Since January 2016 Silke Boger has led the Market Unit responsible for Arable Crops and Olive Oil in DG Agriculture (European Commission). Her unit is responsible for managing the economics of the Agricultural Markets for cereals, sugar, rice, oilseeds and olive oil, as well as for the implementation and where necessary the adjustment of the relevant EU market instruments and rules. In this role, Silke also represents the EU and its interests in three International Commodity Bodies, i.e. the International Sugar Organisation, the International Grains Council and the International Olive Council.
Previously, Silke worked for 10 years in DG Human Resources and Security; in her last position as Head of HR serving the Directorate-General with 850 staff as HR business partner.
Before joining the Commission in 2006, Silke worked in agricultural policy-making at national level. She was involved in policy analysis and project implementation, and as Assistant to the State Secretary of the German Agricultural Ministry, contributed to different reforms of EU agricultural policies. Silke holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics.
David Hightower is a founding principal of The Hightower Report (HightowerReport.com), a commodity research and information firm specializing in high quality futures research and analysis for individual investors, brokers, commercial producers, farmers and end users. The Hightower Report publishes one of the most widely read daily commodity wires in the world and has become a highly utilized industry consulting service with many brokerage firms turning to it for their primary commodity research coverage.
A keen eye on the complex interaction of the world markets insures that Mr. Hightower thoroughly examines the financial, agricultural and geopolitical situations around the globe. This in turn allows his company to provide analysis and commentary on a wide variety of markets, ranging from grains, livestock, precious metals, stock indices, bonds, currencies and the energy complex.
Mr. Silveyra is the Undersecretary of Agricultural Markets at the Ministry of Agroindustry in Argentina. In 2017-18 he is also serving as Chair of the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS), an inter-agency platform to enhance food market transparency and policy response for food security.
He is a graduate of Business Administration, with more than 35 years’ experience working in the public and private agricultural sector, mainly in production, logistics, implementation, quality control and trading.
He began his career in the former National Grain Board and then left to join the private sector setting up several companies involved in grain trading, quality control and farming.
Robert Johansson was selected as Chief Economist at the Department of Agriculture (USDA) in July 2015. As Chief Economist, he is responsible for the Department's agricultural forecasts and projections and for advising the Secretary of Agriculture on economic implications of alternative programs, regulations, and legislative proposals. He is responsible for the Office of the Chief Economist, the World Agricultural Outlook Board, the Office of Risk Assessment and Cost-Benefit analysis, the Global Change Program Office, the Office of Environmental Markets, and the Office of Energy Policy and New Uses.
Since 2001, he has worked as an economist at USDA (both at the Economic Research Service and in the Office of the Chief Economist) in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget, and at the Congressional Budget Office. In 2011 he was appointed senior economist for energy, environment, and agriculture on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers where he also participated on the White House Rural Council and the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Since 2012, Dr. Johansson served as Deputy Chief Economist at the USDA and as Acting Chief Economist since January 2015.
Dr. Johansson received B.A. in economics from Northwestern University and then served with the U.S. Peace Corps as an extension agent in several African countries from 1990 to 1995. After returning to his home State of Minnesota, he entered the graduate program in Agricultural Economics at the University of Minnesota at received his M.S. in 1997 and Ph.D. in 2000. His research has spanned a wide range of issues, including biofuels policy, water quality and quantity policies, regulatory economics, food security, and regional modeling of agricultural systems.
Wang Xiaohui is Deputy Director and Senior Analyst at the China National Grain and Oils Information Center (CNGOIC), a government think tank researching grain and oilseed supply and demand. Mr. Wang has been with National Grain and Oils Information Center since 1997. He frequently consults and is involved in the government’s grain and oilseed policy decision-making process.
Peter Gooday is the Chief Commodity Analyst at ABARES, the research bureau of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Peter leads ABARES programs for commodity analysis and forecasting, trade research and climate impact sciences, and is responsible for producing the quarterly publications Agricultural commodities and Australian crop report.
Peter has been involved in a broad range of research and analysis, including farm analysis, productivity and biosecurity; water market reform; productivity analysis; infrastructure issues affecting agriculture; fisheries management; economic issues associated with native forestry; meeting environmental objectives cost-effectively and affecting international and domestic mineral industries and commodity analysis.
He has a degree in economics with Honours from the Australian National University.
