduce the industry’s impact on deforestation. More work is currently being done on establishing standards related to improving soil quality.
Ever changing consumer trends continue to create new challenges and opportunities for the agri-food industry. Industry players are increasingly relying on technological innovations and new collective initiatives for facing these challenges and opportunities. Unilever is one of the industry leaders with more than 400 brands in nutrition, hygiene, and personal care, and over a billion dollar annual investment in research and development. In 2010 they not only had more than 100 new launches of their brands into new markets, but also launched the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan to facilitate integration of sustainability into their brands.
The changes in industry’s geographic spread also gives rise to significant challenges. Traditionally, the growth in the food industry was coming from developed markets such as Europe and the United States. Now we see most growth coming from emerging markets, BRIC countries in particular (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). Companies have to come up with new business models to develop supply chains and distribution channels. For example in India the whole retail sector is differently organized, while China has large rural areas with no infrastructure. Unilever is placing lots of emphasis on developing local resources and local talents to build and grow our business in these countries.
What are the major consumer trends faced today by food industry in general and Unilever in particular?
How has Unilever positioned itself to address these challenges and to exploit the opportunities?
For the food industry in general the major consumer trends are associated with such concepts as “natural foods”, “convenient foods”, and “sustainably produced foods”. Natural food in consumer minds is associated with healthy lifestyle. There is a strong correlation which is not always correct. Nevertheless consumers want to know what the ingredients in their food are and where these ingredients are coming from. Along with natural foods consumers also demand convenient
Unilever has a unique position because of its global brands. We have some very strong local brands as well, but we are leveraging our global brand positions to address the issues of nutrition and health and sustainability, as well as strengthening our presence in emerging markets. For example, we promote the Lipton Tea brand in Russia, Brazil, and China. It is one of the biggest global brands in foods.
Emmo Meijer-Continued from Page 11
What are the main drivers for innovation efforts at Unilever today and what are the areas for future innovation that Unilever is looking into?
Technology and innovation play a very important role in addressing consumer trends. At Unilever the efforts are placed on renovations and break through innovations. Building global food brands can be challenging due to local food traditions, flavor and taste preferences. The renovation efforts are focused on adapting our global concepts to local preferences without jeopardizing the brand equity. This requires innovations in product definition, structure, package size and design. The Lipton Tea in China has a different flavor, different packaging format, and a different way of brewing the tea, but it’s a same Lipton brand. The breakthrough innovation is another important area at Unilever. Much of our innovation efforts are spent on understanding how food affects the human body on the molecular level and using this new science as a platform for our new product concepts. For example we know that salt affects blood pressure. We study how salt interacts with taste buds and use our knowledge to develop new products that can mimic that interaction on the molecular level but without negative effects on blood pressure. From a nutrition point of view there has been a lot of work already done in food science. We know about benefits of balanced diet that includes vegetables, meat proteins, and fruits. We already know a lot about saturated and unsaturated fat and their effect on the human body. But what food really does to the human body is a very complex thing. We have to look on the total metabolic pattern to understand how separate sets of food relate to a better health. Thanks to the enormous progress in life sciences and in biometrics we can analyze almost every process in the human body and use the data to gain much better understanding of the effects of food on it. We also have a direct research effort on trying to estimate future consumer trends. What will food look like in twenty years from now? We know that consumers like colors and composition and that they are becoming increasingly health conscious. Consequently it is likely that the food will be very similar to what we have now in terms of texture and taste but without the negative health effects. How would you define the notion of sustainable development and what in your opinion are the major issues related to it?
The concept of sustainability is continually evolving. Before it was largely about an environmental footprint, then it lead to sustainable sourcing, and now it is a much wider concept that includes sustainable society. You can only have a healthy business in a sustainable society. However this is a largely undefined space with many questions still unanswered. What makes a society more sustainable? We have to identify strategies and viable business models which also promote sustainable development. This is not an easy task for the food industry which is very fragmented with lots of small and medium size
The Chain Letter May 2011 Page 15
companies. So what Unilever has done is to work with many other industry players and organizations to improve communication, not only vertically, but also horizontally and to identify integrated solutions for promoting sustainable development. “By equipping women with business skills and providing the right product format and price structure, Unilever was able not only to build a new distribution system for accessing consumers in rural areas in India, but also to provide a way out of poverty for these communities.””
What are some of the specific strategies and initiatives that Unilever have undertaken for promoting sustainability?
