Mainstreaming of sustainability; “Be bolder and prouder”, says guest speaker in Sustainability Ambassadors’ meeting

21 December 2021

Should we be bolder in the future use of raw materials? How will the journey of mainstreaming sustainability evolve? How can you lead the way in sustainability without getting out of sight? These are some of the discussion points in the third 2021 inspiration session of the ForFarmers Ambassadors Sustainability Network. This time round three guest speakers joined the interactive online session with around 30 ForFarmers colleagues, sharing their views, answering questions from the ambassadors and consuming the updates from the ForFarmers project groups.

A sea of flowers at the ForFarmers factory in Lochem (NL)
A sea of flowers at the ForFarmers factory in Lochem (NL)

Sharing visions and opinions

Guest speaker Frank van Ooijen is member of the Sustainability Advisory Board (SAB) of ForFarmers and former sustainability chief at several organisations. “Be bolder and prouder”, was his shout-out, reflecting on his own ambitions and objectives from an earlier stage in his career. At the time he set sustainability objectives that he knew would be challenging, if not impossible to achieve, but those ambitions triggered him and his team members to really make a leap forward. In that light he would like to inspire ForFarmers' employees.

Also, Van Ooijen reflected on four years of being a member of ForFarmers’ SAB. This Board is chaired by ForFarmers CEO Yoram Knoop, and consists of external representatives from the retail sector, NGOs, academia, the agricultural sector and the research world. In these past years, Van Ooijen got to know the sustainability related challenges and dilemmas at ForFarmers, where members of the SAB debate on these dilemmas and challenges with mutual respect for each other’s beliefs and opinions that come with these discussions.

Mainstreaming of sustainability

Guest speaker Caroline Drummond is CEO of the UK based NGO LEAF and also member of ForFarmers' SAB. She expressed her belief that ‘mainstreaming of sustainability’ is not a nice to have but a must-have. Her call to the ForFarmers attendees? “Don’t be defensive - be proud.”

Lead the way but stay in sight

Finally guest speaker Steven Read, Managing Director of ForFarmers UK and member of the ForFarmers Executive Team, discussed with all colleagues in the online meeting how they experience conversations with customers regarding sustainability. Steven encourages everyone to lead in this journey and to make sure to take others with you.

It was - again - great to see and hear all this engagement and contributions to Going Circular, For the Future of Farming.