Shuichi Akamatsu is currently serving as Minister for economic affairs at the Embassy of Japan in London. After graduating from Tokyo University, he joined the Japanese Foreign Ministry in 1989. Upon instructions, he studied at the People’s University of China in Beijing and completed his post-graduate studies at Harvard University in Boston. In the headquarters in Tokyo, he has been involved in various multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations and dispute settlement procedures as a legal expert of Japanese delegations in the mid-1990s. Also, he has devoted himself to economic policy planning in a wide range of economic fields such as energy, natural resources and food, development finance, economic growth strategy, G7/8 and G20 Summits and so on as their respective directors from 2009 to 2014. He has experienced overseas postings in the Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York (2000-03), Japanese Embassies in China (2003-06) and Indonesia (2014-17). Although he has just transferred from Jakarta to London in September, his economic background is well placed to observe as Britain prepares for Brexit.
H.E. Mr. Al-Khshali was appointed Deputy Minister of Trade for Iraq in February 2018. From 2014-2018 he was the Director of the Grains Board of Iraq.
He also currently serves as Director of the Iraqi-Vietnamese Committee.
Mr. Al-Khshali has a BSC degree in Electrical Engineering.
Cagatay is a graduate of the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Gazi University. He joined the Turkish Grain Board in 2006, working in the finance division. Between 2011 and 2017 he was the organisation’s Market Research Manager. In December 2017, he was appointed Head of Trade Department, the position he currently holds. He is married and is the father of one child.
Emiko Terazono is a member of the FT commodities team based in London. She has been writing about commodities for the FT since 2011, mainly focused on agriculture. She started in the FT in Tokyo as a business reporter and has covered media, the City diary as well as editing corporate news.
Dr. Robert Johansson serves as the Chief Economist at the Department of Agriculture (USDA). He has served in this role since 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 Climate Change Program Office, the Office of Environmental Markets, the Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, and the Office of Pesticide Management Policy.
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.
Jonathan Brooks is Head of the Agri-Frood Trade and Markets Division in the OECD’s Trade and Agriculture Directorate, which produces with FAO the annual OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook and undertakes a range of analysis of the links between policies and markets. His own research has focused on the areas of agricultural policy, trade and development. Before joining OECD in 1999, Jonathan was a Lecturer at the University of Reading and worked on a range of consultancy projects. He has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of California, Davis, an M.S. in Economics from Purdue University, and a B.Sc. in Economics from the London School of Economics.
Stefan has a wealth of market research and corporate
strategy experience and is responsible for fundamental
market analysis and price forecasting of agri
commodities. In addition, as Global Sector Strategist,
Grains & Oilseeds he leads the bank’s research in this
sector and advises clients on sector trends and strategic
Prior to joining Rabobank Stefan has worked in different
agricultural market research and strategy positions,
including Head of Economics Department of ADM
Germany (former Toepfer International) and Director of
Market Research & Business Analytics of Archer Daniels
Midland in the US. Stefan also was Vice President of the
European Grain Trading association and a member of
the EU Commission’s Expert Group on Agricultural
Commodity Derivatives and Spot Markets.
Stefan holds a Diploma (equivalent to Master´s Degree)
in Agricultural Economics from the University of Giessen
Randal Giroux currently holds the position of Vice President at Cargill Incorporated located at the World Headquarters in Wayzata, Minnesota. Randal leads the areas of Food Safety, Quality, and Regulatory and a recognized thought leader in Cargill and the broader industry for the integration of agricultural biotechnology into the global food system. As part of his portfolio, he has overall responsibility for Quality and Food Safety in Cargill’s Global Poultry businesses and Chair’s Cargill’s Biotechnology Risk Committee. Previously he served these roles as part of Cargill’s Agricultural Supply Chain businesses.
Randal is involved professionally with both science and trade organizations across the supply chain, and recognized for expertise in both Food Safety and the integration of Agricultural Biotechnology in global food and feed supply chains. He has held a number of leadership positions in the trade and has served on several advisory committees.
