Consumer interest in where and how their food is produced is on the rise, and many leading brands and retail companies have responded by setting ambitious sustainable sourcing commitments. However, plenty of challenges remain to make sure all participants, from farmer to retailer, share in the value from the evolving marketplace.
Better understanding this conundrum and finding solutions and incentives throughout the value chain is a key topic of discussion at the Field to Market Meeting in Oakbrook, Ill. this week. NCGA staff, including Rachel Orf, Director of Stewardship and Sustainability, are in attendance seeking opportunities to partner with other organizations and companies on projects.
Orf says many farmers are making substantive changes in their farming operations with sustainability goals in mind. But, for the progress to continue, there must be clear incentives to enhance farmers’ livelihoods such as protecting and maintaining farm productivity and better prices for farm products.
There must also be a clear pathway for farmers, processors, retailers and others in the value chain to connect and work cooperatively on a thing like biodiversity, energy efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, she says.
Field to Market is working to fill that role through the creation of a platform in the member portal that will allow greater and easier opportunity to partner with other organizations or companies on projects.