Each year, the COMMIT!Forum is a must-see, CR industry event that showcases the insights of CR’s most influential though leaders in a series of informative presentations. Smithfield Foods’ Kraig Westerbeek, the Environmental Defense Fund’s Maggie Monast and SUSTAIN, a Land O’Lakes Business’ Molly Toot are among the 2016 forum’s speakers. Leeth will moderate their session.
Their presentation, “How to Have it All: Collaborating for Agricultural Productivity and Supply Chain Sustainability” will discuss the unique challenges and lessons they’ve learned in leading the CR effort in which the world’s largest pork company collaborates with a leading non-profit environmental organization and a major agricultural input provider to address environmental concerns. Attendees will learn how to add value within the supply chain by forming creative partnerships, developing innovative strategies, and navigating challenges along the way.
Below, Leeth, Monast, and Westerbeek answer a few questions about their session and expectations for the forum:
CR Magazine: Why should attendees attend your session? What will they learn?
Stewart Leeth: Our session gives attendees an inside look at an uncommon collaboration. It’s an innovative project led by a group you wouldn’t expect to see together: the world’s largest pork company, a leading non-profit environmental organization and a major agricultural input provider. Together, we will discuss how Smithfield Foods, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and grain farmers are collaborating to balance an increase in global food demand and environmental concerns to create a more sustainable supply chain.
Kraig Westerbeek: This session addresses how a creative, collaborative approach directly and indirectly impacts a company’s supply chain. Using a real-world example our team discovered firsthand, we will also discuss our framework for establishing and managing joint collaborations among diverse organizations to achieve a common goal.
CR: What is the biggest takeaway from your session?
Maggie Monast: One main takeaway from our session will be the importance of creating value for farmers, business, and the environment. Collaboration, perseverance, and innovation are critical in discovering and maximizing these sources of value throughout the supply chain.
CR: Why do you think it’s important for people to attend COMMIT! Forum, in your opinion?
KW: The event provides a platform for a variety of high-level executives and their companies to come together and discuss pressing topics that can be difficult to address in day-to-day business operations. Information sharing and time outside of the office with others in your field is vital to developing long lasting solutions.
CR: What aspect of the forum are you most excited about?
SL: Together, we are excited about the opportunity to share our knowledge gained through this project. To run a responsible and profitable business, it is vital to form collaborations that may be outside of your company or organization’s comfort zone. We look forward to engaging with a variety of professionals within and outside of our industries to discover methods of managing brand risk and build a more sustainable workforce and supply chain.
MM: I am eager to meet other professionals in a variety of industries and discuss the passions, goals and desires that have brought each of us to the COMMIT!Forum.