Before joining Cargill, Dr. Giroux was a Program Manager with the Canadian Grain Commission and previous to his public service; he was a National Needs Fellow with USDA. Randal graduated with a PhD in Agriculture from the University of Guelph (OAC).
With his background in the Life Sciences and extensive experience with Cargill’s global supply chain businesses, Randal possesses unique skill sets that allow him to operate at a highly technical level and effectively identify and manage Food Safety and Quality opportunities for Cargill’s agricultural businesses and stakeholders.
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.
At the end of his contract with KWAL, Gerald moved on to the Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (KPCU) the oldest and largest coffee milling and marketing company in Kenya, where he served as the Managing Director. He is also is the Vice Chairman of the Special Olympics Kenya.
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.
Jean CHARZAT is Managing Director for Agribusiness for Sub-Sahara Africa at Bunge’s Geneva office. Bunge processes soft seed and tropical oils, grains and sugarcane and is listed on the NYSE.
Jean has worked in the commodity trading business since 1983. Before joining Bunge in 2008, he worked as a trading and export manager for various French cooperatives.
He has a Msc. in Agriculture from AGROSUP, Dijon, France and a MBA in Finance from ESCP EAP, Paris, France.
Having reported and edited at Reuters News for 18 years, Veronica runs the EMEA commodities and energy news file from London. Veronica has spent the majority of her Reuters career covering commodity markets, including agricultural commodities, energy, precious and base metals. She punctuated her commodities coverage with a four year period reporting foreign exchange and government bonds, encompassing the 2008 financial crisis.
Jesus Madrazo serves as a member of the Executive Leadership Team and as Head of Agricultural Affairs and Sustainability for the Crop Science division of Bayer. Based in Monheim, Germany, he works to find solutions to the challenges farmers and the environment face through collaboration, finding common ground with key stakeholders and critics, and expanding Bayer’s sustainability efforts.
Prior to joining Bayer, Madrazo held the role of Vice President, Commercial and Global Supply Chain, at Monsanto. Throughout his career, he has led many strategic initiatives related to sustainability, partnerships, international and regional businesses and operations, public and industry affairs, global marketing, issues and crisis management, and legal affairs. Madrazo holds a legal degree from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico and received post-legal degrees from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and University of Arizona. He also holds an MBA from Cardiff Business School in the United Kingdom. He has been a member of multiple industry coalitions and non-governmental organization boards of directors around the world.
Madrazo is married with three children. He has lived in Mexico, the United States, the United Kingdom and Colombia. He enjoys traveling and spending time with his family outdoors.
Mr. Dong Guo was appointed Chief Research Officer for COFCO International (CIL) in Geneva in June 2017. He previously worked as the General Manager at CIL (2015-2017) and Nidera (2010-2015).
He is an agriculture trading veteran with extensive agriculture business experience having also worked for Cargill and Goldman Sachs on various trading and marketing roles in different locations since the late 1990’s.
Louis de Bruin, Blockchain Leader Europe IBM Global Services, has been working on Blockchain sinds 2013 helping ecosystems of companies and government agencies to transform business processes and gain the benefits of this technology throughout a range of industries. Louis is a frequent speaker at international conferences, and publishes on the subject and is a visiting lecturer at universities and is co-author of the book "Working with Blockchain".
Caroline Rhodes is Chief Executive Officer of Grain Producers SA (GPSA), the peak representative body for South Australian grain growers. In 2017-18, the South Australian grain industry generated nearly $A4.2 billion in gross food revenue and invested millions in research, development and extension to ensure its remains an innovative and competitive leader in global production.
Caroline is a corporate governance and stakeholder relations specialist with extensive policy and advocacy experience in the Australian grain industry. She began her career working for State and Federal farmer representative bodies and has since held senior roles in the corporate and government sectors, including as Chief of Staff to an Australian Senator.
Her leadership skills and experience has placed her at the forefront of generating change to benefit growers, such as pushing for the deregulation of the Australian wheat industry. In addition, she has extensive insight of the supply chain at all levels gained as a former director of Pulse Australia, the Australian Grain Exporters Association and Wheat Quality Australia.
