Sharon Hesp

New Foresight


Moderator at the Breakout Session 1B CAPACITY BUILDING & G.A.P.
Wednesday, 28 September, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Sharon works as a consultant at NewForesight where she focuses on delivering bridge-building solutions to clients aiming for higher sustainability standards and continuous improvement. She has worked for different clients in public, private and non-profit sectors across different commodities, most notably cocoa and cotton. For the World Cocoa Foundation she coordinated the aligned input of all CocoaAction companies on the upcoming CEN/ISO standard for sustainable and traceable cocoa, whilst for Fairtrade International she introduced new thinking on cocoa sustainability. Additionally, for WWF she led the analysis of, and reporting on, the Consumer Goods Forum-members’ sustainability performance. Currently, as the Program Director of Demand and Communications for the Organic Cotton Accelerator, Sharon focuses on developing interventions aimed at improving the business case for organic cotton value chain actors. At NewForesight Sharon leads the work aimed at strengthening the role of non-profit organizations in market transformation, leveraging communications and soft skills as a tool for action and change.


Sharon has over 10 years of experience with sustainable development projects in an international setting, being familiar with both the reality on the ground as well as the strategic view from the boardroom. She is currently a member of the international board of directors of network NGO VECO International. Prior to NewForesight she worked at NCDO, stimulating conscious consumption and fair trade in The Netherlands. In Latin America Sharon strengthened social enterprises and NGOs in Chile and Brazil, and contributed to social development in Rio de Janeiro’s slums for UN-Habitat as part of the UPP Social management team. In addition, she was the account manager of one of the largest trade shows on urban development in Latin America. Sharon has a MA in Environmental and Social Science from Utrecht University.

We need a stronger focus on learning to enable continuous improvement and make sure standards keep being a key instrument to achieve agri-sector sustainability.