Chris heads Daiwa Group’s research capability on Europe’s economies and
financial markets. Working closely with Daiwa’s analysts in Tokyo, he also leads
Daiwa Europe’s research on Japan’s economy and markets and also works closely
with colleagues in New York and Hong Kong to develop the Group’s global
Prior to joining Daiwa in 2005, Chris spent more than a decade as an economist at
the UK’s Treasury. He had a range of roles, including as head of the European
economic analysis team, and earlier advised on UK fiscal policy, G7 policy and the
emerging market financial crises during the second half of the 1990s.
Chris also worked for three years at the European Commission on policy relating
to the functioning of the euro.
Chris is a regular contributor on the global economy to TV and media.
Swithun Still is the Director of SOLARIS COMMODITIES S.A., based in Morges, Switzerland.
SOLARIS COMMODITIES S.A. was set up in 2012 and is specialised in the trade of milling wheat and feed corn and other agricultural commodities from Russia.
Solaris’ Russian exporter partners source grains directly from farmers and local suppliers in roubles. Solaris is one of the top ten wheat traders active in the Russian market this season and one of the top three corn traders.
Before setting up SOLARIS, Swithun was the Commercial Director of Alegrow S.A. from 2009-2011. He previously worked for Agrico Trade & Finance S.A. in London and Paris, before moving to Switzerland in 2003.
Swithun is a fluent Russian and French speaker, having studied these languages at Durham University.
He has been involved in the grain trade, predominantly from Russia and Ukraine, since 1999.
Swithun was elected as Deputy President of GAFTA in January 2018 and also acts as an Arbitrator and Appeal Board Member in disputes heard by GAFTA.
He is active on TWITTER and his Twitter handle is @RUSSIANGRAINTRA
Marcel Berendsen studied Chemical Engineering at the technical university of Groningen
in the Netherlands and worked in various international management positions in
engineering and sales & marketing for several global service providers to the chemical,
pharmaceutical and food & beverage industry. As a Sales & Marketing Manager and
Export Manager he was responsible for large global key accounts in Europe, Middle East
and Asia. Presently Marcel is at FrigorTec GmbH in Germany responsible in the EMEA
markets for the sales of GRANIFRIGOR™ grain cooling units for the cooling of grain in
storage enabling riskless long-term storage of grain in without losses in quality and yield.
Dr. Inbal Becker-Reshef, is the Director of the NASA Earth Observations for Food Security and Agriculture Program (EOFSAC), and leads the G20 GEOGLAM Crop Monitor Initiative. Her work is focused on the application of satellite information for agricultural monitoring from the field to global scales, supporting decisions in food security and agricultural markets, and working closely with a range of Government, NGO, academic, and private sector partners.
Simon Blackmore is a key figure in the development of Precision Farming
and agricultural robotics, with a world-wide reputation. Simon is
currently Professor and Head of Robotics and Automation, Agri-Epi
Centre at Harper Adams University, Director of the National Centre for
Precision Farming and managed the European FutureFarm project.
Simon has extensive experience of multidisciplinary collaboration across
universities, commercial partnerships and research projects including
autonomous tractors, laser weeding, robotic phenotyping and robotic harvesting.
Simon holds seven Chairs around the world and gives many
national and international keynote presentations. Simon leads the research in the UK on agricultural robotics.
Simon personal research focuses on improving Precision Farming by developing more intelligent machines and processes, and mak
ing crop production more efficient and sustainable.
Prof. Navarro is a post-harvest research entomologist engaged in development of environmentally user friendly methods for the protection of food without detrimental chemical pesticides. He works for the company Green Storage in Israel. He was instrumental in organizing the Department of Stored Products, and has served as Head of the department at the Israel Agricultural Research Organization.
His chapter in the book by CRC Press entitled "Innovative environmentally friendly technologies for agricultural produce quality" provides an across-the-board summary of the latest know-how in the diverse aspects of protection of food without chemical pesticides.
Prof. Navarro is the President of the Permanent Committee for the International Conference on Controlled Atmosphere and Fumigation.
Nicholas Kennedy started his career as an equity sales trader at Instinet in 1999 promoting electronic trading to large European Buy side customers from Paris and then London, before joining a Swiss Private bank and running the trading desk of their Paris office. Nicholas then moved into commodities in 2005 when he joined the sales team at Diapason Commodities Management, co-founded by Jim Rogers, in Lausanne and then in the UK, where he helped open the London office. Following this commodity hedge fund experience, Nicholas moved back into trading and held senior brokerage roles in cocoa and soft commodities at ED&F Man (MCA) and UBS in London. In 2009 Nicholas joined NYSE Liffe’s Commodities Team. Following the acquisition of NYSE by ICE and the subsequent IPO of Euronext he then led Euronext’s commodities sales team as Director and Head of Business Development before taking over as Head of Commodities in December 2017.