Outside of the grain industry, Caroline has a particular interest in the non-profit sector and serves on the Boards of the South Australian Cricket Association, food relief charity Foodbank South Australia and farm service provider Rural Business Support.
Caroline holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from the University of Adelaide, a Master of Agribusiness from the University of Melbourne and a Graduate Certificate in Australian Rural Leadership from James Cook University. She is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Jonathan Horrell is Director Global Sustainability for the snacking company Mondelez International, a world leader in biscuits, chocolate and other categories, featuring brands such as Oreo and belVita biscuits; Cadbury Dairy Milk and Milka chocolate; and Trident gum. Mondelez International is a member of the Standard and Poor’s 500, NASDAQ 100 and Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
He is responsible for sustainability strategy, managing key sustainability issues, and building relationships with policy makers and external stakeholders to support the company’s strategic sustainability priorities.
His responsibilities cover sustainability across the value chain from agricultural sourcing to post-consumer waste, working alongside specialists from functions across the business.
He joined the company in 2003. Until December 2011 - a period which included the acquisition of Cadbury – he was Corporate Affairs Director for the UK and Ireland, with responsibility for external and internal communications, public affairs and community involvement.
Originally a dairy farmer, Jonathan previously worked in the UK dairy industry and a journalist on a variety of IT and finance titles.
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.
Melinda has invested over 25 years servicing the global mining and commodity cross-border trading community, as a financier, commodity marketer, financial risk trader (the first woman to trade iron ore swaps), institutional investment advisor and market strategist. She has been world-renowned for her knowledge of China’s commodity growth patterns and global commodity pricing trends. Her previous employers have included BHP; Credit Suisse and ICBC Standard.
At Mitigram, Melinda assists global corporates “re-think digitally” to innovate their trade instrument financing and risk management communication and data capture practices. Mitigram’s platform is uniquely designed to deliver compelling benefits to trade finance teams, including improved strategic financing partnerships and liquidity access.
Max grew up on his family’s farm which he took over in 1986. Stor-Tötar Gård, is an old farm that combines arable land and forestry in South Western Finland that has been in the family for around 300 years. Continuity that hopefully will go forward since Max is raising three boys together with his Spanish wife Marta.
Before taking over the full responsibility of running the farm and having taken a degree in agricultural economics, he became a grain trader for the Finnish Grain Board.
After that Max worked in the agricultural machinery sector from 2003 until 2008. This job took him all over the world from America to China.
For the last 10 years, he has been working in the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK) as the Advisor for cereals, oilseeds and protein crops.
Gary C. Martin has served since June of 2000 as President and Chief Executive Officer of the North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA,) www.naega.org. Since 2104 he has served as the President of the International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC) www.igtcglobal.org. 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 www.canada-usgrainandseedtrade.info.
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.
Pat is CEO of Grain Trade Australia, which is the leading post-farm gate trade organisation in the Australian grains industry. Pat has vast industry experience, having spent more than 20 years in the grains industry in Australia and USA. He has a diverse experience across the entire value chain, with roles in management, grain origination, trading, trade policy and business strategy, gained from working for trade houses, financial institutions as well as customer service and information focused businesses. He has previously been a Director of Grain Trade Australia and also a past Director of the Australian Grain Exporters Association (AGEA) and Member of the Commodity Markets Council (USA). Pat holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture from University of Melbourne, Australia and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment.
Mr. Ren Zhi, Vice President of CNAGS, he was born in 1958, graduated from Jilin University with economic master degree in 1990. Mr. Ren had worked for National Development and Reform Commission from 1991 to 2006 and worked for China Agri-Industries Holdings Limited which belongs to COFCO corp as Deputy General Manager from 2006-2017.
He has been working in grain industry for decades and both worked for Chinese government and enterprise, Mr. Ren Zhi is very experienced and has abundant knowledge in terms of grain trade and international economic.
Mr. Ren has been the Vice President of CNAGS from 2017 and dedicated in the international cooperation and collaboration of global grain industry.
