Sustainability Partnerships: Standards, Metrics & Markets Stewardship Index
Sustainability Partnerships: Standards, Metrics & Markets Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops Barbara Meister, SureHarvest USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum February 24-25, 2011 Presentation Overview 1. About the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops 2. Preliminary Findings from Pilot Testing Metrics 3. The Path Ahead for SISC 4. Why metrics? 5. Building Capacity for Data-driven Continuous Improvement www.stewardshipindex.org
My family has been farming this ground for four generations now thats sustainability. But will your grandchildren be able to do the same? The world they farm in will be very different More people Less land More pressure on fewer resources 12 Copyright 2009 Del Monte Foods. All rights reserved. Are we talking the same language? We need a common language for measuring sustainability. That common language is metrics the yardsticks that measure performance
not what you do (practices) but measuring the impact (results) of what you do. >>>Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops SISC Goals The project will offer a suite of outcomes-based metrics to enable operators at any point along the supply chain to benchmark, compare, and communicate their own performance. The Stewardship Index will not seek to provide standards, but will instead provide a yardstick for measuring sustainable outcomes. --SISC Introduction and FAQ, approved 12/1/2008 Why performance metrics? 1. Respond to marketplace demand for more information >>>Reduce duplicative sustainable reporting systems >>> Data for backing marketing claims
2. Drive internal business management strategy >>>Identify cost reduction opportunities >>>Drive best practices innovation >>>Manage risk 3. Reduce regulatory pressure >>>Solve problems proactively Stewardship Index Coordinating Council Bold = Steering Committee Growers Community Alliance with Family Farmers DelCabo Farm Fresh Direct Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Association National Potato Council Torrey Farms United Fresh Produce Association Washington Horticulture Association Western Growers Buyers California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance California League of Food Processors Compass Group Del Monte Food Marketing Institute Heinz Markon Cooperative Produce Marketing Association Sams Club Sodexo SYSCO
Unilever Wal-Mart Wegmans NGOs & Experts American Farmland Trust California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation Defenders of Wildlife Environmental Defense Fund NRDC Organic Center SureHarvest Sustainable Food Lab University of Arkansas World Wildlife Fund Metrics PEOPLE Community Human Resources PLANET Air quality GHG emissions Biodiversity/Ecosystems Packaging Energy Nutrient management Pesticides
Soils Waste Water use and quality PROFIT Green procurement Fair price On-Farm Metrics & Data Elements Water Use Applied water Crop ET Air Quality/Energy Equipment usage Pesticide usage Electricity usage Soil & Nutrients
Vegetation types Weed cover Crop mgmt practices 2010 Pilot Testing 100+ growers in 17 crops in 14 states Processing Tomatoes Citrus Leafy Greens Herbs (fresh) Cherries Green Beans Fresh market Tomatoes Potatoes Onions
Carrots Pears Sweet Corn Winegrapes Stone Fruit Berries Almonds Apples With funding from the USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant Pilot Objectives for 2010 Evaluating: Feasibility of data collection Data collection costs Usefulness and value for participants Usefulness and value for buyers/customers
Results will be used to refine the draft metrics. www.stewardshipindex.org Participant Materials Data Entry Spreadsheet Feedback Word Doc Pilot Binder Pilot PDF www.stewardshipindex.org Pilot Participation 35* growers in 18 crops in 8 states 58* data sets (multiple fields, crops & years) 15 grower interviews with non-participants * = data still trickling in more growers, crops, states
Participant Field Size Number of Participants 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 <10
11-100 100-200 Field Size (Acres) www.stewardshipindex.org >200 Pilot Participation Geography and Crops California: berry-nursery, Oregon: Onions carrots, herbs, lettuce, onions, oranges, peaches, raspberry, strawberry, processing
tomatoes, walnuts, winegrapes, Colorado: Potatoes Wisconsin: Potatoes, green beans, sweet corn Florida: Peppers Pennsylvania: Potatoes Idaho: Potatoes Michigan: Potatoes, lettuce Pilot Participation Challenges Voluntary initiative - pilot testing SISC metrics was not top of the to-do list, even when buyer called repeatedly for the data submission. Even for growers committed to sustainability programs, was difficult to engage their time commitment.
