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Speaker Biographies

Keynote Speakers

Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos MEP

Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos MEP

Rapporteur for CAP Reform, European Parliament


Born in August 22, 1951 in Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal.

- Sociology Degree

- Technical Advisor of Public Administration

Political Career
- Municipal Councilor (1976/1979)
- Member of Municipal Council (1980/1996);
- Member of the Portuguese Parliament (1991/95 and 2002/04);
- State Secretary for Agriculture (1996/98);
- Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries (1998/2002);

Partisan positions:
- Chairman of the Political Committee of the Socialist Party, Montemor-o-Novo;
- Chairman of the District Federation of the Socialist Party, Évora;
- Member of the National Committee of the Socialist Party;
- Member of the Political Committee of the Socialist Party;

Current Political position:
- Chairman of Municipal Council, Évora (since 2001);

Current Partisan positions:
- Member of the Executive Secretariat of the District Federation of the Socialist Party, Évora;
- Vice-Chairman of the Political Committee of the Socialist Party;

- Grand Cross of the Order of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Merit of the Portuguese Republic;
- Commander of the Order of Agricultural Merit of the French Republic;

European Parliament
- Member of European Parliament (since 2004)
- 1st Vice-Chairman of Delegation to the EUROLAT - Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly;
- Member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development;
- Member of the Delegation to the EU-Mexico Joint Parliamentary Committee;
- Substitute Member in the Committee on Fisheries;
- Substitute in the Delegation for relations with the Mercosur countries.

Egly Pantelakis

Egly Pantelakis

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment


Egly Pantelakis, was born in Nicosia. She studied economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science of the University of London and did post graduate studies in Administrative Sciences, (at the City University of London) and in environmental economics (at the Institute for International Development of the Harvard University).

She has been working at the Planning Bureau as from 1978 - since 2003, as Director of Planning in the directorate of development policy. She served as National Coordinator (at a technocratic level) for the promotion of the Lisbon Strategy, a member of the Town Planning Commission and a member of the Board of Directors of the European Lifelong Learning Programmes Foundation. In addition to the duties of the position she held in the Planning Bureau, on July 6, 2009 she was appointed Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment. On 15 March 2010, she was appointed Permanent Secretary of the above Ministry.

Mrs Egly Pantelakis is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Agricultural Insurance Organization, as well as of many other Councils / Committees. She is also a member of the Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management.

Tassos Haniotis

Tassos Haniotis

Director, Economic Analysis, Perspectives and Evaluations, DG AGRI, European Commission


Tassos Haniotis is the Director of the Economic Analysis, Perspectives and Evaluations Directorate in the Directorate General for Agriculture of the European Commission.

He previously held posts as Head of Unit in the Agricultural Policy Analysis and Perspectives unit and the Agricultural Trade Policy Analysis unit in the same Directorate General, as Member and subsequently Deputy Head of the Cabinet of former European Commissioner for Agriculture Franz Fischler (with respective responsibilities the preparation of the 2003 reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, and the agricultural chapter of the Doha WTO Round and the EU-Mercosur negotiations), and as the Agricultural Counsellor of the European Commission’s Delegation in the United States.

He holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Georgia, USA, and a B.A. in Economics from the Athens University of Economics and Business, in his native Greece. He also spent six months as a visiting Fellow at the Centre for European Agricultural Studies, Wye College, University of London, where he studied EU-US agricultural trade relations in the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations.

Wayne Jones

Wayne Jones

Head of the agro-food and trade division, OECD


Wayne Jones has over 30 years experience as an agricultural economist and policy analyst. He is currently Head of the Agro-Food Trade and Markets Division of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international organization providing information and advice to governments around the world. He is responsible for the annual OECD-FAO agricultural outlook as well as economic analysis in the areas of agricultural policy, trade and development, and agriculture sustainability.

Prior to joining the OECD, Wayne spent over 15 years as an economic analyst and policy advisor for the Canadian Ministry of Agriculture.

David Wilkinson

David Wilkinson

Director, Scientific Policy and Stakeholder Relations, Joint Research Centre, European Commission


David Wilkinson has a PhD in Theoretical Physics, is a chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics.
David joined the European Commission in 1995 as JRC Director of the Institute for Systems, Informatics and Safety. In 2002, he moved to Brussels as Director of Science Strategy, responsible for the planning and coordination of scientific programmes across the JRC Institutes. Amongst other tasks, he initiated the setting up of a Crisis Response System to allow JRC’s scientific capability to be applied within hours in support of crises. In 2004, he moved back to Ispra as Site Director, responsible for all aspects of the running of the site.
In 2009, David was appointed Director of Scientific Policy and Stakeholders Relations. Based in Brussels, he is currently involved in refocusing the JRC to respond better to the key political priorities of the European Commission. This is an important milestone in the development of the JRC as it aligns the organisation with the Europe 2020 strategy and reinforces the role of the JRC as the Commission's in-house science service.


