Connecterra attended the 1st Women in Food and Agriculture Summit, held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in December. Here are some of the key topics discussed.
Closing the gender gap
Mark Lyons, president and CEO of animal nutrition company Alltech, addressed the need for technology and innovation to propel agriculture. He also mentioned that the challenge in agriculture is to keep on telling positive stories and put effort into connecting with consumers.
Alltech , committed to the fair representation of women in the food and agriculture industry, conducted a survey to explore the barriers holding women back, and what the industry can do to foster equality.
For the most part, the survey shows that the industry is making great progress in closing the gender gap and employees are feeling positive about the future. Fifty eight percent feel that women are well-represented in the industry and 79% agree that their organization is becoming more inclusive. One point of interest is that only 39% of women knew of their company’s diversity and inclusion policy. Said Mark: “The Women in Food and Agriculture survey revealed a great deal about where the agri-food sector stands on gender diversity and illuminated where we need to collaborate to affect positive change. There are challenges to overcome, yet there are several steps that organizations can take, and proven examples of how to bring about success”.
Importance of innovation and tech
During a breakout sessions on ‘Innovation Approaches to Feed the World’, Nicky Deasy, managing partner at the Yield Lab Europe, highlighted that we see lots of new technologies popping up around plant science, animal health, soil health, irrigation, alternative protein and robotics, all changing the way we produce food. Aside from the technology, more data science is being used in the food chain. Lynsey Chapman from Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock, addresses the importance of working with the right data. “Let’s get the numbers right. By using new measurement tools and technology we can do this, and ensure that everyone buys in on the same measures, and everyone works with the same numbers. Promote the best practices, start at farm level and further scale out this throughout the whole chain”.
Shorter food chains
Don’t be a lady, be a legend
“Every person in the world has a story that the world needs to hear. If you speak to people with this attitude, you learn so much from that person,” said Lynda McDonald, Senior Executive at DeLaval International.
Some of the attendees posted their take-hom messages on Twitter:
Take home: We are embarking on the most important 30 years in history of agriculture. Don’t be a lady be a legend. Find your X-teams, collaborate and share knowledge, engage in dialogue with opponents. Sustainability starts with self-sustainability. #WFA19 pic.twitter.com/DTRIY0WXeI
— Gwendolyn Jones (@Aponi2b) December 4, 2019
Some excellent top tips on resilience from @AlexiaMichiels “when in doubt, breathe out”. A great reminder of what we can do to become more resilient – looking after our minds, bodies, and spirit. If you get the chance to hear her speak, don’t think twice before doing so #WFA19 pic.twitter.com/Jz4kM8DT2M
— Alwena Hughes Moakes 🇺🇦 (@AlwenaHM) December 4, 2019
We need women who are like women, not women who are like men. Message to me is that We should make this the next phase of women in food & Ag #WFA19 pic.twitter.com/mO5aPyWEGv
— janecraigie (@janecraigie) December 4, 2019
Every woman has emotional intelligence in her. Use it, as it is one of the key compentencies to become a great leader. #WFA19. Great workshop! pic.twitter.com/q5H0DeMNlA
— Emmy Koeleman (@EmsterBuzz) December 4, 2019
I don't even know where to start with how fantastic the past few days have been working on @wearewfa with such a brilliant team. I have learnt so much both personally and professionally and met some amazing women. What an industry we work in #WFA19 🙌 pic.twitter.com/3ac9GgFOxM
— @_NicholaBell 🌸 (@_NicholaBell) December 4, 2019