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 Best Practices for Supply Chain Partners
Best Practices for Collecting, Sharing and Comparing Metric Results


On-farm conservation improvements need to be both incentivized and rewarded by the marketplace. Progressive improvements in stewardship will only be rewarded when such stewardship is clearly defined and communicated, with integrity, up and down the supply chain.

Currently, supply chains are not designed to conduct the flow of this kind of regionally specific on-farm sustainability data. Instead, they are designed to share a much more limited form of information about volume of product, cost/price, and to track product handling for food safety purposes.

The Supply Chain Design Guidelines provided here were developed to support cross-supply chain collaboration towards sustainability. These guidelines were created through a process supported by a USDA NRCS CA Conservation Innovation Grant which brought a whole real working specialty crop supply chain to the table to both design, and road test, this model.

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.

Click here to download the Supply Chain Design Guidelines

These guidelines were developed with the following partners:

  • Foodbuy/Compass Group


  • Rio Farms

  • D'Arrigo Brothers

  • Rio Farms/Gill Ranch Co

  • Willoughby Farms

  • Merrill Farms

  • Huntington Farms

  • Church Brothers Farms

  • 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.

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