For my work to have the greatest possible impact, I regularly engage in outreach activities via media and stakeholder engagement. Here’s an overview of recent events and features. If you are a member of the media or an industry group and would like to chat about my work, please contact me!
Invited talks and panel participation – academic
21.06.2022: I was invited to be the keynote speaker of the 9th Critical and Alternative Thinking in Governance workshop “Reframing governance for systemic sustainability” organized by TBS Barcelona.
11.01.2022: Together with my colleague Sophia Carodenuto, I was invited to present on “Traders as transnational supply chain governance actors” at Wageningen University’s Knowledge, Technology, and Innovation Group seminar.
21.10.2021: I was invited to be a speaker in the online webinar “Sustainable food value chain management – beyond standardized frames of sustainability?!” organized by the University of Helsinki. The webinar recording can be found here.
16.08.2021: I was invited to give a guest lecture on natural resource governance at the International Summer Course on “Socio-cultural and gender aspects in the communication of agricultural innovations in tropical ecosystems”, hosted by IPB University (Bogor, Indonesia). My slides can be found here.
03.08.2021: Together with my colleague Samuel Levy, I was an invited panelist at the 59th SOBER (Sociedade Brasileira de Economia, Administração e Sociologia Rural) Congress. We gave a presentation (in Portuguese) on improving the sustainability of global value chains. The slides can be accessed here.
10.12.2020: I was a discussant at the GLOBE Webinar about Stefan Rencken’s new book “Private Governance and Public Authority”. The recording is available here.
08.12.2020: I presented my work in progress on the effectiveness of zero deforestation commitments in the palm oil sector at the Global Land Programme’s Telecoupling Working Group webinar series. See the webinar recording below and find relevant slides here. Together with my colleague Samuel Levy we summarized our insights in this blog post.
17.09.2020: I was a panelist for the Closing Plenary of the 2020 Virtual Forum of the Earth System Governance network. The Closing Plenary discussed the question ‘what are the implications of multiple forms of disruption for ongoing efforts toward realizing sustainability and justice?’. A recording of the discussion is available here.
28.04.2020: With my colleague Sam Levy, I was a panelist at the ICLR 2020 Workshop Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning during the Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use Day. We participated in the presentation session “Machine Learning and Forests: Deforestation, Afforestation, and Forest Management” and the panel “Machine Learning and Forests” and spoke about how machine learning tools can help inform our understanding of private sector forest policies. The embedded links lead to video recordings of both sessions.
Invited talks and panel participation – non-academic
15.12.2022: I was invited to present insights from my research at the practitioner-oriented webinar “Soziale Nachhaltigkeit im heutigen Ernährungssystem–wünschenswert oder unverzichtbar?”, organized by the ETH Zürich World Food System Centre and the Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Agrarwirtschaft und Agrarsoziologie (SGA). A recording is available online.
14.12.2022: I was invited to be a panelist on the Evidensia webinar “Deforestation due diligence regulations: what does effective implementation look like?”. A recording can be found online.
27.04.2022: I presented insights from my book in the context of the GIZ’s “Online Nur Kännchen” dialogue series. I participated in the roundtable on “Was können Standards? Reichweite und Grenzen von Zertifizierungssystemen“.
12.05.2021: With my colleague Elizabeth Bennett, I hosted a panel discussion at the 2021 Re:Co Symposium in which we spoke with Mayra Orellana-Powell (founder of Catracha Coffee) and Kenneth Lander (co-founder and chief sustainability officer of Thrive Farmers) about profit sharing as a new business model for the coffee industry.
30.03.2021: I presented insights from my book to staff of Fairtrade International as part of its Global Impact Webinar Series. Fairtrade International is one of the oldest and most established certification schemes in the coffee sector.
24.02.2021: I presented insights from my book to Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE)’s R&D department as part of its Technical Talks. JDE is the second-largest coffee roasting company in the world, controlling an estimated 16% of the global market.
