Schuttelaar & Partners

Schuttelaar & Partners

November 21, 2011 05:00 ET

Future of Food Seminar at IMD Sends Message to World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Big Business to Support Smallholder Farmers

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND--(Marketwire - Nov. 21, 2011) - Corporate sustainability strategies mark a very welcome step in the right direction, but are not enough to establish a long-term sustainable food supply. This was the conclusion brought forward by international business leaders and experts from NGOs, governments and academia participating in the Future of Food seminar organized by Schuttelaar & Partners and IMD business school in Lausanne on 16-17 November 2011.

The seminar's action-based goal put forward a new proposal for Peter Bakker, designated Chair of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Based on the outcome of the Future of Food seminar, the proposed initiative outlines five concrete actions to be taken on in cooperation between business and non-business stakeholders:

  1. Adopt an integrative approach to support smallholder farming in developing countries, including finance, farm inputs, knowledge, market access and land tenure.
  2. Develop an index to rank governments on their efforts to support smallholder farmers.
  3. Mobilize industry and civil society to advocate for more effective regulation.
  4. Include large food companies from India, China and Brazil in global sustainability business forums.
  5. Put concentrated effort on waste reduction, by means of a country-to-country cooperation model.

"These initiatives stress the need to focus on smallholder farmers and for joint initiatives to ensure sufficient, healthy and affordable food for all," said Kees van der Graaf, Co-Director of IMD's Global CEO Center and former board member for Unilever.

"By taking an in-depth look at global food chains, the most important global trends in consumer food demand and the value of technology, and bringing together key stakeholders, the Future of Food seminar has the power to bring forth change."

Taking the form of a strategic dialogue, the seminar included renowned speakers such as Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University; Jikun Huang, Founder and Director of the Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy; and Feike Sijbesma, Chairman and Board Member at DSM.

"It is clear that with a world population that has recently reached 7 billion – and which is set to spend an increasing amount of money on food – public and private players must join forces to ensure a sustainable future for the global food system," said Rutger Schilpzand, Managing Partner at Schuttelaar & Partners.

In a first reaction, Peter Bakker stated that he welcomed these proposals as well chosen actions to improve global food security.

Note to the editor

This seminar is the third meeting of its kind organized by the Future of Food initiative (

About the organizers

Schuttelaar & Partners

Based in the Netherlands, Schuttelaar & Partners is a communications and advisory company focusing on sustainability and health in the areas of food, agriculture and innovation. It provides strategic advice and communication solutions, including positioning and reporting (content and design); stakeholder dialogue; and issue and reputation management.



Based in Switzerland, IMD is consistently top-ranked among business schools worldwide.

IMD participated with two learning centers:

The IMD Global CEO Center: Leading in a connected future (LCF) focuses on moving beyond simply responding to the immediate challenges faced by businesses today, to proactively preparing businesses and leaders for the future.

The IMD Center for Corporate Sustainability Management (CSM) is a corporate membership driven research and learning platform that focuses on sustainable sourcing, energy & climate change and sustainable finance.

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