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  • Writer's pictureSustainable Agriculture Network

A Week of Transformative Collaboration: SAN General Assembly at Oxford University

The Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) concluded a week of dynamic and fruitful General Assembly activities at Oxford University, marking a significant milestone in its mission to drive sustainable and equitable agricultural practices globally. The event was a hybrid gathering, accommodating both in-person and virtual participation from representatives of SAN’s 33 member organizations. This blend of physical and digital engagement fostered a rich environment for learning, networking, and strategic decision-making, setting the stage for a growing, aligned, and radically collaborative network.

Group picture of representatives and staff of the Sustainable Agriculture Network
The Sustainable Agriculture Network member organizations' representatives, along with guests and staff form the SAN Secretariat, arrived at Oxford Uviversity for a week-long event of collaboration, decision-making, and inspiring learning to build a better future for agriculture.

A Warm Welcome from Our Co-Hosts

The General Assembly was graciously co-hosted by three of our esteemed UK members: CAB International, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), and CottonConnect. Their hospitality and organizational excellence provided the perfect backdrop for a week of intensive discussions and forward-thinking initiatives.

Launch of the 2025-2030 Strategic Plan

A highlight of the week was the approval of the SAN 2025-2030 Strategic Plan. This comprehensive document underscores the urgency of our mission to transform agriculture towards sustainability and equity. It outlines a clear pathway for SAN to work alongside key stakeholders, including corporations, institutions, nonprofits, sustainability investors, and committed individuals, to effect meaningful change for both communities and nature.

The plan addresses the interconnected crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, poverty, and inequality. It emphasizes the role of sustainable agriculture as a critical solution to these challenges, offering a roadmap for collaborative action that leverages the strengths and synergies of our diverse network.

Welcoming New Members

We were thrilled to welcome our newest members: Fundatia Adept, ABIODES, and CORAF. Representatives from these organizations shared their visions and discussed potential avenues for collaboration with other SAN members. Their presentations highlighted innovative approaches and successful initiatives in sustainable agriculture, enriching the assembly with fresh perspectives and ideas.

A Message from the Executive Director

SAN Executive Director, José Joaquín Campos, delivered a compelling message underscoring the relevance and potential of SAN’s mission.

SAN is convinced that our mandate of addressing the polycrisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and poverty and inequality through the transformation of agriculture is not just relevant, but also an opportunity for corporations, institutions, nonprofits, sustainability investors, and committed individuals to effect change through the synergies that our network model offers. We are more than excited to embark on this journey towards making agriculture the healer and nourisher of our extraordinary planet.
José Joaquín Campos, SAN Executive Director

Sharing Knowledge and Shaping the Future

Throughout the week, SAN member organizations and esteemed guests engaged in a series of presentations, workshops, and discussions. These sessions provided invaluable opportunities for sharing knowledge, experiences, and best practices in sustainable agriculture. Members showcased their ongoing projects and initiatives, fostering an environment of mutual learning and support.

The exchange of ideas and insights not only strengthened the bonds within the network but also helped shape the future direction of SAN and the broader sustainable agriculture movement. The collaborative spirit of the assembly was palpable, as participants worked together to identify common goals and strategies for achieving them.

Insightful Panel on Regenerative Agriculture

The week culminated in an insightful panel discussion on lessons learned in regenerative agriculture. The panel featured prominent experts in the field, including Alain Nguyen, Global Responsible Sourcing Lead at Nestlé; Hardeep Desai, Global Head of Farm Programmes at CottonConnect; and Clara Solano, Executive Director of Fundación Natura. The session was expertly moderated by SAN’s Senior Manager of Strategic Programs, Catalina Mora.

Panelists shared their experiences and insights on implementing regenerative agricultural practices, highlighting the challenges and successes encountered along the way. They emphasized the importance of collaboration, innovation, and a holistic approach to farming that prioritizes soil health, biodiversity, and community well-being. The discussion provided practical takeaways and inspiration for SAN members to apply in their respective contexts.

I think this event has been fantastic, coming together as a network has allowed so many fruitful conversations and as a corporate representative, I felt very fortunate to see it first-hand and think many more current and future corporate partners could greatly benefit from attending.
Alain Nguyen, Global Responsible Sourcing Lead, Nestlé

This General Assembly did not only reaffirm the collective commitment to sustainable agriculture but also reinforced the importance of working together to achieve shared goals.

The SAN Board of Directors has been reelected for an additional year, ensuring continuity in leadership and ongoing projects. During the event, SAN Board Chair Eduardo Trevisan expressed his gratitude to the SAN Secretariat for their efforts in organizing and coordinating the event, highlighting the importance of their work in facilitating productive discussions and collaborations.

“We thank the SAN member organizations and our esteemed guests for coming together this week, sharing what they do, and helping to shape the future of SAN and of sustainable agriculture,” said Campos. The week’s activities highlighted the power of collaboration and the potential for transformative impact when diverse stakeholders unite for a common cause.

It has been a pleasure to collaborate with SAN on this event. I believe we have many synergies because both of us are member-based organizations. Between the two of us, we have more than one hundred members in the fields of nature, agriculture, and nature-related value chains. Both organizations work with science, which is important for guiding the future of nature-based solutions. We should collaborate on defining regenerative agriculture and regenerative landscapes, as well as on how we implement projects together among our members, because we can bring different sectors together in the same landscape. Fashion, food, pharmaceutical, and chemical companies... It will be very transformative.
Marc Palahí, Chief Nature Officer at Lombard Odier Investment Managers and Chief Executive Officer of the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance.

The Path Ahead

The approval of the 2025-2030 Strategic Plan marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for SAN. The plan outlines ambitious yet achievable goals, providing a clear framework for action over the next six years. By working together and leveraging the strengths of our network, we can drive significant progress towards a more sustainable and equitable agricultural system.

The lessons learned and connections made during the General Assembly will serve as a solid foundation for future efforts. SAN is poised to lead the way in transforming agriculture, demonstrating that sustainable practices can benefit both people and the planet.

As we move forward, the commitment and enthusiasm of our members will be crucial. The journey ahead is challenging, but with the collective expertise, passion, and dedication of the SAN community, we are confident in our ability to make a lasting impact.

The SAN General Assembly at Oxford University was a resounding success, setting the stage for continued growth and collaboration. Together, we are building a future where agriculture not only sustains but also regenerates our world, creating a healthier, more equitable planet for all.

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