13.11.2020: I presented my book at the 2020 Sintercafé (Semana Internacional del Café) Virtual Edition. Sintercafé is one of the largest coffee industry events hosted in a producing country, annually attracting more than 500 participants from the largest coffee companies in the world. A recording of my presentation “Have we sold sustainability short? Past advances and next steps in the coffee sector’s sustainability journey” can be found here.
26.08.2020: I presented insights from my book “Selling Sustainability Short?” to the German Coffee Association (Deutscher Kaffeeverband) in their event “Nachhaltigkeits-News im Kaffee in 7 Speed Speeches”, which had over 80 participants from the German coffee sector. My slides can be found here.
30.07.2020: On behalf of ETH Zurich’s Environmental Policy Lab, I took part in the Tropical Forest Alliance Soy Dialogue on “Payments for Environmental Services: a Game-Changer for Brazil and Beyond?”, providing evidence from research about the effectiveness and equity of Payments for Environmental Services. Our main points and relevant literature can be found here.
21.07.2020: I participated as a panelist in the ISEAL Alliance’s webinar “Why system credibility matters for impacts: how the Credibility Principles can support effectiveness and impacts“, where I discussed this topic alongside Graeme Auld, Philip Schleifer and Hamish van der Ven. The recording is accessible at the link above.
18.02.2020: I was an expert panelist at the UNCTAD-ICO workshop “Fostering sustainable development in coffee-exporting countries” at the United Nations in Geneva. My presentation focused on climate change effects and adaptation strategies in coffee, and highlighted shade coffee and agroforestry as a solution that should be fostered, including by value addition strategies. My presentation can be downloaded here: ICO-UNCTAD presentation Janina Grabs.
11.07.2019: I took part in an expert panel during the event “Sustainability – A Transatlantic Conversation”, organized by the California Wine Institute and Harpers Magazine. Our conversation is summarized in the piece “Wine can drive sustainability agenda, but thinking needs ‘generational change’“.
10.04.2019: I was a speaker at the 2019 RE:CO Symposium to speak about the macroeconomic dysfunction in the coffee market. The Specialty Coffee Association’s Re:Co [Regarding:Coffee] Symposium is a “gathering of the greatest minds and most influential thinkers in the coffee industry,” convened to “look at the specialty coffee market, the challenges we face and some of the solutions we have, and also shine a light on opportunities for growth and development and delve into how these can be approached.” I highlighted the prospects and limits of using differentiation strategies such as sustainability certifications and quality improvements to address the structural problems (including structural oversupply and low prices) of the sector. My presentation was later described as a “key highlight to set the stage” by Sprudge’s “Very Best of the Re:Co Symposium” summary. Find the slides for the presentation here (including all relevant sources!) and my script here!
You can listen to the podcast here and see the presentation recording below.
25.09.2018: I was a panelist in the second Sustainability webinar of the Specialty Coffee Association. The webinar focused on the 2018 price crisis and the reaction of the industry, as well as broader reflections on price volatility and commodity markets. You can find the recording here.
On the radio and podcasts
19.11.2021: I was invited as an expert onto the Sweaty Penguin podcast in Episode 65: Coffee. I spoke about my book, certification schemes, climate change implications for coffee, as well as new governance trends on the horizon.
08.06.2021: I spoke with Philipp Schallberger from the roasting business Kaffeemacher about coffee sustainability, third-party and private standards, and what individuals can do as consumers and citizens to bring about change. The interview was both uploaded to their Youtube channel (>1000 views in the first 2 days) and will be put onto their podcast. You can watch it below (in German).
10.05.2021: The Eklipse network prepared a podcast series to summarize the policy recommendations made by its experts. My colleague Lisa Bieber-Freudenberger and I were interviewed on businesses’ contribution to biodiversity.
09.10.2020: My collaborator Sophia Carodenuto and I presented our emerging research agenda on traders as sustainability governance actors on the Innovation Forum podcast and discussed how commodity trader companies are influencing and helping deliver brand supply chain commitments. The recording can be found here.
30.07.2020: I presented my book “Selling Sustainability Short?” on the Evidensia podcast in a 20-minute conversation with Vidya Rangan, Senior Manager, Impacts and Evidence, ISEAL Alliance. Listen to it at this link.
