Sustainability 101: A Webinar Series for ASTA Members

ASTA is partnering with the Sustainable Spice Initiative (SSI) to offer an interactive three-part webinar series this spring on sustainability essentials, namely, how to define sustainability in the spice industry. Learn how sustainability is tied to the economic paradigm and uncover the advantages of embracing sustainability, including its profound impact on financial performance and brand enhancement. Explore insights into global and U.S. sustainability concerns and discover why and how ASTA members should prioritize sustainability as a risk management tool and regulatory compliance strategy. Finally, gain practical insights into navigating sustainability certifications and industry standards. Throughout the series, participants will be polled on their views and how the spice industry can collaborate on advancing sustainability initiatives.

The Sustainability 101 webinar series is offered at no cost to ASTA members, but registration is required. Registration includes the entire series.

We are offering a sponsorship opportunity to companies that are both ASTA and SSI members. Download the form for more on the benefits and to sponsor the series.

ASTA/SSI Sponsorship form

Recordings of this web series are available in Past Webinars for Download

Webinar No. 1 – General Introduction to Sustainability and Key Concepts

Thursday, February 22, at 11 am ET
Jan GilhuisSustainable Spices Initiative

  • What is sustainability? 
  • How is sustainability connected to economics? 
  • Why sustainability is important? 
  • Global and U.S. sustainability concerns and their impacts. 
  • Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they relate to each other. 
  • The advantages of embracing sustainability, including improved financial performance. 
  • The business case for sustainability. 

Jan Gilhuis is the Senior Programme Manager of the Sustainable Spices Initiative of IDH – The Sustainable Trade Initiative. He is also co-coordinator of the Sustainable Vanilla Initiative SVI and responsible for spices and vanilla programs at IDH’s Food Crops and Ingredients business unit. Jan convenes sector stakeholders to embrace and develop ambitious sustainability policies, targets, and activities, individually and collectively. He actively engages the private sector to support smallholders’ income increase, address climate change, address concerns on child labor, and support partners in due diligence. He is also responsible for producer support programs for sustainable spices with supply chain stakeholders (retail, food manufacturers, the processing industry, traders, producers, and civil society). From 2008 to 2015, Jan was responsible for soy, sustainable aquaculture, and timber programs for IDH’s first phase. 

Webinar No. 2 – A Pathway to Sustainability for the American Spice Industry 

Thursday, March 28, at 11 am ET
Kai Robertson, Senior Corporate Sustainability Advisor

  • Why should ASTA members care? 
  • Sustainability as a risk management/mitigation tool. 
  • How sustainability can help with regulatory compliance – MRLs, heavy metal, forced labor, traceability, resilience. 
  • Sustainability as a differentiator – brand protection, brand building, storytelling, building customer and consumer intimacy. 
  • How sustainability can help attract and retain talent and improve organizational engagement level. 
  • What can ASTA members do?

Kai Robertson is a Senior Corporate Sustainability Advisor and a recognized expert on sustainability in the food industry. As an independent advisor, she draws upon the deep insights and broad knowledge gained from working for 30 years with companies up and down the food, beverage and agriculture supply chain. She is known for providing practical guidance on effective sustainability strategies, facilitating discussions across stakeholders, and delivering tailored insights on key issues.

Over the course of her career, Kai has worked with many of the world’s largest food companies including Walmart, Unilever, and McDonald’s as well as highly-respected organizations such as World Resources Institute and the World Wildlife Fund. Early in her career, after receiving an MBA from Northwestern University, she worked at FMI for eight years producing research and speaking regularly about trends that affect the food and consumer packaged goods sector.

Webinar No. 3 – Putting Sustainability Into Practice: Certifications and Company Initiatives

Thursday, May 9, at 11 am ET

  • What is the importance of sustainability certification and verification schemes? 
  • What are the most commonly used and recognized sustainability certifications, schemes, frameworks? 
  • What are the commonalities and differences between organic and sustainability certifications and standards? 
  • How to choose the sustainability certifications, standards, schemes fitting your requirements and business model? 
  • Where and how to start your sustainability journey?

Matthew Ford, Growth Sectors Account Manager, Rainforest Alliance
Daniel Montes, Business Development Executive, Control Union
Amber Sciligo, Director of Science Programs, The Organic Center

Thank you to the sponsors of this web series!