Nicholas holds a BA(Hons) International Business from Plymouth University.
Mostafa CHARI is currently the Executive Assistant at the Moroccan Cereals and Pulses Office (ONICL). Over the last 30 years, M. Chari has held several key positions in the ONICL including Director of Port Silos in Casablanca from 2007 to 2014 and Head of the Marketing Division.
ONICL is a Government entity in charge of following the supply of Grains and Pulses and their products in Morocco. ONICL is also in charge of organizing the marketing of local grains production and managing the Tariff Rate Quotas in the context of the Moroccan Free Trade Agreements with the United States and the European Union.
Mr. Neri has over 25 years’ experience in in port management and logistics consultancy. He is currently the President of SINDAMAR – (Shipping Agency Union for the State of São Paulo) and Vice President of FENAMAR (National Federation of Shipping Agencies).
Mr. Neri has a degree in Foreign Trading, and a postgraduate MBA in Business Management
Mr Neto has worked as a shipping agent for agricultural commodities for over a decade with experience in all departments and processes.
He oversees Alphamar’s research and marketing activities, statistics, reports and consultancy material for grain and fertilizer players. He is also a logistics consultant for grain origination in Brazil, using geolocation tools as a key feature to summarize new projects and market trends.
Mr. Jianfei (Jeffrey) XU, is a consultant and broker on oilseeds, grains and ocean freight and has been trading in soybeans since 1990 He is the organizer of OCI Soybean Forum and a consultant of Xiamen ITG Group Corp. Ltd.
Mr. XU has spoken at many international conferences, including in Canada, Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia, Ukraine and Switzerland.
Perrine Tonin is a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique and of AgroParisTech (France). She started her career as a strategy consultant in Paris for the agricultural and food industries. She is now Head of Economic Studies at Avril Group – the French industrial and financial player of the oils and proteins sectors. Her work covers oilseeds, vegetable oils and meals markets, as well as animal products markets.
Mr. Andrey Sizov Jr is a Managing Director of SovEcon Ltd, a leading firm focused on Black Sea agricultural markets research he is also a member of its board of directors and advisor to several large Russian farming companies.
He has an extensive knowledge of agriculture & the food industry covering everything from field to food retail with a special focus on Black Sea countries/FSU. Mr. Sizov has more than 20 years of experience in consulting, research as well as business development and communications.
Andrey is one the most quoted experts on Black Sea grains and oilseeds markets regularly providing comments to leading business media (WSJ, FT, Bloomberg & Reuters), is a frequent conference speaker (including USDA Ag Outlook Forum and Global Grain) and a columnist on agriculture and food for top Russian media (RBC, Republic.ru, Forbes).
Mr. Sizov holds a degree in Finance and Credit from the Financial Academy of the Government of the Russian Federation and Executive MBA from IE Business School.
He is also a member of a number of Russian government Agricultural Committees and Expert Groups.
PASSIONATE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF FOOD & AGRICULTURE
Born in France, Jean-Philippe Azoulay is Director General of the European Crop Protection Association, representing the crop protection industry in Europe. A Mechanical Engineer by training, with an MBA obtained in 1988, he spent 26 years working for DuPont in various senior roles, latterly as the Global Director of DuPont’s Nutrition business. Having lived in numerous countries around the world, Jean-Philippe has a global view of the challenges facing the future of food and agriculture, and is passionate about the role private industry can play in providing innovative solutions to answer society’s biggest challenges.
Jonathan Calland is Head of External Affairs at Tilda Ltd, a Hain Celestial company. International trade policy, sustainable sourcing and promoting healthy eating are the main focus for Tilda.
His background was in Brussels working on international trade policy for a variety of international corporations as a consultant and then representing European associations in the food, retail and broadcast media sectors. He began his career working for British, Irish and French politicians at the European Parliament in Brussels & Strasbourg, and then at the Assemblée National in Paris. Educated in Belgium and the UK, he holds a Masters in European Public Administration from the College of Europe in Bruges.
Dr Wyn Ellis is Coordinator of the Sustainable Rice Platform, a global multi-stakeholder partnership comprising 85 institutional members, convened by UN Environment and the International Rice Research Institute, together with private sector, research and civil society partners. SRP works towards rice sector transformation through wide-scale adoption of climate-smart, sustainable best practices by rice smallholders.
