|Fall 2009 Newsletter|
The Sustainable Food Lab is a consortium of business, non-profit and public organizations working to incubate innovation at every stage along the supply chain from producing to distributing and selling food.
Sustainable Food Lab Annual Summit and Learning Journeys
March 14-19, 2010 in Costa Rica
The summit will provide the opportunity to see and discuss some of the most interesting efforts on the ground in Costa Rica through learning journeys as well as the chance to meet, discuss cases from around the globe in detail, and plan future work.
Two consecutive events:
Costa Rica has made a national commitment to be climate neutral by 2021. The 2010 Sustainable Food Lab Summit will provide members and invited guests the chance to see how businesses are responding to this national commitment and learn about cutting edge efforts in sustainable agriculture, biodiversity protection, economic development, fairness of trade, and export of tropical products.
“The Cool Farm Tool will help us understand what practices make the biggest difference in any particular farm situation....” Christof Walter, Unilever
At least a dozen companies are teaming up to estimate the greenhouse gas footprint of specific farming systems and talk with farmers to figure out how to reduce that footprint as rapidly and efficiently as possible. Sponsoring organizations will each support the research in one or more farming system. In addition to Unilever, the initiating sponsors are General Mills, PepsiCo, Yara, Pulse Canada, and AgroTerra. Quite a few other companies are considering participation.
As Peter Erik Ywema of SAI Platform writes, “I know that a lot of our members have done individual studies of the impact on climate of their value chain. This is an effort to put things together and hence bring more value and robustness to each organization’s work. There will be good ‘value for money’ because we’ll share research costs and each case will be peer reviewed.”
In 2008, DMI CEO Tom Gallagher challenged Fitzgerald and her team to reinvigorate consumer interest in dairy products. At the same time, Walmart — the nation’s largest retailer — asked the dairy supply chain to play an integral role in its goal to become more sustainable. And thus the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Commitment was born. Within a year, the industry had committed to reducing greenhouse gases for fluid milk by 25 percent by 2020, equivalent to the removal of more than 1.25 million cars from the road each year for the next ten years.
This undertaking is no small task for the $100 billion dairy industry, which employs hundreds of thousands of workers and is home to some 9.3 million dairy cows nationwide. In fact, with milk production taking place in all 50 states (California and Wisconsin top the list), the U.S. is the world’s largest producer of fluid milk, responsible for some 190 billion pounds annually.
SYSCO and Oxfam GB -- along with Superior Foods and Alimentos SUMAR – are pleased to share with the Sustainable Food Lab Community a new alliance to expand the opportunity for small scale producers to participate in the processed vegetable export market.
“Supply chain partner alliances like these between business and the NGO community create the trust environment necessary to achieve social and economic reward for the small holder community.” Craig Watson, SYSCO
September 8-10, 2009
"What would encourage practice change is critical. We need tools to use for practices which encourage binding nitrogen in soil while understanding the effect on yield. You absolutely have to take yield into consideration."
Over 50 leaders from the US, Canada and Europe gathered in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania September 8-10, 2009, to discuss agriculture and climate from diverse sectors within the food system. Presentations from Sodexo, Stonyfield's, DMI and Unilever complimented educational sessions and updates on agricultural carbon markets, protocol development, quantification methods, agricultural practices and domestic and international negotiations on agricultural offsets. There was much work on existing projects and challenges as well as proposals and organizing around new promising projects.
Metrics in Action Meeting
November 10-12, 2009
Are we headed toward a common system of measuring sustainability (akin to the LEED Green Building system)? What’s our understanding of the management and learning capacities that must accompany measurement?
Frederick Payton’s AgroFrontera honored at Clinton Global Initiative Annual Conference
Recognition coincides with announcement of new US approach to agriculture and hunger issues
New York, September 25
At the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting, agricultural nonprofit organization AgroFrontera was honored on stage by President Clinton for its market-driven work with Dominican farmers and value-adding businesses. Frederick Payton, one of the founding leaders of the Sustainable Food Lab is the executive director of AgroFrontera. At this meeting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a new U.S. government approach to agriculture and hunger. This US Department of State approach to agriculture in developing countries has parallel objectives to the global supply chain projects of the Sustainable Food Lab.
The Sustainable Food Lab and Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) collaborated on development of A Short Guide to Sustainable Agriculture.
The intention of this booklet is to give an easy understanding of sustainable agriculture and its main issues. It will be useful particularly for people curious about the business case for sustainable agriculture.
To order multiple copies of this guide order on line at: http://www.sustainablefoodlab.org/resources/publications/ or contact Susan Sweitzer: email@example.com
Calendar of Events
New England Sustainable Dairy Collaborative, January 12, Hartland, USA
New Business Model Team, January 18-22, 2010. Ghana
Sustainable Food Lab Annual Summit - membership meeting, March 14-19, 2010. Costa Rica
The Art of Sustainable Agriculture - Joint SFL, SAI, CIAA conference, May 10-12, 2010. Brussels
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(802) 359-4062 • www.sustainablefood.org