10.03.2019: I was interviewed for and featured on a Filter Stories podcast episode (the “Sofia” episode) on the struggles of Nicaraguan coffee farm workers to provide a promising future for their children, and the broad market linkages that link coffee consumers to the fates of those that produce their coffee beans.
06.01.2023: Together with my colleagues, we define five ways to make the EU Deforestation Regulation work better for conservation and smallholder farmers in the piece “Deforestation: proposed EU import ban may fail to protect tropical rainforests and farmers – here’s how it should work“, published on The Conversation.
05.10.2022: With my colleague Graeme Auld, we commented on Patagonia’s change to its ownership structure in the piece “Has Patagonia defined a new gold standard for business responsibility?“, published on The Conversation.
03.06.2022: On ESADE’s Do Better Blog, I summarized “Seven policy principles to prevent deforestation in the food supply chain” on the basis of our research on designing effective and equitable zero-deforestation policies.
12.05.2022: Together with my colleagues at ETH Zurich, we kicked off a research collaboration project with the palm oil major Musim Mas. The importance of this collaboration was featured on the website “Food Navigator”.
25.03.2022: With colleagues, I shared insights from our recent article on designing effective and equitable zero-deforestation policies on the website of the Research Network Sustainable Global Supply Chains in a blog post titled ‘How to find synergies between effectiveness and equity when designing supply chain sustainability policies‘.
14.04.2021: Together with Elizabeth Bennett, I contributed a feature article to Issue 14 of the Specialty Coffee Association’s 25 Magazine in which we summarize our research on profit-sharing business models, which are a novel way of value distribution in the coffee sector.
29.03.2021: I provided expert comments on a recent paper that estimated national import-driven deforestation footprints via the Science Media Center Germany and was featured in the Berliner Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, as well as Heise Online.
18.03.2021: With my colleagues, I provided some insights from recent fieldwork in this Food Systems Stories blog post that is hosted by ETH Zurich’s World Food System Centre, which also generously supported our work.
01.03.2021: Sophia Carodenuto and my research project on the role of traders in sustainability governance was featured in this article in Canada’s National Observer.
16.10.2020: I contributed a blog post titled “How effective is private regulation in incentivizing more sustainable production practices in the coffee sector?” to the Evidensia website.
29.05.2020: The launch of my book “Selling Sustainability Short?” was the focus of a Q&A on the Daily Coffee News website.
13.05.2020: My dissertation work was featured in the alumni magazine of my alma mater, the University of Münster, under the title “Kaffeeproduktion braucht klare Regeln [Coffee production needs clear rules]” (in German).
11.10.2019: I contributed a summary of my book “Selling Sustainability Short?” to the Coffee & Cocoa International Magazine. The piece, “Coffee certifications: Selling sustainability short?“, can be found online and in the November 2019 print version of C&CI.
07.06.2019: I was interviewed for the piece “Crisis forces Colombia’s coffee farmers fight for a living wage“, published by Fresh Cup Magazine, which chronicles smallholder producers’ efforts to keep afloat during the coffee price crisis.
08.01.2019: As a follow-up to the Specialty Coffee Association’s Sustainability webinar, I wrote an extensive Q&A to answer questions viewers had about the macro-economic sustainability of the coffee market and farm profitability. It was featured on the SCA website.
14.12.2018: I contributed a feature article for Issue 7 of the Specialty Coffee Association’s 25 Magazine that examines the coffee price crisis, the role of price discovery through futures markets, speculation, and price volatility. It was translated into Chinese, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Korean, and Russian.
12.11.2018: My research on the rebound effects of switching to vegetarianism was featured in this BBC article called ‘Swapping t-bone for tofu’. I was also featured in the article and argued for the need to look at full lifestyle changes for sustainability, including but not limited to one’s food choices.
20.06.2018: The TRANSSUSTAIN’s index for voluntary coffee sustainability schemes was the focus of this article by the Daily Coffee News.