Commissioner Weathers: The Wall Street Journal’s Global Food Forum

Last week Commissioner Hugh Weathers attended the The Wall Street Journal’s Global Food Forum in New York City. Commissioner, you discuss and share some of the topics and information you learned?

  • On September 27, 2018 the editors of The Wall Street Journal convened leading executives in agribusiness, food production, consumer products and government to explore key challenges and opportunities in the business of food.
  • Their goal was to unleash new perspectives and spark debate on a range of questions facing corporations and investors, with a focus on how changing consumer tastes and priorities are affecting the food industry.
  • The conference will be covered in a special report published globally in The Wall Street Journal.
  • There was a talk on Gene Editing called What’s Next In Gene Editing given by J. Erik Fyrwald, CEO, Syngenta.
  • Editing genes is at the forefront of global efforts to boost harvests through biotechnology. The discussion was based around consumers’ growing appetite for organic food and China aiming to capitalize on the latest gains in this technology.
  • Also, there was a talk on The Consolidation Game, which was given by Kristen A. Weeks Duncanson, Owner and Partner, Highland Family Farms; Lon Frahm, CEO, Frahm Farmland, Inc.; Kip Tom, Chairman, Tom Farms.
  • Technology is reshaping the troubled U.S. farm economy, forcing mid-sized farms to merge into much bigger operations. This talk discussed the changing agricultural economy and the determinations of which farms will survive.
  • The native South Carolinian, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue gave  The View From Washington: Part II.
  • He spoke about the top priorities of the Department of Agriculture at a time when trade tensions and other global trends are clouding the outlook for many U.S. farmers.
  • I always enjoy attending WSJ’s Global Food Forum and hope to attend this event again next year.