The Speakers for Regenerative Food System Webinar Series

Programme Team

Presenting and facilitating your webinar experience

Elspeth Donovan

Deputy Director, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, South African Office

Elspeth’s interest in Sustainability, Well Being & Human Development comes from her science background when she studied Zoology, Biochemistry and Dietetics and much later on in life an MBA. Elspeth joined CISL in 2008 and is currently responsible for all CISL’s work in South Africa. She directs the CISL Sustainability Practitioner Programme and the Business and Sustainability Programme in South Africa. She is a tutor on CISL’s Post Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business, the Anglo-American Sustainability Leadership Programme and CISL’s online programme Business and Sustainability Management. Elspeth was a former director of the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business MBA programme and has 20 years’ experience in designing and delivering leadership development programmes.

David Farrell

Founding Partner & CEO, Blue North

David Farrell is a founding partner and the CEO of Blue North Sustainability, a specialist sustainability consulting practice based in Stellenbosch, South Africa. He has worked in the agricultural sector in South Africa for more than twenty years with the last thirteen years focussed on the subject of sustainability in farming systems and agri-supply-chains. He founded Blue North in 2011 and has been involved in a wide range of projects and activities towards improving the sustainability of the sector, including the development of the content of the Sustainable Fruit Initiative (SFI), which has become the Environmental Standard of the sustainability program for the South African fruit industry (SIZA). Blue North also runs the Confronting Climate Change Initiative (CCC) on behalf of the fruit and wine sectors and manages the implementation of FruitLook, a satellite based remote sensing solution funded by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and made available to all farmers in the Western Cape Province. David has a B.Sc. Agriculture (Horticultural Science) and a Master in Business Administration (MBA), and is a Senior Associate and member of faculty of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).

Yvette Nowell

Programme Director, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, South African Office

Yvette Nowell joined CISL in March 2021 as a Programme Director in the South African office. She was previously Head of the Rand Merchant Bank fund. In 2007 she joined Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), and has headed the RMB Fund since 2009. She was recruited onto the leadership team of RMB Corporate Marketing in October 2014, was an active member and Deputy Chair of the RMB Employment Equity committee and consulted to RMB’s innovation programme team. Yvette has a long history with CISL, having attended the Sustainability Practitioner programme she went on to complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business and the Master of Studies in Sustainability Leadership. She has been an assessor on the Business Sustainability Management online course since cohort 4 and has hosted numerous Alumni events for CISL SA.

Solène Dehosse

Consultant & Lead Project Coordinator , Blue North

Solène Dehosse is a consultant at Blue North Sustainability. She is the lead project coordinator for the webinar series. Her work at Blue North is centred around supporting businesses in the agriculture and food industries in developing sustainability strategies. She has worked on several projects in her capacity as a consultant at Blue North, including projects for large scale farming groups (e.g. Rift Valley Holdings), multi-stakeholder organisations (the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials), food retailer groups (e.g. Woolworths) and government (the Western Cape Department of Agriculture). Solène has a MCom from Stellenbosch University. Her research focusses on ethical fashion consumption in South Africa.

Webinar 1: Agriculture

Thursday 11th March 2021: 11h00 - 12h15

Roland Bentley Kroon

Graaff Reinet Farmer, South Africa

I have been involved in regenerative land management since my childhood days, so have about 40 years’ practical experience, trying to understand and combat the reasons for desertification. Land Management is my passion and my family have been involved with Allan Savory since the late ‘60s. We live on a cattle farm in the Graaff Reinet area, where we practice Regenerative Land Management principles to great effect. I also teach students from southern African communal areas, via the Herding Academy training courses, in the skill of regenerative thinking and practice. I recently started facilitating a series of 5 day, Executive Regenerative Land Management courses, aimed at introducing the principles to business and policy decision-makers. • B Ag Mgt (Natal University) • Graduate of Resource Conservation Service (RCS-Australia) – Executive Link Programme • Accredited Field Professional – Savory Institute • Lead Educator – Herding Academy – South Africa (www.herdingacademy.co.za) • Private Consultant – Regenerative Land Management. • Business owner in the Farming, IT, Security, Construction and Hospitality industry.

Veronica Baleni

Farmer, Malmesbury

My name is Veronica Baleni I am 51 years old. I am a woman emerging farmer doing mixed farming. I farm with assorted vegetables and herbs and I have the following livestock: Pigs,goats, chickens, geese and rabbits. I have been farming for 16 years now. I farm on the West coast (Malmesbury) on a 1,5 hector piece of land.

Fred Dupont

Technical Manager at the Fruit Farm Group

Fred Dupont graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Entomology at the University of Pretoria in 1992 and started his working career at the Agricultural Research Council (Vegetable & Ornamental Plant Institute). After a short stint in the agrochemical industry, he became involved in the citrus industry where he spent 11 years working in Swaziland (United Plantations) and Zimbabwe (Interspan), focusing on the technical aspects of producing and packing an export crop. He represented the Swaziland citrus growers on the Citrus Research Committee and provided technical support to the growing citrus producer community in Zimbabwe. He returned to South Africa in late 2006 and joined Capespan as project manager – farm management services. In February 2010, he joined Univeg, later renamed The Fruit Farm Group South Africa (Pty) Ltd, a diverse producer, packer and marketer of export fruit, as group technical manager and later as area manager for Mpumalanga. In addition to maintaining some of his technical responsibilities towards the group, he is also responsible for overseeing two of the group’s production units in Mpumalanga province and driving and managing the group’s sustainability strategy and objectives.

