Download the Future of Food 4 Seminar Report here

Download the Future of Food 4 Programme Booklet here


The opportunities and issues related to the growing middle class in Brazil, India and China.

This seminar was held in São Paulo, Brazil,  27-28-29 June 2013 at GS1 Brasil - Associação Brasileira de Automação (Rua Doutor Renato Paes de Barros, 1017 14º andar, 04530-001 - São Paulo)


During the fourth seminar, that has been attended by more than fourty CEOs, senior experts and decision makers in the global food system, we have focused on the question 'How to feed the growing middle class responsibly?'. The middle class is recognised as a powerful engine of changes in the agrofood-sector; meaning greater market opportunities, and greater issues as well. This fourth Future of Food seminar is all about those opportunities and issues.

Renowned speakers from Brazil, Mexico, China, India, Germany and the Netherlands painted a clear picture of the developments associated with the rise of the middle class in the BIC countries, and of the complex challenges that the global food system faces now and in the future. Through three seperate strategic dialogue sessions among key stakeholders, a series of shared seminar conclusions have been formulated in the form of four Action Points.

At the end of the plenairy part of the seminar, the four Action Points were handed over to Alex Atala, founding member of the ATÁ Instute for sustainable sourcing from the Amazon, and Peter Bakker, Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. We believe that these Action Points can play a role to further the discussion and inspire individuals to take action.

The seminar was complemented by several site-visits, in order to expose seminar partcipants to pratical examples of best practices in the agrofood-chain, including primary production, distribution, retail, and an NGO initiative aimed at combatting urban malnutrition.



Ram Badan Singh
Simon Barquera
Hugo Bethlem
Funing Zhong
Alex Atala
Meetu Kapur
Peter Bakker
Roberto Rodrigues
Marina Grossi
Peter Erik Ywema
Marcelo Vianna
Andree Georg Girg

Ram Badan SinghPhD from North Carolina State University, is currently the President of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences of India and Chancellor of the Central Agricultural University, Imphal. Nationally, Prof. Singh has served as the Director of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, and Member of the National Commission on Farmers. Internationally, he has served as Assistant Director General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific Region of the FAO of the United Nations. In 2003, Prof. Singh was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the President of India – one of India’s highest civilian honours. Proclaimed as Distinguished Alumnus of Banaras Hindu University, Prof. Singh has been awarded Doctor of Science (honoris causa) degrees from several prestigious Indian Universities.


Download the Presentation of Ram Badan Singh here.

Simon Barquera has a long standing reputation in the field of nutrition. Currently the president of the nutrition board of professors at the Mexican School of Public Health and Director of the Nutritional Epidemiology Division at the National Institute of Public Health, he has also served advisory roles to the WHO, PAHO, IFPRI, UNICEF and the IAAE on nutrition, obesity and chronic diseases. Additionally, he is a member of the Latin American Scientific Committee of Choices International and of the advisory board in chronic disease and diet for the Ministry of Health of Mexico. Simon Barquera has been recognized as National Investigator by the Mexican Council of Science and Technology. He obtained his medical degree at the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana in Mexico City and his MS and PhD degrees at Tufts University in Boston. 

Hugo Bethlem brings more than 35 years of experience in the Brazilian Retail Industry to the Future of Food seminar. For almost 12 years, Mr. Bethlem was a senior executive at Grupo Pão de Açucar. He left his last position as Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations in August of last year. Currently Mr. Bethlem is investing in smartphone App tools for retail and for the fast food business.

Mr. Bethlem has 11 years of experience with Carrefour Brazil as CFO, and was nominated Financial Executive of the Year by IBEF SP in 1991.  He holds a degree in Business Administration and Accounting from FMU Sao Paulo) and specialisation courses in strategy and entrepreneurship from Cornell, USA; Babson, USA, FGV, Brazil and IMD, Switzerland. 

Funing Zhong is currently affiliated with the College of Economics and Management, Nanjing Agricultural University, where he is Director of the Research Institute of Agricultural Economics and of the International Center for Food and Agricultural Economics. Prof. Zhong has served various advisory committees to the Ministry of Education and has been advisor to the FAO, World Bank, CGIAR and IFPRI. He obtained his PhD in Agricultural Economics at the University of Manitoba, Canada. 

Download the Presentation of Funing Zhong here.

Alex Atalawith his restaurant D.O.M. is ranked 6th in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013 and he himself was voted one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2013. Alex opened D.O.M restaurant in Sao Paulo in 1999, incorporating the flavours, colours, textures and smells of Brazilian food. Atala’s use of traditional Brazilian ingredients led to a partnership with MIE Brazil, a developer of food brands focused on sensible consumption, and together with a local rice farmer developed new varieties of rice. He has since opened a second restaurant, Dalve e Dito. Recently he founded the ATÁ Institute, which aims to search and take care of natural and local food produce in Brazil.

