Science - June 27, 2019

WUR complimented by global food company

Albert Sikkema

Together with Addis Ababa University, WUR contributes significantly to the redesign of sustainable agriculture in Ethiopia. This was said by Sunny Verghese, Executive Director of food company Olam. His company awarded a prize to the Wageningen project Innovation Mapping for Food Security.

Marginal farmers in Ethiopia. © Shutterstock

Olam is a trading company from Singapore that buys large amounts of cocoa, coffee, palm oil, cotton and rice from farmers in developing countries and sells it to companies such as Unilever, Nestlé and Mars. The company is active in 70 countries and is led by the Indian Sunny Verghese (article in Dutch). He is also the chair of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. ‘Our food system is broken’, Verghese says. ‘Agriculture in its current form will not survive.’

Each year, Olam awards a prize for research into and innovation of new sustainable forms of agriculture. This year, the project Innovation Mapping for Food Security carried out by WUR and Addis Ababa University was awarded a prize.

In a blog entitled ‘How The Netherlands and Ethiopia have together re-imagined agriculture’, Verghese explains what appeals to him in the prize-winning project. ‘Bring together academic teams from Wageningen University Research and Addis Ababa University and they may just have developed one of the most critical solutions to “Re-imagining” agriculture that we have seen.’