Mairead McGuinness MEP

Mairead McGuinness MEP

Shadow Rapporteur for CAP Reform, European Parliament


Mairead McGuinness MEP, an agricultural economist and food policy expert, serves on the European Parliament Committees on Agriculture and Rural Development, Environment, Food Safety and Public Health.

Mairead is the lead negotiator for the EPP (European People’s Party), the European Parliament’s biggest political grouping, on the Direct Payments regime as part of the reform of the CAP post-2013.

Voted MEP of the Year for Agriculture 2011 by her colleagues in the Parliament, she majors on the future shape of agriculture and rural development, global development policy, the environment and food safety and security.   She was the author of a report, endorsed by the European Parliament in 2009, on the future of the Common Agriculture Policy and Global Food Security.

First elected MEP in 2004, Mairead topped the poll in that year and again in 2009.

Prior to becoming an MEP she was a well-known journalist, broadcaster and commentator.

Mella Frewen

Mella Frewen

Director General, FoodDrinkEurope


Director General of FoodDrinkEurope (former CIAA), representing Europe’s largest manufacturing sector, since July 2007.

Mella Frewen’s previous positions include Director for Government Affairs, Europe, Middle East & Africa, for Monsanto, dealing with issues including agricultural biotechnology, conventional agriculture and agri-chemistry.

Prior to that she was International Relations Director for Cerestar, then Europe’s biggest starch producer. From this role and her earlier ones in the Ferruzzi and Eridania Begin-Say Groups, stationed in Brussels, she has a wide experience of relations with the different Institutions of the European Union and trade associations within the food chain, as well as with the agricultural and chemical sectors.

Many other Food Industry related activities during this period include: Food Industry Member of the EU Commission’s Advisory Committee on Arable Crops, of the Commission’s Standing Committee on Renewable Energy and of the Commission’s Advisory Committee on Non-Food and Textile crops; Secretary General of the EBB (European Biodiesel Board) from 1997 to 2000.

Mrs. Frewen has worked in the Agri-food sector in Europe for 23 years. She has a Master of Science degree from the National University of Ireland, and completed a post-graduate course at the University of Brussels (ULB).

She also holds an INSEAD diploma on International Operations Management.

Friedhelm Schmider

Friedhelm Schmider

Director General, ECPA


Friedhelm Schmider has been the Director General of the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) since 2002, which is the Brussels-based trade association acting as the ambassador of the crop protection industry in Europe seeking to set standards in sustainable and productive agriculture. ECPA network works daily on delivering new measurable results in the safeguarding of water resources, the enhancement of biodiversity, the protection of health, and the provision of safe and affordable food.

Friedhelm is German and has an educational background in soil science, agriculture, forestry and biology. He obtained his PhD from the University of Hohenheim, Department of Soil Science, Germany. Friedhelm also has a wide expertise in the fields of environment and nature conservation.

He has been with the crop protection industry for more 25-years holding a variety of technical and commercial leadership roles in both Germany and Asia. His widespread technical knowledge, public affairs experience and political interest have served to provide a solid foundation to his work in managing regulatory activities and relationships with European as well as international organisations, associations and authorities.

Joris Baecke

Joris Baecke

President, CEJA


Joris Baecke was re-elected to lead CEJA in 2011, following his initial 2009 mandate. As President, he works hard to highlight the issues affecting young people in the agricultural sector in Europe to European policymakers and stakeholders. He has held a wide range of roles in agricultural organisations and national committees in the Netherlands, and was a CEJA delegate from his national young farmers’ organisation, NAJK, for several years before joining the CEJA presidency. As a young agri-entrepreneur, he runs an arable farm which produces potatoes, onions, sugar-beet, grass for seed production, wheat and flax. From the age of 18, he has been largely responsible for plant healthcare, fertilisation and administrative matters concerning cross-compliance and GlobalGAP certification on his farm in Southwestern Netherlands. As well as taking on responsibility of his family farm, he also has a degree in Agronomy from Wageningen University.

Jack Bobo

Jack Bobo

Senior Advisor for Biotechnology, U.S. Department of State


Jack Bobo is the Senior Advisor for Biotechnology in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB) at the U.S. Department of State. He also serves as the Chief of the Department’s Biotechnology and Textile Trade Policy Division. Mr. Bobo works on trade policy, food security, climate change, and development issues related to agricultural science and technology, including agricultural biotechnology. He has global responsibilities and travels frequently to Asia, Africa and Europe.

