Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Guide to Sustainable Food Sourcing - Worth the Read...

This is a nice introduction to the complex topic of sustainable sourcing. In the past few years I have had the chance to meet with and interview dozens of food companies and firms that source from small farmers. There is a trend and a growing interest in source from small farmers in a sustainable manner. Not sure where this will all go. But it sure is worth following.
In light of this, I highly recommend the reading below. Its a practical guide for companies, but it is quite general for all audiences. It was published last month by Business for a Better World.

Picture of Haitian coffee nursery

From the summary: "Global demand for food, feed, and fiber is expected to rise by 70 percent as the population grows, incomes rise, and a larger proportion of people settle in urban areas. This demand will put greater pressure on securing supply, while the constraints on land, energy, water, and other inputs required by agriculture will also increase.
Faced with these challenges, many companies are seeking to incorporate sustainability into their sourcing programs. For large, consumer-facing companies in particular, connecting down to the farm level can be challenging, since global supply chains are complex and often include thousands—if not millions—of farmers. As these companies seek to better understand the risks and opportunities associated with production of their agricultural inputs, they’re asking questions: Where do I start? How do I prioritize where to deploy resources? What are my risks and opportunities for innovation? How do I integrate sustainability considerations into procurement decision-making?
To help companies navigate the path to a sustainable sourcing strategy that supports future growth, BSR contributed to the publication of “Sustainable Sourcing of Agricultural Raw Materials: A Practitioner’s Guide,” which was developed through a unique collaboration among seven high-profile organizations.* The guide provides a set of practical questions and suggestions for implementing sustainable sourcing, highlighting examples of steps being taken by a range of companies including the Coca-Cola Company, McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Unilever, and Walmart."

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