Proforest Initiative UK

The Proforest Initiative UK manages a range of grant-funded programmes. These are delivered in collaboration with other Proforest Group entities, which provide local expertise to deliver the programmes and ensure local ownership of the knowledge built through the programmes.

Our programmes support:

  • Landscape and sectoral initiatives that deliver positive environmental and social outcomes at scale
  • Regional and local multi-stakeholder processes that enable better collective management of land and resources, and respect for human rights
  • Collaboration between public sector agencies and companies to deliver shared sustainability goals
  • Capacity building among companies, government agencies and civil society to produce and source agricultural and forest commodities sustainably

PIUK also manages a varied portfolio of short-term projects that support multi-stakeholder initiatives and voluntary standard schemes. We facilitate numerous multi-stakeholder processes, convene actors around sectoral challenges, and advise on technical aspects of sustainability standards.

PIUK Statement of Purpose

We promote transformation of agricultural commodity production by addressing systemic issues that are barriers to achieving positive social and environmental outcomes.

We do this by building collaboration between supply chain companies, producers, governments, NGOs and other stakeholders by sharing innovative tools and knowledge.

As members of the Proforest Group we are able to leverage the group’s existing engagement with supply chain companies, as well as its global network of local expertise in producing countries.

How is the Proforest Initiative governed?

The Proforest Initiative is registered as a charity with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (charity number 1137523) and is overseen by an independent board of trustees.

Proforest Initiative's trustees

Our trustees help Proforest achieve the implementation of our strategic plan and ensure efficient management of the organisation.

  • Dr Roger Cooper (chair)
    Roger has worked in the forestry sector for 45 years starting as a forest economist with the New Zealand Forest Service. He then moved to Bangor University where he was a senior lecturer in forest products and also served as Head of School. From 1996–2000 Roger was a member of the SGS Qualifor Certification Council, and a member of the FWC National Committee from 2007-2013. He is a trustee of Coed Cymru cyf and has served as a trustee of the Proforest Initiative since 2010.

  • Mario Abreu
    Mario is the Head of CSR & Sustainability for Group Ferrero, one of the 3 largest global players in the Sweet Packaged Foods sector. Mario is based in Ferrero’s HQ in Luxembourg, having joined Ferrero in April 2020. Prior to Ferrero Mario was Vice-President Sustainability for the Tetra Pak Group, where he worked since 1999. Until March this year Mario was also a member of the Technical Advisory Group of the Science-Based Targets Initiative. Between 2005 and 2013 Mario was a member of the board of The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE); and was an elected member of the International Board of Directors of the Forest Stewardship Council between 2006 and 2012. Mario is a dual-citizen of Portugal and Brazil, and has lived and worked in Brazil, Portugal, Canada, Belgium and Sweden before joining Ferrero. Mario has a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering and a Pg.D. in Environmental Decision Making. Mario joined the Proforest Initiative Board of Trustees in 2015. 

  • Emily Fripp
    Emily is the Founder and Director of Efeca and has worked for more than 20 years in the field of natural resource economics. She specialises in the sustainable use and trade of natural resources (in particular timber and agricultural commodities), economic valuation and payments for ecosystem services (PES), supporting policy dialogue (EU FLEG(T), REDD, REDD+ and EU policies), and managing large, complex, global programmes. She joined the Proforest Initiative Board of Trustees in 2016.

  • Dr Ines Smyth
    Ines Smyth is an expert in gender and women's rights. Before becoming a development practitioner, Ines was a lecturer and researcher at various academic institutions, including the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague and the London School of Economics. Ines was a Senior Gender Advisor at Oxfam GB for nearly 20 years, developing and implementing the policies, strategies and plans through which Oxfam contributed to the realisation of women's rights.

    Ines is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Gender and Development network and of the Gender Rights ANd Development (GRAND) network, as well as  AWID (the Association for Women's Rights in Development). A concern for women's rights has been a constant in her professional and personal life.

  • Dr Mary Hobley
    Mary is an independent consultant providing advice and support on programme design, appraisal, review, evaluation and policy-related research to bilateral, multilateral donors and NGOs. She studied forestry at Bangor, University of Wales and completed a doctorate at the Australian National University, Canberra in 1990. Today, Mary operates from the macro to micro policy level to understand social and political dynamics, working with women and men, community organisations, national governments, local governments, private sector, non-government organisations and civil society. She also works with organisations to review and advise on restructuring strategies, structures and systems. Formerly she has served as a trustee of CIFOR, a peer reviewer for the International Foundation for Science a member of the DFID Forestry Research Programme Advisory Committee, and a panel member for the Darwin Initiative Expert Committee. She joined the Proforest Initiative Board of Trustees in 2018.

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