For many, there was not a clear perceived benefit to the grower and concern that metrics would only advantage buyers. Concerns over data confidentiality overwhelmed perceived benefits of participation. Pilot Quotes Establishing baseline is helpful. If you can demonstrate that we will benefit from being able to track this information, then I am all for it. We arent equipped to take it on right now. I found out how many kw it takes to irrigate crop and accurate $$ figure in field. Very difficult to define these things. The value is in awareness of the various factors and a consciousness of them when making decisions. Crop production data is spread across different parts of business & hard to find Overall impression is good, benefit by possibly using less water which will save on energy costs and fertilizer/chemigation applications. www.stewardshipindex.org
Pilot Participation Data Areas Response Summary 100% 90% 80% 70% Response Rate 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%
N s nt ir e ut il So l s n y rs ity ue io
rg H de c t i F i e n ic ip ra tr p pi st ui
ec rE qu s l e q E e E P E an iz tr til o r
Fe ap U er t a W Ev se te as W i od
i B i rs ve ty Response rate = those data sets that provided data for the metric areas listed Findings data collection complexity Fast-paced veg production: Lots of variables in each field = Complexity!
Key Findings Data collection readiness Some pioneering growers collecting most of the data as requested, but the majority of growers are not. Data is generally available, but not accessible in the requested format. Some data not collected in ways that allow for allocation to individual fields. Some data incomplete; differences in data collection methods affected data quality. Data collection methods, costs, and time requirements varied. www.stewardshipindex.org Key Findings Feedback on draft metrics
The metrics are generally acceptable. Simplify where possible. Guidance on data inputs needs further revision. Several cross-cutting issues need to be addressed. The value proposition was unclear to some participants. www.stewardshipindex.org The Path Ahead 1. Release Beta version of 3-4 metrics by May 1. Involve pilot growers in refining metrics. Which metrics? Most useful to growers, most important to consumers and where growers have data.
2. Continue to develop and pilot test the remaining metrics. 3. Build the capacity for growers through their trade associations - to collect data for monitoring sustainability performance adopt continuous improvement measure to manage business strategies. 4. Begin work on data aggregation software platform with needs assessment, but as a secondary priority until more farm-level data collection capacity is built. www.stewardshipindex.org Performance Metrics & Early Adopters Correlation to technology/change adoption phenomenon? Why metrics? Whats in it for me? Another buyer [email protected]#!or something more? Sustainability as a business management strategy: >>> Do more with less.
>>> Cost savings. >>> Process of continuous improvement. Save money and farm better. Metrics >> data-driven, on farm continuous improvement. www.stewardshipindex.org OUTCOMES??? What are the results on People, Planet, Profitability??? Farming: natural resources D A practices
T technologies A METRICS C A L C S Data Collection & Mgmt Platform H20 N&P
Soil C Energy GHG Air Qual Biodiver Labor Sustainable Winegrowing Program 2001 - present Growing and winemaking practices that are sensitive to the Environment, responsive to the needs and interests of society-atlarge (social Equity), and Economically feasible to implement and maintain.
With funding from USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants and USDA Specialty Crop Block Grants. Farm-level benchmark reports help growers and their associations assess performance and identify targets for improvements. 10 years of data demonstrating continuous improvement Participating Vineyard Organizations 1,320 organizations Acres Farmed by the 1,320 Organizations
366,386 acres 69.6% of 526,000 statewide acres Acres Assessed by the 1,320 Organizations 252,297 acres 48.0% of 526,000 statewide acres Organizations Submitting Results of 1,320
906 organizations 68.6% organizations Assessed Acres in Database 224,927 acres 42.8% of 526,000 statewide acres Why metrics matter for growers For data-driven continuous improvement >>> Save money and Farm Better The 5Ps of Sustainability: Principles: Strategy drives company direction. Processes:
Management areas (farming, packing, cooling, HR, etc.) Practices: What gets done and how. (drip irrigation, scouting, employee benefits, etc.) Performance: Using metrics to assess impact on 3Es. Progress: Making change and evaluating improvements over time. Whats next for SISC? 1. Release Beta version of 3-4 metrics by May 1. 2. Continue to develop and pilot test the remaining metrics. 3. Build the capacity for growers through trade associations - to collect data for monitoring sustainability performance adopt continuous improvement measure to manage business strategies.
>>> organize peer groups of growers to implement Beta version of metrics and continue pilot testing. >>> build programs for self-assessment, benchmarking, targeted education, peer-learning. 4. Begin work on data aggregation software platform with needs assessment, but as a secondary priority until more farm-level data collection capacity is built. www.stewardshipindex.org Youre invited to join us on this journey. www.stewardshipindex.org www.sureharvest.com
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