Grow Green
Food and Farming Systems for a Climate-Friendly Future

1–2 June 2021, Online Webinar

2021 Speakers

Hover over or tap on a profile picture to see the speaker's bio. Many more speakers to be announced.

Speakers and panellists

Iain Tolhurst

Iain Tolhurst has been at the forefront of the UK organic farming movement for over 40 years. His 10 ha farm Tolhurst Organic in the UK has won many awards, most recently “Soil Farmer of the Year” from the Organic Growers Alliance. His most recent book “Back to the Land”, 2016, a chronological compilation of many of the articles and papers that he has written during his long career, gives a fascinating account of the way his farm and business has developed with much emphasis on soil management. His earlier work Growing Green, co-written with Jenny Hall, has become a textbook for many, especially the newly emerging movement of young people keen to get into Stockfree organic food production.

For many decades he has been delivering inspirational speeches and presentations on the farm’s organic and sustainable methods or food production. His wide knowledge and experience has made him in much demand both nationally and increasingly internationally delivering presentations and educational seminars. 

The farm is a model of sustainability and produces a wide range of produce for the local community. Visitors from all over the world are able to see for themselves the various components of the Stockfree organic farm, from the green manures and diverse rotations to the woodchip composts and integration of agroforestry to the vegetable system. Iain has been able to maintain a viable and sustainable business on land which is not considered suitable for vegetable production. The integration of crops, a systems approach to pest and disease management and biodiversity makes for a fascinating and durable agricultural system. He has been heard to say “The primary product of this farm is the culture of biodiversity, food production is the by-product of that.”

Dr Helen Harwatt

Dr Helen Harwatt is senior research fellow at Chatham House, focussing on food system shifts and their contribution to planetary health goals. Helen’s current projects focus on assessing the impacts of food systems shifts on a range of issues around environmental sustainability and public health, and identifying pathways toward creating food systems that minimize adverse environmental impacts, maximize public health benefits, and address ethical issues. Helen has worked in the area of climate change mitigation research and policy for 18 years and is currently part of the leadership team for action track 2 and action area 6 of the UN Food Systems Summit.

Henri Delanghe

Henri Delanghe holds a Master in International Affairs degree from Columbia University and a PhD degree in Economic History from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. He joined the Commission in 2003 and worked until 2020 in the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, first on economic analysis, indicators, impact assessment and evaluation, later in a variety of fields as assistant to the Deputy Director-General. He joined the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development in April 2020 as assistant to the Director-General and joined the Organics Unit in February 2021 as Deputy Head of Unit.

Chris Atkinson

Chris Atkinson is Board Member of IFOAM Organic Europe ( IFOAM Organics Europe ) and is Head of Standards at the Soil Association ( Soil Association ).

IFOAM Organics Europe is the European umbrella organisation for organic food and farming. We represent organic in European policymaking and advocate for a transformation of food and farming. Our work is based on the principles of organic agriculture – health, ecology, fairness and care. With more than 200 members in 34 European countries, our work spans the entire organic food chain.  We want to transform European food and farming to a system that is fair, environmentally conscious, healthy and caring.

Founded in 1946 the Soil Association is the only UK charity working across the spectrum of human health, the environment and animal welfare. We do this because we know if we work together with our community of supporters, partners, donors and dedicated staff we can make a world of difference.  The Soil Association was one of the founders of the global organic movement and developed some of the world’s first organic standards. Today, we continue to develop high standards for food, farming, health and beauty, and textiles and work across Europe to influence legislation.  Through our work with The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) both in the EU and internationally, we support a thriving organic movement in all corners of the world.

Vinciane Patelou

ENSA is the European Plant-Based Foods Association representing internationally operating European companies, producing plant-based foods and beverages such as plant-based drinks, alternatives to yoghurts and creams or alternatives to meat. ENSA members range from large corporations to small, family-owned businesses with a combined annual turnover over 1.8 billion EUR. Since its establishment in 2003, ENSA has been raising awareness about the role of a plant-based diet in moving towards more sustainable food production and consumption patterns.