In September 2013 Alex Atala will launch his book (in English) about D.O.M. and the Brazilian ingredients: D.O.M. Rediscovering Brazilian Ingredients with Alex Atala

Meetu Kapur is currently Executive Director of CII Food and Agriculture Centre of Excellence (FACE) and has 15 years of previous experience in the agriculture and financial service sector. She leads CII’s Food and Agriculture Vertical, driving policy and reform and working with stakeholders from government, industry, civil society and NGO’s. She has been key in building strategic public private partnerships, contributing towards innovative market-based solutions in agricultural productivity. Ms Kapur graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan Fellows Program in Innovation and Global leadership and completed coursework in Corporate Finance and Advanced Microeconomics from London School of Economics.


Download the Presentation of Meetu Kapur here.

Peter Bakker, Chair of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

Peter Bakker is a distinguished business leader who until June 2011 was the CEO of TNT NV the Netherlands based holding company of TNT Express and Royal TNT Post (formerly TPG Post). At end of May 2011 TNT NV was split in two separately listed companies: TNT Express NV and PostNL NV. He lead the demerger of TNT and, after its completion, has stepped down and left the TNT group per June 1, 2011. Under leadership of Mr. Bakker, TNT has become a leader in Corporate Responsibility with a ground-breaking partnership with the UN World Food Program, ambitious CO2 reduction targets from its Planet Me initiative and multiple year leading positions in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Mr. Bakker joined Royal TPG Post in 1991 and was appointed financial director of its parcels business unit in 1993. He was appointed financial control director of TPG Post in 1996 and became a member of the Board of Management of TPG Post in 1997. Since the split of TPG N.V. from Koninklijke PTT Nederland N.V. until his appointment as CEO in 2001, he was chief financial officer and a member of the TPG Board of Management.

Mr. Bakker is a respected leader in Corporate Responsibility. He is the recipient of Clinton Global Citizen Award in 2009; SAM Sustainability Leadership Award in 2010 and UN’s WFP Ambassador Against Hunger in 2011. In addition he is the Chairman of War Child Netherlands.

Mr. Bakker holds a masters degree in Business Economics from the Erasmus University Rotterdam and a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from the HTS Alkmaar.

Roberto Rodrigues, Former Minister of Agriculture of Brazil

A well-known agribusiness leader and former Minister of Agriculture of Brazil (2003-2006), Roberto Rodrigues currently is Coordinator of the Getulio Vargas Foundation Agribusiness Center and Special Ambassador for the International Year of Cooperatives of FAO. He served as President of the prestigious Brazilian Rural Society and the Brazilian Agribusiness Association. He is also a member of the Board of a number of Brazilian producer’s associations. In that capacity, Minister Rodrigues represents the Brazilian agribusiness sector in many advisory committees, such as the National Agricultural Policy Council, the National Monetary Council, and the National Foreign Trade Council. He also chaired the National Agribusiness Forum.


Download the Presentation of Roberto Rodrigues here.

Marina Grossi, economist, is the executive president of the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development (CEBDS) since 2010 where she started in 2005 as Executive Director and Coordinator of the Thematic Chambers of Energy and Climate Change, Sustainable Construction and Sustainable finance. 

Mrs Grossi has acted as a negotiator of Brazil at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP Climate), between 1997 and 2001 and headed the Promotional area on the Ministry of Science and Technology.

In 2003 as a coordinator of the Brazilian Forum of Climate Change, she founded and chaired the Sustainability consulting firm in Brazil Fabrica Ethica (FEB), providing advice to governments and businesses. Among other initiatives, she launched the "Carbon Disclosure Project" and focused its operations on Sustainability with the companies.


Download the Presentation of Marina Grossi here.

Peter-Erik Ywema has been general manager of the SAI Platform, the global collaborative enterprise by and for food  & drink companies on sustainable agriculture, since 2007. Under his lead, the Platform has grown from 17 to 50 members and includes some of the world’s biggest companies, developing and publishing a unique collective knowledge about solutions and tools for companies in the food chain. Ywema has been active in companies, intermediate organizations, governments and NGO. He is an analytical chemist by education, but also holds an MBA in strategic sustainability consultancy and enjoys drawing inspiration from many forms of fine art. 


Download the Presentation of Peter-Erik Ywema here.

Dr. Vianna is currently consultant and advisor for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and retired from Deloitte as a Leader Partner for Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility Services in 2011. Here, he also served as member of Deloitte’s Global Council for Sustainability and Climate. From 1998 until 2012, Dr Vianna was also Vice President to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Brazil, as well as Chairman of the ICC Energy and Sustainable Development Committee. He has also served as an advior for the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and holds a Master’s degree in Economic Engineering. This, in addition to his PhD degree  were earned at the University of Birmingham in England.

Download the Presentation of Marcelo Vianna here.

Andree Georg Girg, Global Manager Oilseeds Bayer Crop Science

Andree Girg has been Regional Marketing Director of Latin America for Bayer Crop Science From 2009 until 2013. With almost 15 years of experience with Bayer, Mr Girg has an extensive career in the field of agriculture and food. He founded Virtus Marketing GmbH and was previously also Marketing Director for Central Europe of DuPont de Nemours. As a German native, Mr Girg has experience in both research as well as consultancy. He attained an engineering degree in Economics and Agriculture from the Georg August University of Goettingen and has extensive international experience in Africa, South America, North America and Europe.

Download the Presentation of Andree Georg Girg here (soon).