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Re-designing Supply Chains for Sustainability: New Guidelines for Supply Chain Partners Best Practices for Collecting, Sharing and Comparing Stewardship Metric Data

SISC Staff

Many farmers are currently making good faith efforts to improve the stewardship of the natural resources on, and around, their farms.  With this project, we aimed to support a new model for supply chains – one which helps capture market forces to reward this continually improved natural resource stewardship.  This project is focused on creating a clear and safe way for farmers, and the supply chains of which they are a part, to understand, use, and share this important on-farm stewardship data.  In the end, our goal is to create a system that helps with both on-farm management and with communicating the value of that improved management throughout the supply chain.

Through an unprecedented collaboration with a fresh product supply chain, SISC worked with this group to facilitate supply chain collaboration through the use of performance metrics.  The project participants developed a set of guidelines for the most effective ways to collect, share, and compare performance metric data.  These guidelines aim to support whole supply chain collaboration towards creating real natural resource management improvements on the ground. 

Supported through a California Conservation Innovation grant, the project participants (listed below) have implemented this model within their real time supply chain.  The resulting publically available guidelines provide 'best practices' for growers, packer/shippers, processors, distributors, and buyers/food companies on how to use performance metrics to support both continual improvement on the ground and reduce their supply chains overall environmental footprint.  

You can download the Supply Chain Guidelines here. 

Project Partners Include

  • Foodbuy/Compass Group
  • Raley's
  • Rio Farms
  • D'Arrigo Brothers
  • Rio Farms/Gill Ranch Co
  • Willoughby Farms
  • Merrill Farms
  • Huntington Farms
  • Church Brothers
  • Taylor Farms
  • USDA - Natural Resource Conservation Service
  • Sustainable Conservation
  • Western Growers Association
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Resource Conservation District Santa Cruz County
  • Resource Conservation District Monterey County
  • Measure to Improve LLC

"As a grower and packer shipper, we really appreciated the opportunity to work with the whole supply chain to support cross supply chain collaboration towards continual sustainability goals.  These guidelines reflect that collaboration and offer real valuable guidance towards creating lasting stewardship through the work of the whole supply chain." 

Drew McDonald VP Quality & Food Safety, Church Brothers Farms.

"These guidelines provide a whole supply chain perspective to sustainability programs.  The outcomes of this project are valuable for every buyer who is interested in working with their supply chains to reduce their footprint and create real natural resource management improvements on the ground." 

Jason Dye, Senior Manager, Category Development at Foodbuy.