EB formulates and carries out U.S. foreign economic policy, integrating U.S. economic interests with U.S. foreign policy goals. EB implements American economic policy in cooperation with U.S. companies, U.S. Government agencies, and other organizations. The bureau negotiates agreements with foreign governments and advances U.S. positions in such international organizations as the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the World Trade Organization.

Mr. Bobo is responsible for developing and implementing U.S. trade policy related to new technologies and working with foreign governments to address regulatory barriers to U.S. agricultural exports. He also works closely with officials from developing countries to support the development of biosafety legislation and facilitate technology transfer to increase agricultural productivity, improve food security and respond to climate change through mitigation and adaptation.

Prior to joining the State Department, Mr. Bobo practiced law at the Washington, D.C. firm of Crowell & Moring, LLP. His education includes a degree in law, a Master of Science in Environmental Science, as well as degrees in chemistry, biology and psychology. Previously, Mr. Bobo received a research fellowship in international law at Cambridge University, England, served as an advisor to the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee, and taught science in Mekambo, Gabon in Central Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. He lives in Potomac, Maryland with his wife, Dr. Qiao Bobo, daughter and son.

Peter Stevenson

Peter Stevenson

Chief Policy Advisor, Compassion in World Farming


Educated at Trinity College Cambridge, Peter Stevenson is a qualified lawyer. He is the Chief Policy Advisor of Compassion in World Farming. In 2004 Peter was the joint recipient of the RSPCA Lord Erskine Award in recognition of a “very important contribution in the field of animal welfare”.

Peter leads Compassion in World Farming’s lobbying at the EU and the OIE. He played a leading role in winning the EU bans on veal crates, battery cages and sow stalls as well as a new status for animals in EU law as sentient beings. In addition, he has written comprehensive legal analyses of EU legislation on farm animals and also of the impact of the WTO rules on animal welfare. Peter has also written many well received literature reviews and reports on the welfare of chickens reared for meat and farmed fish, welfare at slaughter, welfare during transport and the economics of livestock production.

Martin Nesbit

Martin Nesbit

Director for EU and International Affairs, Defra


Martin Nesbit is Defra’s Director for EU and International affairs, including responsibility for policy on Common Agricultural Policy reform, and on the Rio+20 talks. He has taken up this post in April 2012, having already been working on CAP reform since April 2010.

He was previously a Director in the Department of Energy and Climate Change, working in a range of roles from 2008-2009 focused on delivery of UK greenhouse gas reductions. From 2006 – 2008 he was the Deputy Director responsible for greenhouse gas emissions trading, and other UK instruments to reduce carbon emissions; and from 2002-2006 he was responsible for UK policy on the rural development and agri-environment elements of the CAP. He has worked in Brussels twice, including at the UK’s permanent representation from 1998 to 2002, in charge of negotiations on environmental legislation.

Matthias Meissner

Matthias Meissner

Leader on CAP reform, WWF


Since joining WWF Germany in 2008 Matthias Meißner has been working as Senior Policy Advisor on European and International Agriculture Policy. He is presently coordinating the WWF European Work Group “Future of the CAP 2020”. Lately he has been working on agriculture policy tools to achieve a global food security and sustainable agriculture.

Before joining WWF Germany, Matthias Meißner worked for other nongovernmental organizations on sustainable agriculture issues and protection of species within Europe and abroad. Matthias holds a diploma in Geography from the Free University of Berlin.

Faustine Defossez

Faustine Defossez

Policy Officer, Agriculture and Bioenergy, European Environmental Bureau


Faustine Defossez holds a master degree in European Union law from the University of Lille, France and a master degree of EU Politics from the Institute for Political Sciences in Strasbourg, France. Since 2010 she has started working in the policy unit of the European Environmental Bureau coordinating the organizations advocacy work in the areas of agriculture (reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)) and bioenergy (Biofuels and Indirect Land Use Change and Biomass and sustainability criteria). Before joining the EEB she worked for the European Commission, in the Directorate General Agriculture and Rural Development, where she was in the charge of the European Food aid Program for the most deprived and then focused on the integration of environmental issues into the CAP.

Paula Aguiar Barboza

Paula Aguiar Barboza

Counselor, Mission of Brazil to the EU


Paula Barboza has been Counsellor of the Agricultural Section of the Mission of Brazil to the European Union since 2011. Having an educational background in Economics, she became a diplomat of the Ministry of External Relations in Brazil in 1999, since when she has been working with international negotiations in the trade area. She was posted to Lima in 2002 and Tokyo in 2005, being responsible for agricultural trade. Back to Brasilia in 2008, she became a negotiator in the agricultural and sanitary area, with respective responsibilities for coordinating the internal position of Brazil and representing it in various international fora, such as the WTO, FAO and some other commodity organisations (International Tropical Timber Organization, International Coffee Organization, International Cocoa Organization, International Sugar Organization), as well as in the negotiations of a trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union.

