EuropaBio, the European association for bio-industries and its member companies, retained FTI Consulting while facing a lack of understanding and acceptance among key stakeholders of plant biotechnology. EuropaBio engaged FTI Consulting to provide strategic counsel on changing perceptions on biotechnology in Europe.
FTI Consulting recommended the development of a new online platform – Growing Voices – that acts as a bank of positive third-party opinions. Growing Voices provides a public voice based on objective facts, highlighting the role GM seed breeding can have in the future sustainability and security of the global food supply and its impact on the environment. FTI Consulting undertook an initial perception audit, designed the online platform, supported content development, managed traditional and social media, and facilitated the Brussels launch event. The Growing Voices platform combines the voices of consumer organizations, the scientific community, civil society, media and the public, development NGOs, growers, political institutions, industry and businesses, food manufacturers and retailers, and politicians.
Growing Voices remains highly active. Visitors are able to watch expert videos, ask questions and attend events and discussions to deconstruct the myths around biotechnology. The Brussels launch event enjoyed great interest from the 150 participants and engaged over 1,000 different stakeholders and journalists across Europe. The launch, which included speakers such as RT HON Owen Paterson (former Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, U.K.), Julie Girling (Member of the European Parliament) and Patrick Moore (co-founder and former member of Greenpeace) received significant media coverage.