CORESTA Meeting, Agronomy/Phytopathology, 2019, Victoria Falls, AP Sustainability Forum

Agro-Phyto Sustainability Forum

(1) twentyfifty Ltd, Frome, U.K.; (2) JT International S.A., Geneva, Switzerland; (3) Imperial Tobacco Limited, Durban, South Africa; (4) Philip Morris International, Cape Town, South Africa; (5) Consortium INSTM, Firenze, Italy; (6) CORESTA, Paris, France

In 2015, the United Nations published 17 sustainable development goals and their corresponding targets to be achieved by 2030. Like other sectors, the tobacco and alternative product sectors are likely to impact most of the goals. Consequently, it is important to understand and measure these impacts for organisations aiming to enhance their positive impacts, and reduce the others. In 2018, CORESTA decided to support a project with the objective to identify available scientific tools for performance assessment from which a framework could be elaborated. 16 sectorial gaps were identified and each translated into proposals for guideline and method developments. In 2019, the CORESTA Scientific Commission has decided to arrange a panel discussion during the AP Conference in Victoria Falls to exchange on topics associated with these gaps.

Four experts were invited to present on topics related to tobacco supply chains, and on projects conducted to improve social and environmental performance along this chain.

Luke Wilde, Chief Executive of twentyfifty Limited, has worked in leadership and organisational change for over two decades, with a specific focus on corporate responsibility, human rights and sustainability. Luke has led twentyfifty’s engagement on the implementation of its agricultural labour principles in its third-party supply chain since 2015, and currently leads tobacco supply chain impact assessments. During his presentation, Luke explained that all major tobacco companies have made commitments to respecting human rights and conducting ‘human rights due diligence’. He highlighted the limits to audit approaches and the insights (and challenges) of new approaches to understanding the impact on farmers, workers and their communities.

Warwick Evans, Senior Manager responsible for Agronomy and Sustainability in Leaf at imperial Brands, explained in detail the scope, objective and implementation of a sustainable tobacco programme built with stakeholders on a risk-based approach.

Eduardo Royo, currently Manager Sustainable Agriculture for PMI, being responsible of Crop and Environmental Pillars in African origins where PMI sources tobacco, presented the WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene) initiatives he is currently leading in the region, with the aim to generate a positive impact on people’s lives.

Finally, Enrica Bargiacchi, a Research Agronomist at the Interuniversity Consortium for Science and Technology of Materials in Firenze, Italy, presented multiple initiatives to support more sustainable tobacco crop production.