Sustainable development, innovation and the role of science in food production were the themes of a seminar hosted by the U.S. Sustainability Alliance (USSA) in Warsaw on December 6. The event was held at the Institute of Rural Economics (IRE) which co-hosted the event together with the Ministry of Agriculture.
The seminar, which attracted some sixty delegates from across the Polish food chain and academia, was opened by Professor Dr. Marian Podstawka, Director of the Institute of Agricultural Economics and Food Economy and Mr. Jonn Slette, Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw.
USSA’s Executive Director David Green opened the keynote session outlining the role of science in sustainable agriculture and the issues faced in the adoption of innovation and new technologies. He was followed by Professor Dr. Józef Zegar, Head of Department at the IRE who detailed the micro- and macro- economic dilemmas facing the development of sustainable agriculture.
The event also featured presentations from USSA regional cooperator from the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Mr. Yuri Barutkin and Mr. Jaroslaw Zielinski, from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. A high-level number of speakers and panelists from Poland included:
- Dr. Krzystof Hryszko, Researcher, Agricultural Markets Department at IRE;
- Mr. Andrzej Gantner, Vice-President and CEO of Poland’s Federation of Food Producers;
- Dr Waldemar Guba, Director, Department of Strategy & Analysis at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development;
- Dr. Mariusz Matyka, Institute of Soil Science & Plant Cultivation in Puławy;
- Dr. Arkadiusz Sadowski, Economic & Social University of Life Sciences in Poznań;
- Mr. Piotr Słowik, Head of the Department of the Fish Market Department of Fisheries, Maritime Affairs and Inland Navigation.
The 90-minute panel discussion covered a range of key topics which led to a lively and enthusiastic debate with the delegates highlighting the importance of sustainability in the food, farming and scientific communities in Poland.
Earlier in the week, David Green and Yuri Barutkin met with ministry of agriculture officials in Prague for discussions on sustainability and new technologies. A roundtable with representatives from the Czech Federation of the Food and Drink Industries and the Ministry of Environment underscored the importance that sustainability had become in the Czech farm and food industry.