Dr Ellis has spent most of his 30-year career in Asia, working on agricultural development and agro-innovation with UN agencies, ADB, GIZ, private companies, governments, universities, NGOs and industry bodies. He holds a Ph.D. from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, an M.Sc. from the University of Reading and M.A. and B.A. degrees from Oxford University.
William George is a Senior Agricultural Economist with the United States Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) and the lead analyst in the Oilseeds and Products Group. Joining FAS in 1988 as a commodity analyst, he has over 25 years’ experience in oilseeds. He is also a member of the Interagency Commodity Estimates Committee tasked with developing supply and demand estimates for the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) report. Prior to joining FAS, Mr. George was a researcher in crop micro-climates and irrigation with the Department of Water Science, University of California, Davis. In addition to a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from UC Davis, Mr. George holds bachelor degrees in Meteorology and Agronomy from Penn State. He also holds a master’s degree in Horticulture from Penn State with study in crop micro-climates, irrigation scheduling and remote sensing.
Sara Menker is founder and CEO of Gro Intelligence, a technology company that is bridging data gaps across the global agriculture sector, empowering decision makers and creating a more informed, connected, efficient and productive global agriculture industry.
Prior to founding Gro, Menker was a vice president in Morgan Stanley's commodities group. She began her career in commodities risk management, where she covered all commodity markets, and she subsequently moved to trading, where she managed a trading portfolio.
Menker is a trustee of the Mandela Institute For Development Studies (MINDS) and a trustee of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). She was named a Global Young Leader by the World Economic Forum and is a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative of the Aspen Institute.
Menker received a B.A. in Economics and African Studies at Mount Holyoke College and the London School of Economics and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.
Darren has spent two decades in the commodities sector, in a range of roles, covering different markets and industries, including mining and metals, tropical commodities, dry bulk freight and agriculture, notably grains, rice and oilseeds. He has travelled extensively and presented on a range of topics at international events. In 2006, he joined the International Grains Council, a London-based intergovernmental organisation, as a Senior Economist, with experience spanning all of the body’s activities.
Marco joined the Sector Development and Analysis Directorate (SDAD), Market Industry Services Branch of AAFC in May 2017 as the Director General. His role includes overseeing the provision of in-depth market information and analysis, as well as advice and engagement on sectoral issues, to meet departmental policy and program delivery needs and to contribute to industry’s economic development. He also ensures his staff continue to maintain and expand working relationships through collaboration with provinces and territories, national and regional agricultural and food associations, and individual companies and value chain members, and to develop strategies to improve competitiveness and long-term market success, and to address issues of importance facing the sector, including market and regulatory issues.
Prior to this position, Marco Valicenti served as the Executive Director of the Market Access Coordination division within the Market Access Secretariat. In addition, Marco served as the Senior Policy Advisor to two former Deputy Ministers, and then transitioned to the position of the Department’s Corporate Secretary. From 2008-2012, Marco worked at the Canadian Embassy in Rome, Italy as an Agricultural Counsellor and the Canadian Representative to the United Nations food agencies.
Marco has held various other executive positions within AAFC. Marco’s work experience over the last 20 years has ranged from operations to strategic decision-making and has worked in both line branches and on corporate matters.
Marco has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) and an undergraduate degree in Economics.
Clive has been involved with Precision Agriculture for over 20 years and was one of the pioneers and adopter of precision farming technology in the country. He continues to challenge the boundaries of technology to enhance productivity and profitability of farmers globally. After successfully growing the first crop in the world totally robotically with the Hands Free Hectare from which his company Precision Decisions continues to push innovation within the industry.
He is the CEO of Precision Decisions Ltd, a leading company providing comprehensive precision farming services. Through his consulting services to the world’s largest agri-engineering companies and experience at UK Department of International Trade, Clive has gained extensive knowledge of the global precision agriculture market including China and Africa. In 2004 his Nuffield Farming Scholarship on Precision Agriculture took him through Europe, Australia and the U.S.A.
His keen enthusiasm and vast knowledge lead him to diversify away from the family farm and start his own business helping farmers around the world adopt and integrate precision farming techniques and applications.
Ms Koroleva joined the FSFI “Center for Grain Quality Assurance” in April 2006 as Deputy Head and Head of Foreign Relations. In 2008 she was promoted to Deputy Director and was appointed Director of the organisation in 2015.
Thanks to Ms Koroleva, FSFI “Center for Grain Quality Assurance” has established cooperation with international organizations. The Institution is currently a member of the Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA) and is accredited as Analyst and Superintendent.
