Speaker Interview: Julie Greene
Get to know the thought leaders sharing their insights at the Future Food Systems event (25-26 January, Online | 2 March, London) in our dedicated speaker interview series.
Independent Forums: What is your favorite food?
Julie Greene: I love misr wot, an Ethiopian lentil stew heavily spiced with berbere, which is a blend of some 15 spices including chilies, cardamom, cumin, coriander, long pepper, ginger and cloves.
Independent Forums: Who or what has inspired you this year and why?
Julie Greene: I’ve been most inspired by the adaptability of farmers, with many diversifying their crops and activities in the face of the resource constraints and mobility challenges that were exacerbated by Covid. If there is a silver lining to this period, it’s that it prompted farmers, and even our own company, to try new activities and methods, like training through digital and phone-based tools.
Independent Forums: What is your biggest source of motivation?
Julie Greene: I joined an agribusiness company to improve people’s lives and well-being in rural communities. I am proud and motivated to do more when I see farmers doubling or tripling their incomes, sending their children to school, and eating better with help from our programs.
Independent Forums: How would you describe a typical day?
Julie Greene: After getting my daughters off to school, I fill a French press with coffee and plan my day. As a central sustainability team, although we can’t easily visit field operations these days, now we’re connecting more frequently and with a wider range of colleagues around the world through Zoom calls and even Whatsapp field visits. My days are typically filled with analyzing progress, conducting workshops, connecting with partners, and furthering various initiatives under our workstreams for livelihoods, human rights, and regenerative agriculture.
Independent Forums: What’s one thing about you that most people don’t know?
Julie Greene: I love dabbling in languages. This year I’ve been learning Turkish and Portuguese, and I’m planning to start Mandarin with my kids when we move to Singapore.
Independent Forums: What’s one thing about your organization that you wish more people knew?
Julie Greene: We’re really hands-on! People are usually surprised to learn that we have over a thousand field staff living in the communities and regularly visiting the most remote farms, sometimes in regions that government services and even NGOs do not reach.
Independent Forums: Where do you see the biggest opportunity for transformation within the food system?
Julie Greene: I see continued opportunities in R&D for climate-resilient varieties, because even the best application of agricultural practices won’t make much of a difference if the seed varieties are not well-suited to the local environment.
Independent Forums: What are you most looking forward to at Future Food Systems 2022?
Julie Greene: I’m looking forward to learning from the views and future visions of a wide range of environmental and food specialists working throughout food systems.
Julie will be speaking in the 'Future Value Chains & Economic Models (Innovative Approaches)' session on 26 January 2022.
Register here to join the conversation.