Hoven Meyer

Agricultural Service Group Manager, Nestlé ESAR

More than 30 years experience in global sustainable farming practices. The Agric Team is responsible for sustainable direct sourcing of Agric raw materials for the Nestlé factories. Preference is given to direct sourcing (farm to fork) to ensure 100% traceability as well as involvement in sustainable farming practices and contributing to a lower Carbon footprint. Dairy Climate Roadmap has been set, aligned with Nestlé’s Global commitment of Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050.

Webinar 2: Processing and packaging

Tuesday 16 March 2021: 10h00 - 11h15

Lorren de Kock

Programme Manager, Circular Plastics Economy, WWF South Africa

Lorren is the programme manager for the Circular Plastics Economy programme at WWF South Africa. This programme takes a systemic or life cycle view, with a focus on industry and government, to transition the currently wasteful linear plastics system to a circular economy with environmental as well as socio-economic benefits. She is a member of the steering committee of the South African Plastics Pact and on the Zero Waste Advisory board for the Branson Centre. Lorren has specific interest in the circular economy and material flows of secondary materials in the economy underpinned by the Life Cycle Assessment approach. Lorren has a Masters degree in Environmental and Process systems engineering from the University of Cape Town.

Claire Janisch

Founding Director of BiomimicrySA

As a Certified Biomimicry Professional, Claire spends her time exploring nature’s genius in diverse ecosystems and shares this new way of viewing and valuing nature through biomimicry expeditions and coaching– teaching & training professionals, students and scholars. She also dives deeper into research for companies and organisations - translating nature’s innovation and sustainability principles for the design of new products, processes & systems. Claire has a MSc Chem-Engineering in Industrial Ecology and is both a graduate of and has been a lead trainer for the Biomimicry Professional Certificate Program offered by Biomimicry3.8. Claire was selected in the Mail & Guardian's 200 young South Africans in 2009, 2010 & 2011 and was a finalist in the Most Influential Women in Business & Government awards in 2012.

Don Mac Farlane

Senior Technologist, Woolworths, South Africa

In excess of 30 years in the Packaging Industry which covers Technical, Sustainability & New Product Development for FMCG, Medical & Pharmaceutical packaging. Currently the Senior Technologist at Woolworths South Africa, responsible for the Technical, Sustainability and compliance aspects of the Foods Division. Previously with Nampak (Now Amcor) Flexible as Divisional Technical Manager, as well as overseeing the packaging portfolio for MARS Foods South Africa, owners of the Royco brand in South Africa.

Saint-Francis Tohlang

Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director, Nestlé, East & Southern Africa Region

Saint-Francis Tohlang is the Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director for Nestlé East & Southern Africa Region, a region comprising of 23 countries. At 31, Tohlang is the youngest member of the executive leadership of Nestlé East & Southern Africa Region. He holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences Honours degree from Rhodes University and a Master of Arts from the University of Cape Town. He was the recipient of a number of scholarships, most notably the Andrew Mellon Prestigious Scholarship and being a recipient of a ‘Rhodes Top 100 Students’ award. His career spans different fields such as communications, innovation management, professional services, go-to-market strategy and trend analysis. He spent a year based at the Nestlé headquarters in Switzerland as Corporate Communications Manager for Asia, Oceania and Sub-Saharan Africa before returning to South Africa to take on his current role. Before his expatriation assignment he was Communications Manager and Head of the Innovation Awards Programme for the East and Southern Africa region. He has worked for Deloitte, Flux Trends and Wits University before joining Nestlé. In addition, Tohlang has worked as an independent trend analyst for various trend firms, both local and international, offering key insights into emerging markets trends with an African focus. This included providing trend analysis and insights for the number one and leading global trend firm as part of the Global Network. He has built a credible reputation in the field and provides commentary to national media houses and publications such as Bizcommunity, CNBC Africa, Power FM, Finweek, e.tv and Financial Mail. In 2012, Tohlang was a contributor to a best-selling publication: ‘New Urban Tribes of South Africa’ edited by Dion Chang, and also contributes trend insight pieces for Flux Trends. He considers himself a fresh and disruptive voice and has spoken at a number of conferences and sat on panels such as Sustainable Brands Africa, Samsung QLED launch, Social Media Week Johannesburg, #TrendTalk10, Youth Marketing Strategy Conference, and Digital Swarm to name a few. He has also delivered keynote speeches at the Launch of the Future Nation Schools & PRISA events. In 2013 he was selected as a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and served as the Deputy Curator for the Johannesburg hub. He is a past board member of the Dance Umbrella Festival, Dance Forum and Inkululeko. He has also represented the world youth alliance as a member and contributes to the UN Children and Youth global working group, contributing to discourse around the Post MDG implementation. Destiny Man magazine named him in their 2013 “Power of 40′′ report which recognizes top 40 men under 40 doing remarkable things in their fields.