Vinciane Patelou is leading the Secretariat of ENSA in Brussels, where she works as a consultant specialised in EU food policy. Having advised many food companies and associations, Vinciane has close to 15 of years of experience in the food sector, ranging from agricultural production to marketing and consumption, public health and sustainability.


Axel Anders

Axel Anders, M. A., studied psychology, drama, linguistics and business administration in France and Germany. Already during his university years, he became involved in the organic farming movement and came into contact with the organic pioneer Adolf Hoops back in the early 1980s. Although his professional journey took him in a different direction in language teaching, international business and publishing, his interest in organic farming remained alive. In 2016, when recognizing the need for a consistently vegan form of organic agriculture he connected German stakeholders in veganic farming with the Biocyclic Network in Greece/Cyprus, thereby initiating the development of “Biocyclic Vegan Agriculture”. 
Currently Axel Anders lives and works in Berlin. As a co-founder and partner of the Berlin-based Adolf Hoops Society, the international standard and label organization for biocyclic vegan agriculture and coordinating body for the International Biocyclic Vegan Network, he is primarily involved in the international development of the biocyclic vegan activities. Axel Anders is also a board member of the German Association Förderkreis Biozyklisch-Veganer Anbau. 

Dr. Johannes Eisenbach

Dr. agr. Johannes Eisenbach, originally from Germany, is a trained farmer and agricultural economist. Involved in the organic movement since the early 1980s, he relocated to Greece in 1995 where he played a major role in the development of organic agriculture. In addition to providing training and consultancy for conversion farms, he has built up an extensive distribution network to give producers from Greece and Cyprus, mostly small-scale family farms, access to the international export markets. In collaboration with the German organic pioneer Adolf Hoops and his son Arne, he developed the Biocyclic Standard, which later expanded to become the Biocyclic Vegan Standard.
Together with Arne Hoops and Axel Anders, Johannes Eisenbach is a co-founder and partner of the Berlin-based Adolf Hoops Society, the international standard and label organization for biocyclic vegan agriculture and coordinating body for the International Biocyclic Vegan Network. He is the chairman of the Biocyclic Vegan Standard Committee and of the German Association Förderkreis Biozyklisch-Veganer Anbau. He also coordinates the Panhellenic Biocyclic Vegan Network in Greece and Cyprus and is the director of the Cyprus-based marketing platform O.M.E.N. Organic Marketing & Export Network Ltd. In 2020 he became a member of the Scientific / Editorial Committee of the Growers’ Forum at IFOAM AgriBioMediterraneo (ABM). 

Louise Davies

Louise has been leading The Vegan Society as CEO since January and also holds responsibility for their campaigns and policy work, which calls for system change to support a transition to plant-based food and farming. The Vegan Society is the world’s oldest vegan organisation and works to make veganism an easily-adopted and widely-recognised approach to reducing animal suffering and environmental damage. Since joining The Vegan Society in late 2016, Louise has developed a programme of initiatives to drive both behaviour change and system change. The Vegan Society’s Grow Green campaign has benefited from a report from the respected New Economics Foundation; a conference held in London attended by policy-makers, NGOs and politicians; and political support from across the spectrum. Prior to joining The Vegan Society, Louise worked for the Green Party and has founded and directed enterprises in the field of sustainability.

Floriana Cimmarusti

Ms Cimmarusti is an international lawyer with twenty years of work experience gained in Italy, Belgium and Switzerland. After graduating in Law, she obtained a Master in Law, Economy and Politics of the European Union from the European College of Parma and graduated with a Master in Laws LLM at the University of Geneva. She worked with a European law firm in Brussels, a multinational company and a Swiss bank, gaining experience as a lobbyist in the European banking and financial sector. Since 2015, she covered the role as Secretary General of Safe Food Advocacy Europe, a European organization operating in 11 Member States and representing more than 2 million consumers. Ms Cimmarusti oversees SAFE’s advocacy campaigns to promote safer and more understandable EU food legislation for consumers, and represents the organization in the most important stakeholders groups in Brussels. 