FSFI “Center for Grain Quality Assurance” is also a member of the International Association for Cereal Science and Technology (ICC), the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA), the Federation of Oils, Seeds and Fats Association (FOSFA) and the American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC).
Ms Koroleva was awarded the title of Honorary Worker of Agricultural Industry of Russia by the Ministry of the Agriculture of the Russian Federation. She has also been awarded commendations from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation and the Federal Service of Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor).
Ms Koroleva graduated from the Moscow State Institute (University) of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MGIMO).
Gary C. Martin has served since June of 2000 as President and Chief Executive Officer of the North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA). Since 2104 he has served as the President of the International Grain Trade Coalition. In addition, his many industry leadership activities include service as a Co-chair of U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialog for Trade Agreements, and a Co-Chair of the Canada-U.S. Grain and Seed Trade Task Group.
Before assuming the presidency of NAEGA, Gary was a NAEGA Board Director and officer, representing Farmland Industries, Inc. At Farmland he had several responsibilities including Director of Trade and International Relations, Director of Grain Marketing, and Founder and President of Farmland Graños in Mexico. From 1990 to 1992 Mr. Martin served the Administration of George H.W. Bush at the US Department of Agriculture as Deputy Administrator of Commodity Operations and as an officer of the Commodity Credit Corporation. In the first year of the Clinton Administration, from 1992 to 1993, he served as an advisor to the Special Ambassador to the former Soviet Union at the US Department of State.
Gary earned a B.Sc. in Agricultural Economics, with highest honors, from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He is also a graduate of the University of Missouri, Institute of Cooperative Leadership, and has graduate studies in International Transactions at the George Mason University.
Gary and his wife Denise reside in Ashburn, Virginia USA.
Gerald Makau Masila is the Executive Director of the Eastern Africa Grain Council – EAGC. He joined the Council on 15th March 2011 from Acumen Business Consultants where he was a Management Consultant from January 2010.
Gerald began his career with British American Tobacco (BAT) in 1996 before moving to the New Kenya Cooperative Creameries (NKCC), as the Head of Sales and Marketing.
Gerald was then appointed the Managing Director of Kenya Wines Agencies Limited (KWAL), where he was also awarded the 3rd Best State Corporation by His Excellency President Mwai Kibaki in 2008 Performance Contracting Evaluations.
Gerald holds a Master of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics – Marketing Major and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Geography both from Egerton University, Kenya. His professional interests include Management Excellence, Marketing, Communications and Organizational Development.
Javier Ocampo is a Trade Policy Analyst in the Agriculture and Commodities Division at the World Trade Organization. At the WTO he has worked in a variety of areas including the implementation of the Agreement on Agriculture, implementation of the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures as well as agriculture negotiations. Prior to working at the WTO he has worked for the food safety departments of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization. Javier also has served as a consultant for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. Javier completed his MSc in food safety at the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands; and has a BA in international trade of agricultural products from the Agricultural University of Chapingo in Mexico. He has contributed to various WTO reports including the trade monitoring reports covering developments in WTO members' agricultural policies.
Are grains and oilseeds supplies too heavy to maintain a dynamic market?
Sustainable value chain enhancement
New challenges in the grains sector: new perspectives for AMIS
Producing grains in a changing world
Representative of the Kazakhstan Government
Dr. Robert Johansson, Chief Economist, US Department of Agriculture, USA
China: A developing grain market
Changes and challenges in global grain markets – an Australian perspective
Global economic and financial market outlook
Open source yield models in agronomy and finance
Mr. Andrey Sizov Jr, Managing Director, SovEcon Ltd, Russia
2018/19 outlook: will Russia remain the number 1 wheat exporter?
Mr. Swithun Still, Deputy President, GAFTA, Director, Solaris Commodities SA, Switzerland
Ms. Yulia Koroleva, Director, FSFI Centre of Grain Quality Assurance, Russia
Developing Russian Grain Exports
Moderator: Mr. Jean-Philippe Azoulay, Director General, European Crop Protection Association, Belgium
Reducing grain storage losses
Managing variability and targeting inputs in cereals with Precision Decisions
Supporting decisions in agricultural markets and food security through the use of earth observations
Using new technology to control post-harvest grain losses
Moderator: Mr. Nicholas Kennedy, Euronext, France
Grain marketing and market perspectives in Morocco
New export corridors for grain cargoes in Brazil
China's soybean industry - a perfect mirror of China’s economy
Please check back for programme updates
Updated 2 May 2018