Webinar 3: Distribution and logistics

Tuesday 30 March 2021: 11h00 - 12h15

Kim Bloch

Umthunzi Farming Community

Kim Bloch has a Masters in Public Health and nearly 15 years experience in public health and social and economic development in the non-profit, academic and private sectors. Her areas of expertise include: business management, programme management, operational systems strengthening, technology for development, monitoring, evaluation and research, marketing and sales. She is the Co-Founder and COO of Umthunzi Farming Community, a Cape Town-based non-profit company. Our mission is to economically empower small-scale enterprises through sustainable market access powered by digital technology, capacity building and resources that promotes increased knowledge, skills and active participation in the supply chain.

Arianna Baldo

RSB Sector Lead for Aviation

Arianna Baldo is based in Cape Town, South Africa and is RSB’s sector lead for aviation. She coordinates RSB's Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) projects and partnerships, and engages stakeholders globally to support the industry's sustainability and decarbonization goals through RSB membership, certification and advisory services. She has 15 years’ experience in working with supply chain actors, end users and brands to demonstrate sustainability impact through certification and partnerships. Before joining the RSB, Arianna served as Executive Director for Fairtrade South Africa and coordinated sustainable agriculture projects across the African region. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Public Relations in Italy, and then moved between Germany, South Africa and India to earn her Master of Arts in Global Studies.

Gary Kendall

Strategy and Sustainability Specialist, Nedbank

Dr Gary Kendall has been working at the intersection of business strategy and systemic risk for more than a decade. Prior to joining Nedbank in November 2013, he was Deputy Director at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) in Cape Town for 3 years, helping business leaders in Southern Africa to understand the mounting system pressures that will reshape their operating context. Gary previously served as Executive Director at SustainAbility, a hybrid think-tank and strategy consultancy based in London, where he advised numerous blue-chip organisations – including Ford, Shell, Nestlé, Novo Nordisk, Anglo American, A.P. Moller-Maersk and Sasol – on how to strengthen their business strategies with enhanced systems intelligence. His career in sustainable development began when he joined WWF International’s Climate & Energy team in 2006, which followed 9 years in the downstream oil industry with ExxonMobil, spanning diverse roles from technical services to sales, marketing and business development. Working across Europe, the US and Asia offered Gary first-hand insight to the strategic challenges faced by one of the economy’s most important yet problematic sectors. Gary is the author of the WWF publication on electromobility “Plugged In: The End of the Oil Age”. He has a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Liverpool and has been a season ticket holder with Liverpool F.C. since 1991.

Webinar 4: Distribution and logistics

Tuesday 11 May 2021: 11h00 - 12h15

Leonie Joubert

Science Writer and Author

Science writer and author Leonie Joubert uses storytelling to grapple with many of today's tough issues: climate and environmental collapse, energy policy, and why cities leave us hungry, heavy, and sick (the hunger-obesity poverty-paradox). More recently, her work delves into the realm of public mental health. She has spent the better part of 20 years exploring these topics through books, journalism, communication support to academics and civil society organisations, non-fiction creative writing, and podcasting. Based in Cape Town, Leonie works with the Daily Maverick’s specialist climate reporting team Our Burning Planet.

Himkaar Singh

Waste-to-Compost Entrepreneur | Engineer

Himkaar left South Africa during the recent water crisis – to find a solution. He lived in Germany, Vietnam and Jordan to experience different extremes of water management, while completing a Master’s degree in Integrated Water Resource Management. (He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Postgraduate Diploma in Engineering.) Himkaar returned to SA to start a business with a model to improve our soil's ability to hold water, with a larger vision of organic farming. In other projects, Himkaar has: • Volunteered on a household farm on Lake Titicaca, Peru • Lead a team of 5 different nationalities to study the water system of the Zayandeh Roud basin • Researched water efficiency in rice paddies in Vietnam • Consulted for the UN in Hanoi, to create an organic waste recycling system for their office • Consulted for Mujib Organic Farm in Jordan to improve their composting system

Conny Motau

Nestle SA Corporate Communications

rs & Stakeholder Engagement Manager at Nestlé East & Southern Africa Region (ESAR), based in Johannesburg. Her responsibilities include to enhance and strengthen Nestlé’s corporate reputation with external and internal stakeholders; to create a communications environment that fosters positive attitude, openness, engagement and exceptional performance and to build recognition of Nestlé as the leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness organisation. Conny is also responsible for delivering the company’s Creating Shared Value (CSV) objectives; to influence regulatory policies to facilitate business operations. In her previous roles within Nestlé, Conny worked on conducting Nutritional Assessments on products, providing scientific input for nutrition communication on all touch points (on-pack, internet, and print material). She was also responsible for tracking evolution of the nutritional value of Nestlé products and key competitor products sold in the market. She also participated in the cross functional teams to proactively support and drive improvement decisions and actions for products, and this included providing nutrition input for product innovation and renovation. Conny is a Registered Dietician from the then University of Natal (Pietermaritzburg).