Alejandra Danielson Castillo serves as the Regional Director for South Asia for the U.S. Grains Council, a non-profit organization that promotes the use of U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products worldwide. In this capacity, Danielson Castillo evaluates, plans, coordinates, implements and manages the Council’s market development programs in the South Asia region which includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Prior to the Council, Danielson Castillo worked in trade execution with Cargill focused on trade risk management as well as vessel and container logistics for cotton, grains and oilseeds. Danielson Castillo also gained experience as an international freight forwarder prior to entering trade execution. Before joining Cargill, she worked as a project manager for the Mayo Clinic and an associate director of admissions for St. Catherine University.
Danielson Castillo holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in strategic management and organizational leadership, both from St. Catherine University.
The U.S. Grains Council is a private, non-profit partnership of agribusinesses and producers committed to building and expanding international markets for U.S. grains and their products. The Council has 10 international offices that oversee programs in more than 50 countries. Support for the Council comes from its producer and agribusiness members and the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the U.S. farm bill.
Gustavo Idigoras is Chairman of the Argentine Oil Industry Chamber (CIARA) and an international consultant for WTO, IDB and FAO on SPS and agricultural trade, including sustainability. He is currently Director of the Center of Studies for the Agrifood Sector at the National University of Lomas de Zamora and also a Senior Member of Grupo Productores del Sur (GPS) (a private think tank of farmers from MERCOSUR countries). He is also Coordinator and Professor of Master of Agroindustries and International Markets at the National Public University of Buenos Aires. He has published several papers related to trade, negotiations and new food standard requirements.
He has a degree in Political Sciences, a masters degree in International Affairs and Business and a PhD in Agricultural Business Administration.
Dr. Mark Jekanowski is Deputy Chairman of USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board, where he works with a diverse team of economists, meteorologists, IT experts and support staff in creating USDA’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, planning the annual USDA Outlook Forum, and supporting the mission of USDA’s Office of Chief Economist. Previous positions with USDA include Deputy Director for Outlook at the Economic Research Service, and Crops Branch Chief, also at the Economic Research Service. Prior to his service at USDA, Dr. Jekanowski was a Senior Vice President at Informa Economics, where from 2009-2011 he was also Head of the Washington, DC office. He holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, and a B.S. in Resource Economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He was raised on a commercial, family-owned vegetable and tobacco farm in Hadley, Massachusetts.
Was born in Parma on 1962.
Graduated in Agriculture c/o “Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore” di Piacenza on July 1986. Agronomist.
He started his career as salesman in Pioneer Hi-Breed Italy up to 1989. He was then hired in 1991 by Barilla, working in purchasing dept. on different raw material relating to agriculture. From 1999 started his experience in cereals Market (Common wheat and rye) and from 2009 he is Group Supply Chain Purchasing Director for Durum Wheat and Semolina for Barilla Group.
He is President of the European Bureau de Semouliers (European Durum Wheat Milling Association) and member of Italmopa Board (Italian milling Association)
Mr. Ulusoy was appointed Chairman of the Executive Board of the Turkish Flour Industrialists’ Federation (TFIF) in May 2015.
He is the Chairman of the Executive Board of Ulusoy Un Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S, having previously held the position of CEO from 2010-2015 and is also the Chairman of the Black Sea Region Flour Industry Association, and Vice-Chairman of the Black Sea Grain, Pulses and Oilseeds Exporters’ Association and Samsun Commodity Exchange.
He has a degree in Economics and Administrative Sciences, and a Masters degree in Agricultural Economics.
Taoufik Saidi is the Chief Executive Officer of the Tunisian Grains Board (Office des Céréales). He has more than 30 years’ experience in international grains commerce, agricultural policies to ensure food security and market analysis of cereals and oilseeds crops.
His previous positions include, Chief of Staff to the Minister of Trade and Handicraft, Deputy Director General of the Office of Livestock and Pasture and Director of various departments in the Tunisian Grains Board.
He is a GAFTA Qualified Arbitrator.
He has a Diploma in Economic Sciences from the Tunis Faculty of Law, Political and Economic Sciences, and a Diploma of higher studies in International Commercial Law from the Tunis II Faculty of Legal, Political and Social Sciences.
