Food, Beverage & Agriculture

Food, Beverage & Agriculture
Sector Working Group

The Food, Beverage, and Agriculture (FBA) working group was the first group to form after The Sustainability Consortium(TSC) launch in July of 2009 and is currently the largest sector working group at TSC. Sustainable agriculture is the only way we can provide a planet of nine billion people with adequate food and water. The FBA Sector Working Group knows that increasing the sustainability of food supply and production practices will continue to be essential in sustaining and providing resources. The aim of this working group is to improve the environmental and social sustainability of global agricultural supply chains.


Product Categories Covered in the FBA Working Group


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Principles and Guidance Tools

Commodity Mapping and Geographic Relevance

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Seafood Susainability Program Principles

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Animal Welfare
Organizations & Programs

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How to Get Sustainability Data Flowing in Agriculture Supply Chains

June 2016

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With global population increasing to 11 billion by 2100, the demand on the world’s food systems to provide adequate nourishment is unprecedented. Climate change and other environmental and social conditions are already affecting our ability to produce enough food to meet global demand. The need to improve agricultural systems to be not only efficient but also sustainable in the long-term is paramount to meeting the global demand for food into the future, while also minimizing adverse impacts on the environment and society. Today, however, there is very little visibility of the sustainability impacts throughout food value chains, making it challenging to identify and drive improvement. Gaining transparency through measurement and reporting across the value chain is a critical step in the path toward improving the sustainability of food systems.

This report, produced solely by The Sustainability Consortium and our members, explores:

  • TSC’s involvement in sustainable agriculture systems
  • Current understanding of how sustainability data in agriculture flows
  • Outcomes of 2016 workshop and resulting TSC initiative in sustainable agriculture

Agriculture Metrics Task Force

With global population increasing to 11 billion by 2100, the demand on the world’s food systems to provide adequate nourishment is unprecedented. Climate change and other environmental and social conditions are already affecting our ability to produce enough food to meet global demand. The need to improve agricultural systems to be not only efficient but also sustainable in the long-term is paramount to meeting the global demand for food into the future, while also minimizing adverse impacts on the environment and society. Today, however, there is very little visibility of the sustainability impacts throughout food value chains, making it challenging to identify and drive improvement. Gaining transparency through measurement and reporting across the value chain is a critical step in the path toward improving the sustainability of food systems.

TSC produced a preliminary report to guide the work of the Agriculture Metrics Task Force: (Download report here)

  • TSC’s involvement in sustainable agriculture systems
  • Current understanding of how sustainability data in agriculture flows
  • Outcomes of 2016 workshop and resulting the task force workstreams

The work of the task force is focused into three workstreams:

  1. A bi-monthly case study webinar series to understand and make progress on issues related to
    • Clearing communication roadblocks in the value chain
    • Providing incentives for growers and companies
    • Improving IT interoperability and data alignment
    • Identifying and acting on the most effective improvement opportunities
  2. Harmonizing metrics and simplifying data collection by convening the key farm metrics and tool developers make progress on common goals. The aim of this work is to reduce reporting burden across the supply chain and enable easier reporting of farm data to TSC metrics.
  3. Commodity Supply Chain Project (funded by Walton Family Foundation) convenes key food manufacturers and retailers, NGO’s, commodity brokers and exchanges, commodity producers, and academics to determine a collective solution to driving transparency into sustainability attributes of commodities.

TSC Joins Sustainable Coffee Challenge

TSC has joined forces with dozens of other corporations, NGOs, and service providers, including TSC members Ahold, IDH, and Conservation International, to be a part of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge. The goal of the Challenge is for participant organizations to make sustainability-related commitments, with the vision of making coffee a completely sustainable crop. Conservation International serves as the Secretariat for the Challenge.

TSC’s commitment is “By 2020, The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) will be supporting global retailers in the deployment of supplier surveys covering 100M USD in coffee purchasing, thus sending a strong market signal for sustainable coffee. To facilitate this, TSC will release its coffee supplier survey and other components of its coffee toolkit into the public domain.”

This goal is a natural extension of our more general goal around TSC metric adoption. In addition to this goal, we would like to explore other ways in which our members, and other participants in the Challenge, could interact to improve the coffee supply chain. For those interested, please contact Kevin Dooley.

White Papers

Geospatial Climate Data
Ryan Z. Johnston; Marty D. Matlock, Ph.D., P.E., C.S.E.
University of Arkansas
The Sustainability Consortium
February 2011

Regional Corn Modeling at a High Resolution Scale: A Yield Based Approach and Blue vs Green Water Assessment
Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service
The Sustainability Consortium
February 2011

A Review of Water Scarcity Indices and Methodologies
Amber Brown; Marty D. Matlock, Ph.D., P.E., C.S.E.
University of Arkansas
The Sustainability Consortium
April 2011

Working Group Contacts

Christopher Cooke

Christopher Cooke
Director, Technical Development
Email


For content specific questions regarding this sector, please contact Christopher Cooke.

Jessica Ginger

Jessica Ginger
Manager - Member Operations and Implementation
Email

For general comments or questions regarding this Working Group, please contact Jessica Ginger.

Working Group Co-Chairs

Rachel Goldstein
Mars

Martin Giomans
BASF