CFS 45 Side Event

Agripreneurship Policy and the Future of Agriculture

Thursday, October 18, 18:00 to 19:30
Mexico Room, FAO

Key Speakers

  • Cathrine Stephenson, Ministerial Counsellor (Agriculture), Deputy Permanent Representative to the FAO and Australian delegation to the OECD 
  • Kelvin Meadows, Chairman, Nuffield International Farming Scholars Board
  • David Davies, Founder of AgUnity
  • Martin Maerkl, Senior Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Bayer AG, Crop Science Division
  • Brigitte Laliberte, Cocoa of Excellence Programme (CoEx) and International Cocoa Awards, Bioversity International
  • Geoff Dooley, Founder, XLVets Ireland
  • Thato Moagi, Director, LeGae La Banareng Farms, South Africa
  • Riccardo Mazzucchelli, Social Innovation Team Roma
  • Barbara Bray, Food Safety and Nutrition consultant


The Agripreneurship Policy & the Future of Agriculture side event focused on the important of intra- and inter-sector trust as a prerequisite for revolutionary innovation in agriculture. The event brought together a uniquely diverse panel, including representatives of member states and civil society, agripreneurs from diverse fields, senior-level professionals, and a consultant. With these varied voices on the panel, the audience got to hear a broad array of complementary perspectives related to the idea of trust, defined in this context simply as "The state of being responsible for someone or something; a firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something." 

In addition to discussing the important of building, maintaining, and incentivizing trust, the panelists also shared their views on the repercussions of failing to implement trusting relationships in business, industry and entrepreneurship. With both examples and counter-examples in mind, they then engaged in a vibrant question and answer session with the audience, which consisted of over 75 CFS attendees. 

Key Outcomes

  • Programmes and initiatives that support agricultural entrepreneurship and empower agripreneurs to enact change must be celebrated at the local, national, and international levels.
  • Trust has concrete value: businesses and systems that have proven, trusting relationships are more attractive to customers, investors, and buyers alike.  
  • Agriculture, and specifically agricultural innovation, must be included as a national agenda item, complete with monetary and social incentives to pursue the highest level of integrity. 
  • Communication and knowledge management, as well as policies that best facilitate them, are fundamental to efficient and scalable innovation.  
  • Trust can break down on multiple levels, including between producer and consumer; between companies working in the same sector who are, or perceive themselves to be, competitors; between lawmakers and policymakers and their constituents; between different levels of government; and more. 
  • It takes immense time and energy to build trust and very little to destroy that trust. In a time of frequent food scandals and marketing crises, food producers must have the benefit of some measure of protection from unjustified critique.  
  • Trust is a prerequisite for impactful agripreneurship.  


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