Sugar Industry Roundtable (SIRT) is a private roundtable that brings together board-level representatives of some of the biggest seed breeders, manufacturers and processors of sugar beet in Europe. This annual event is held under Chatham House Rule and provides a platform for guest speakers from the food chain and the sugar industry to discuss and learn from one another about the potential challenges and solutions to sustainable sugar production in Europe.
FTI Consulting strategically designed, organized and facilitated the high-level roundtable and maneuvers through the highly controversial debates on biotechnology. FTI Consulting provided political insight and issue analysis to the member companies of SIRT and ensured targeted stakeholder engagement. FTI Consulting identified and reached out to senior political officials from the EU to engage them in the debate, learn from each other, and ultimately inform policy. After five successful roundtables, SIRT, together with FTI Consulting, sought to broaden the roundtable to include representatives across the sugar value chain (food manufacturers and retailer consumer organizations). FTI Consulting worked closely with a competition lawyer to avoid anti-trust issues when working with several groups of companies operating in the same marketplace.
FTI Consulting held several workshops with the client firms to establish the foundations of the group and develop a strategy. What was first a roundtable of only major seed breeders and technology providers (EBBI) was extended to include leading sugar manufacturers and processors. The group currently includes many senior representatives from the European sugar industry. Over the years the roundtable has attracted senior political stakeholders, scientists, farmers, and other food sectors, to discuss the benefits of and challenges to the use of biotechnology in the European sugar value chain and beyond. As an established informal platform of leading companies of the European sugar industry, SIRT is now in a position to engage regularly with the EU institutions on policy initiatives of joint interest, including biotechnology.