TEDx Battenkill 2015 Speaker: Meet Bernard Gauvin – Rebuilding the Practice of Sustainable Agriculture

bernard-gauvin-2

Bernard’s love of travel was developed at an early stage and one may say shaped his career! After graduation from Concordia University in Montreal with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and international business, Bernard joined a Canadian bank where he would spend the next 20 years working on 3 continents! His responsibility centered on foreign exchange trading, risk management and business development where he rose to the position of regional manager.

While visiting family in Bangladesh, Bernard had the opportunity to visit a few remote villages that were participating in the first micro-finance project in the country. An experience that remains, to this day, one of his most treasured during his Asian stay.

Upon his return in North America, Bernard enrolled in and received the designation of Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) from the Association of Financial Professional.

Looking for a challenge where his international business experience and his desire to make a difference would be valued, Bernard joined ECOTIERRA’s team where he holds the title of director of Marketing & finance.

Since joining ECOTIERRA, Bernard had the opportunity to visit many small stakeholders in the Ivory Coast (4th continent) gaining a greater understanding of the issues faced by the cocoa growers and is looking forward to doing the same when visiting Peru (5th continent!) and the coffee growers who are part of the Shade Coffee and Cacao Reforestation Project.

TEDxBattenkill 2015 Talk Summary on Rebuilding the Practice of Sustainable Agriculture
Working in partnership with cooperatives and small stakeholders, ECOTIERRA is developing a program centered on sustainable cocoa and coffee agricultural practices promoting the importance of shade-grown crop. The main objective of the project is to increase revenue and quality of life to the small stakeholders and confirm the viability of farming as a profession to future generation.

In addition to nearly wiping out the possibility of making a living as a small business farmer, another devastating result from unsustainable farming is that deforestation activities remains the single greatest emitter of carbon dioxide representing nearly 20% of all emissions. Mostly concentrated in developing countries, deforestation is in part due to illegal logging and mining activities but more importantly the results of migration and poor agricultural practice.

Finally the debate on the existence of climate change and carbon emission’s role is over! The question is what’s next? How can we stop that trend?

With the average age of cocoa/coffee farmer above 50, failure to reverse this trend
could be devastating to both the environment…as well as to coffee and chocolate
lovers! Reforestation and forest preservation projects offer a solution.

Why
Too often when we think of sustainability we do not take into consideration the whole picture. Sustainability is more the environmental footprint of a given product or industry, it’s the impact it has on all of its participants; in the case of coffee and chocolate it should include everyone from the grower to the consumer.

My talk will illuminate the importance of including the whole value chain when evaluating the sustainability of a product hoping it can lead everyone to further research and help them in their purchasing decision. At the end of the day, these decisions are most important part of the sustainability process!

Interested in sustainability, farming, fair trade business practices and global warming solutions?

Join us for a solutions-rich talk with Bernard Gauvin.

Get your ticket here for the Oct 3rd, 2015 event.

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