Take for example the Unilever’s Shakti Entrepreneurial Program in India. The program helps women in rural India to set up small businesses as direct-to-consumer retailers. By equipping women with business skills and providing the right product format and price structure, Unilever was able not only to build a new distribution system for accessing consumers in rural areas in India, but also to provide a way out of poverty for these communities. Another example is Unilever’s program in Sub-Saharan Africa. It has been identified that people there have enormous deficit of what we call normal vitamin intake. We are trying to identify ways to enrich their staple foods with these vitamins to reduce vitamin deficiency in these areas and at the same time to increase demand for our products. A similar model was used in rural India to improve hygiene while creating demand for soap and to have a positive impact on child education. Through our consumer studies we have learned that the hygiene is a big issue in some rural areas. We learned from mothers that kids tend to have hygiene related illnesses for long periods of time which leads to enormous school absences after which they are unable to catch up. We educated mothers that hand washing with a simple piece of soap can make them healthier which will also affect their education. It was a simple concept of making a connection between hygiene and education. The key lessons and takeaways from the many Unilever sustainability initiatives are that the solutions have to be simple; complicated solutions often do not work. We have to understand how consumers think and what they really need. There is a lot of learning required before you develop the right business strategy for a specific area or specific country. Another important takeaway is that you can’t do it alone so we have to work together with other companies, local authorities, and with organizations that are more experienced in the area. This interview was conducted by Alekson Shanoyan, Graduate Research Assistant at Michigan State University during the 2011 annual IFAMA Forum in Boston, MA as part of the student travel grant program. Alex can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Growing Talent: Together Making a Difference By Margi Preuitt PMA Foundation for Industry Talent Executive Director To those at Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Foundation for Industry Talent, “sustainability” means protecting the produce industry’s most valuable resource: talented people. As competition expands exponentially amid an increasingly global marketplace, to survive — and thrive — means you need intelligent, creative and motivated leaders. That’s why the PMA Foundation is on a mission to attract, develop and retain talent for the produce community and its value chain worldwide. Established in 2006, the Foundation and the generous donors who support us are dedicated to ensuring a quality workforce for our industry, and developing current and future produce professionals’ leadership, personal growth and career success. Build a Pipeline of Talent The Foundation’s work begins at colleges and universities building support from educators and career counselors — conduits to students — in promoting the rewards and opportunities of produce careers. More than 60 universities are targeted and the list is growing. Our successful event-scholarship programs, called Career Pathways, bring students to produce conferences to experience our industry’s scope and energy and to hear industry members share their knowledge and passion. The Pack Family Career Pathways program, funded by the Jay and Ruthie Pack Foundation, brings students from 12 U.S. and international universities to PMA’s Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition each year to witness the industry’s breadth and opportunity. The PMA Foundation also partners with the Fresh Produce and Floral Council and the New England Produce Council to introduce students to the industry at regional events, mirroring many elements of the Pack Family program. The success of these scholarships speaks for itself — of 295 students who have participated in Career Pathways programs, 172 have since graduated and 81 went on to take jobs in the produce industry. Develop Leadership Excellence Strong leaders drive the produce industry’s future. Recognizing this, the PMA Foundation also assists professionals in advancing their produce careers by providing them with leadership development opportunities through the Tip Murphy Scholarship for Leadership Excellence. Recipients receive a scholarship to one PMA Foundation leadership event, such as PMA’s popular annual Fresh Summit Convention & Exposition.
The Chain Letter May 2011 Page 16
The program is funded by supporters of the Tip Murphy Legacy Fund, which honors the life and career of the industry veteran. We’ve also launched a new inaugural Emerging Leaders Program set for June 12-15 in Glendale, Ariz. This new program prepares and encourages the industry’s next generation of leaders to assume greater responsibility as business leaders in the dynamic, ever-changing fresh produce industry. This prestigious event is developed in partnership with the world’s No. 1-ranked school of international business, Thunderbird School of Global Management, and is made possible by Founding Sponsor, Monsanto, and Presenting Sponsor, Sunkist. Growing professional networks marks another Foundation priority. We foster women’s industry presence through Fresh Perspective education and networking events throughout the year, connect young professionals through social media and an annual reception at Fresh Summit, and advance management and leadership skills of those in the produce industry through our Leadership Symposium. Support Workforce Retention As our foundation grows, we are fast developing the third leg to the talent stool: retention. Our goal will be to assist produce companies in creating strong corporate cultures that encourage employee engagement. Being progressive with employee retention should be the goal of all companies — success here drives innovation and advancement, for businesses and our industry. In the mushrooming global marketplace, demand for good talent is everywhere, and the time to foster the talent pipeline is now. The PMA Foundation is here to help. Together we can make a difference in sustaining a vibrant global produce industry. For more information on these or other PMA Foundation for Industry Talent resources, including volunteer opportunities, visit: www.pmafit.com.
Now r e t s i g Re etails D r o f ere Click H
The Chain Letter May 2011 Page 17
IFAMA’s 21st Annual World Forum and Symposium We have the speakers and the discussions you don’t want to miss! Why You Must Attend This World Forum a Contribute to the debate on how to meet future food demands with limited resources. a Stay abreast on the latest global developments impacting industry through large and small panel discussions and case studies. a Network with participants from the agribusiness industry, research institutions, educators, government agencies, consumer groups and non- governmental organizations. a Meet the best and the brightest multi-national students who have chosen careers in the food and ag sector. A must for those recruiting, educating and developing future leaders for management teams. a Attend the World Symposium which will feature more than 180 scientific papers including, case studies and discussion sessions and the annual Student Case Competition.
Call for ChainLetter and IFAMR Articles Contribute to the Chain Letter Our electronic newsletter is one of IFAMA’s most effective methods of communicating with members and other interested parties regarding current events and issues in the global food chain. The Chain Letter is published bi- monthly and includes information about upcoming conferences, meetings, implications of research, and analysis of current events. It also affords IFAMA members a platform to express opinions and ideas related to the food chain. Submissions to the Chain Letter are encouraged from the academic, business, government, and NGO communities and should be submitted via email to Jerome Siebert in the IFAMA Business Office: email@example.com. Submissions should be no more than 1,000 words in length. Especially welcome are articles on the application of research results on issues in the food chain, case studies and examples of approaches and solutions to problems and issues. Articles should emphasize lessons that can be applied in making more effective management decisions regarding food chain issues.
IFAMR Journal Call The International Food and Agribusiness Management Review (IFAMR) publishes high quality, peer reviewed, scholarly articles on topics related to the practice of management in the food and agribusiness industry. The Review provides managers, researchers and teachers a forum where they can publish and acquire research results, new ideas, applications of new knowledge, and discussions of issues important to the worldwide food and agribusiness system. The Review is published electronically and available through open access on the IlFAMA website. Submission guidelines and instructions can be found at: https://www.ifama.org/publications/journal/Default.aspx
International Food and Agribusiness Management Association P.O. Box 14145 College Station, TX 77845 USA IFAMA@ifama.org +1979-845-2118 www.ifama.org