Eleonora Evi MEP

Eleonora Evi is an Italian Member of the Greens/EFA Group of the European Parliament. She is a full member of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Committee on Petitions and the Inquiry Committee on the Protection of animals during transport. She is substitute member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. Eleonora is also Vice-Chair of the Animal Welfare Intergroup of the European Parliament and Co-Chair of the Cage-Free Farming Working Group.

Luigi Tozzi

Luigi Tozzi is a Senior Manager in Quality Production and Food & Feed Safety at Confagricoltura (Italian farmers organization). He is the Vice-Chairman of the COPA COGECA working group on organic production. Between 2019 and 2021, he is the Vice-Chairman of the Civil Dialogue Group on organic production of the EU Commission. He is also an expert stakeholder in an EFSA discussion group.

Tilly Metz MEP

Tilly Metz is a Luxembourgish Member of the European Parliament and part of the Greens/EFA Group. She is a member of five committees, among them the committees on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, Agriculture and Rural Development and the Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport, which she chairs. Tilly Metz is a shadow rapporteur for the Parliament's report on the Farm2Fork strategy,  as well as for the Horizontal Regulation of the Common Agriculture Policy. Among her priorities on food and farming policies, are supporting a shift towards healthier diets, encouraging a transition to agroecology, and ensuring higher animal welfare standards.

Tim Thorpe

Tim Thorpe is a Senior Campaigns and Policy Officer at The Vegan Society. He has a background in Environmental Sciences with an MSc from the University of Edinburgh. Since then Tim has worked in the conservation sector, most recently on a large EU LIFE funded river restoration project in the UK. Tim is a spokesperson for The Vegan Society on environmental and farming Issues and he leads the Grow Green campaign, which aims to change policy and enable a transition towards plant-based agriculture and sustainable land management as a critical part of Europe's response to the climate crisis.

Francisco Guerreiro MEP

Francisco Guerreiro is an independent Portuguese Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA) since 2019. He is the first Vice-Chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI), and a full member of the Committees on Budgets (BUDG) and on Fisheries (PECH). Francisco is also a substitute member of the Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport (ANIT). He is a full member of the delegations for relations with the Korean Peninsula and a substitute member for the delegation for relations with Japan. Furthermore, he is Vice-President of the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals and a member of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, two causes that are dear to him. He also participates in the Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition (AAHM) of the FAO of the United Nations in the European Parliament.

Nick Jacobs

Since 2015, Nick Jacobs has served as Director of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems at IPES-Food. He previously worked in the support team to the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, and as an agri-food journalist. Nick holds an MA in Modern Languages from the University of Cambridge and an MSc in Globalization and Development from the University of Antwerp. Nick has led IPES-Food’s work on a Common Food Policy for the EU, agroecology, and the health impacts of food systems. He was a member of the Food 2030 Independent Expert Group convened by the European Commission in 2018, and served as expert to the European Economic and Social Committee rapporteur on the EU Farm to Fork Strategy in 2020.

Tamara Șchiopu, MBA

Tamara is co-founder and Director for Business Development at Tolhurst Organic Partnership Community Interest Company in England 

Tolhurst Organic has been a frontline business promoting stockfree organic ”veganic” practices for over 30 years and acts as a hub for agroecology at Hardwick Estate, training prospective growers in sustainable farming practices, direct selling, value added marketing and introducing school students to Nature’s way of making the world a great place. 

Tamara is also founder of EtnoGastronomica Ltd, a small consultancy in her home country, the Republic of Moldova, where she shares her knowledge and experience via public events, social media and publications.