Dr Harold Roy-Macauley, a Sierra Leonean national, has been Director General of the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) since 2015. AfricaRice is a CGIAR Research Center and a pan-African association of 27 member countries.
Dr Roy-Macauley has nearly 30 years of experience in agricultural research with extensive leadership and management expertise. Before joining AfricaRice, he was the Executive Director of the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD).
Dr Roy-Macauley has served previously as the Regional Director for the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in West and Central Africa. He has consulted for numerous international and bilateral organizations on biosafety and biotechnology and was the Managing Director for the Regional Center for Improving Adaptation to Drought (CERAAS) in Senegal, a research and training center of CORAF/WECARD.
Dr Roy-Macauley is fluently bilingual in English and French. He received a PhD degree in tropical plant biology in 1993 from the Université Denis Diderot, France, MSc in tropical plant biology in 1988 from the Université de Pierre et Marie Curie, France, and BSc with Honors in Botany in 1982 from the University of Sierra Leone.
Arnaud Saulais, Commodity Derivatives Broker at SCB Group in Geneva is specialized in agricultural products. He is currently focussing on Asian Rice Swaps, a new hedging tool dedicated to the whole rice industry.
Previously, he successfully launched and developed the first Black Sea wheat and corn swaps which are now cleared on a futures exchange.
Over the last twelve years he has acquired strong expertise in agricultural markets, risk management and business development, trying to convert market complexity into simple words.
Arnaud holds an agricultural engineering degree from ESITPA, Rouen, France.
Mr Camille Bourgeon is a Technical Officer in the Marine Environment Division of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). He mainly supports IMO’s work and policies on matters related to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships.
Before joining IMO he worked for the French Maritime Affairs Directorate (Ministry of Transport).
Total work experience — 21 years, 16 of which as a manager of transport companies and logistics, shipping and financial services.
Raivis Veckagans started his career in the Baltic Transit Bank, where he worked in various positions from an accountant to a head of the branch. Then he worked at DNB Nord Bank as a director of the branch in Ventspils.
From 2002 Raivis Veckagans worked in transport sector. During eight years he worked as a CFO for JSC «Ventspils Commercial Port», holding “VK Tranzits” LLC and JSC “Latvian Shipping Company”.
In January 2017 he headed the State Enterprise “Ukrainian Seaports Authority”. His responsibilities include approval of key financial, strategic and personnel decisions both for Main Representative Office and the branches.
In 1997 he graduated economics from the University of Latvia (Riga).
In 1999 at the same University he received a master's degree in social sciences.
Darren has spent more than two decades in the commodities sector, covering different markets and industries, including mining and metals, tropical commodities and agriculture, notably grains, rice and oilseeds. He is a Senior Economist at the International Grains Council, and has experience spanning all of the body’s activities. He has presented and chaired at many international events.
Nathan’s career to date has been centred around financial and commodities markets, working in both private and public sector capacities. After his first role as a junior economist at an investment bank, focusing mainly on macroeconomic fundamentals and their impact on currency and bond markets, he joined the London-based International Grains Council (IGC) in 2003. As one of a small team of economists, his main focus is overseeing the Council’s grain production analysis, the global maize market, national policy developments and price reporting.
Miriam is Senior Economic Analyst at the International Grains Council (IGC), a London-based intergovernmental organisation, where she covers the analysis of a wide range of commodities within the Council’s remit, national policy and trade developments, freight rates and daily price reporting. She is also responsible for the Food Assistance Convention. Prior to joining the IGC, she worked for two years in providing business intelligence to companies in enterprise applications at Datamonitor’s Technology Business Unit. Miriam studied business administration and economics in Germany and France.
Peter is a market analyst at the IGC with a focus on rice and oilseeds. Having previously been editor of the Live Rice Index, a specialist rice market reporting agency, Peter has expertise in rice pricing and agricultural supply and demand dynamics.
Joined the IGC as an Economist in January 2016. While Alexander is involved in most of the organisation’s activities, his major focus has been on the global maize market and ocean freight of grains and oilseeds. Prior to joining the IGC, Alexander spent almost a decade in consulting and investment banking spheres in Moscow, as well as trade-related diplomatic service in London.