Christoph Büren

Christoph Büren

Vice-President, Société des Agriculteurs de France


Christoph BÜREN is an agricultural entrepreneur from the Marne area of France. He produces arable crops and potatoes.

Mr. BÜREN is Vice-President of the French farmers’ society (SAF-agriculteurs de France) and is the leader of SAF’s work on the EU Common Agricultural Policy.

Mr. BÜREN is also a Director of Vivescia (a French grains cooperative with a turnover of 3.4 billion Euros), and a Board Member of the European Landowners Organisation (ELO).

Previously, he was Secretary General of the Association of French Wheat Growers (AGPB), and a Director of ARVALIS (crops research institute) and Parmentine (a French potato company).

Christoph BÜREN is a graduate of the ESA School of Agriculture in Angers, France, and has an advanced degree in management.

Paul Leonard

Paul Leonard

Chair, Food Security, Safety and Sustainability taskforce, British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium


After graduating in Zoology from the University of Bristol, Paul Leonard moved to Imperial College, where he was awarded an MSc in Applied Entomology. Following his studies, he joined Dow Chemical Company, where he worked as an entomologist for nearly ten years. In 1994, he moved to American Cyanamid in Brussels, where he was appointed European Technical Manager. In 1999, he was promoted to Director Regulatory Affairs for the European region. American Cyanamid was purchased by BASF In 2000, after which he set up the "Alliance Management" programme, outsourcing regulatory and scientific work to leading contract research laboratories and scientific consultancies. In 2004 he was awarded an MBA by the Open University Business School. In 2007 he changed roles within BASF to represent the Agricultural Products Division in Brussels. In 2008 he was elected to the board of directors of Rothamsted Research. In 2009, he joined the Board of the British Chamber of Commerce in Brussels, where he set up and chairs the Food Security Safety and Sustainability Task Force. In 2012, he was elected chairman of the European Crop Protection Association´s Nanotechnology Expert Group, and Vice Chair of the Advocacy Expert Group

Paul has three sons. When not at work, his interests include fly fishing, sailing, classic motorcycles and history of art.

Paul Melis

Paul Melis

Senior Manager, European Agriculture Development Team, Pepsico


Paul Melis, Sr. Manager European Agriculture Development Team, PepsiCo Europe
• Manager of PepsiCo’s European Agricultural Development Team and responsible for PepsiCo’s European Agro Sustainability
• Joined PepsiCo in 2008 and since then in different agro roles
• Worked 19 years in the Dutch-European (seed)potato industry in different roles
• Started his career on their family farm in the Netherlands growing potatoes, sugar beets, onions, cereals and vegetables
• A bachelor degree in agriculture (arable crops)


Kate Trollope

Kate Trollope

Editor, EU Food Policy


Kate Trollope edits EU Food Policy, the leading online news service and newsletter which she set up last year. She has more than 16 years’ experience writing about European food policy, reporting on health claims, food labelling, advertising to children as well as food additives, GMOs, cloned food and a host of other hot topics. She also moderates and speaks at food conferences concerned with these topics. EU Food Policy is online at and has a breaking news service as well as the weekly report on what has happened that week in the European Commission, European Parliament and Council.

Charles Godfray

Charles Godfray

Chair, Lead Expert Group, Global Food and Farming Futures, Foresight and Director, Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, University of Oxford


Charles Godfray is Hope Professor at Oxford University and Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been at Oxford since 2006 and was previously Head of Biology and director of the NERC Centre for Population Biology at Imperial College London where he remains a visiting professor. He is a population biologist with broad interests in the environmental sciences and has published in fundamental and applied areas of ecology, evolution and epidemiology. He chaired the Lead Expert Group of the UK Government’s Foresight Project on the Future of Food and Farming and is a member of the strategy advisory board of the UK Global Food Security Programme and the steering group of the UK Government Green Food Project.

Victoria Breck

Victoria Breck

Account Manager, Grayling


Victoria Breck is an Account Manager in the public affairs practice of Grayling Brussels. An American national, she has specialist expertise in the public health, consumer protection, and food safety policy areas.

She has developed expertise on the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation through her work for a number of clients in the agro-food sector.

Prior to her work at Grayling, Victoria studied International Relations and French at Mount Holyoke College in the United States, and earned her masters degree in European Public Affairs at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. She previously worked in Public Affairs at the American Embassy in Bratislava Slovakia, and taught English in Prague, Czech Republic.

She has also taught a number of courses on EU lobbying best practice at several colleges and universities in Europe.



Tuesday 25 September, 2012
08.30 to 17.30




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