Can we make our food supply chains deforestation-free?

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35 min listen

The UK Environment Bill aims to ensure that UK-based companies are transparent about their supply chains and their impact on deforestation and proposes fines for those who don’t adhere. 

What will this new legislation mean for food and drink brands, why is it important, and does it go far enough? Joining Table Talk this week to share their views are Sam Lawson, Founding Director, Earthsight, Alice Lucas, Advocacy and Policy Manager, Fairtrade Foundation and Robert Sheasby, Chief Executive, The Agricultural Industries Confederation.

About our panel

Sam Lawson, Founding Director, Earthsight

Earthsight is a non-profit organisation committed to harnessing the power of primary investigative research and reporting to bring attention to pressing issues of human rights and environmental justice. We aim to get to the core of an issue, using a range of investigative research methods to obtain first-hand, documented evidence of crimes against both people and the planet which is irrefutable and impossible to ignore. By following the money and tracing supply chains, our research also aims to expose the complicity of consumers and financiers in abetting these abuses.

Alice Lucas, Advocacy and Policy Manager, Fairtrade Foundation

Alice Lucas is Advocacy and Policy Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation, leading on the organisation’s policy response to Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence Legislation, and it’s work on trade policy. Alice has been following the progress of the Environment Bill through Parliament and continues to engage with Members of Parliament and Government departments on the deforestation proposals.

Alice holds an MSc in International Public Policy. Prior to joining Fairtrade, Alice worked on European Immigration and Asylum policy and advocacy. She has previously worked in the Communications and Education sector, and is currently acting as an advocacy strategy consultant to smaller NGO’s. Alice is Board member for the Trade Justice Movement.

Robert Sheasby, Chief Executive, The Agricultural Industries Confederation

Robert Sheasby was appointed the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) Chief Executive in May 2018. In this role Robert has overall responsibility for all aspects of the AIC, across its political lobbying, member representation and the six trade assurance schemes it runs on behalf of the agricultural supply sector. Robert joined the AIC after 17 years at the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) where he had held various roles, most recently as NFU Regional Director for East Anglia. Prior to this Robert had been Regional Director in the North West and NFU Surveyor for England & Wales. 

Robert studied at Seale Hayne Agricultural College and holds a degree in Rural Estate Management as well as being a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Prior to joining the NFU in 2001 Robert worked in the South West and the Thames Valley for firms of chartered surveyors as land agent and auctioneer. Robert is also a member of the Agricultural Law Association (ALA). Robert is experienced in agricultural political lobbying both at a national and European level. He has been involved in the development of national policy with Government, shaped European policy, as well as worked with national infrastructure companies to develop framework agreements for national use.

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