Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture along with its 75 members — including Cargill, Coca-Cola, Environmental Defense Fund and Monsanto — pledged to develop the next generation of farm-level sustainability metrics during a roundtable session at the White House.
The metrics are designed to help growers measure and ultimately, reduce emissions, Field to Market says. The group will partner with farmers to track environmental impacts, identify opportunities for continuous improvement, and help deliver sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. cropland per unit of output.
Participants include The Fertilizer Institute, General Mills, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, Kellogg Company, Monsanto, The Nature Conservancy, PepsiCo, National Corn Growers Association, Syngenta, Unilever, United Soybean Board, Walmart, and World Wildlife Fund.
Field to Market’s members have a goal of enrolling 50 million acres of US commodity crop production in the Field to Market Supply Chain Sustainability Program by 2020. Field to Market and The Innovation Center for US Dairy announced a partnership to drive that effort. The two organizations will work to improve on-farm metrics to better assess the sustainability of dairy feed production.
Member companies made additional commitments during the roundtable. For example, Unilever is pledging to sustainably source 100 percent of its soy in the US —about 1 million acres — by 2017, and all other raw agriculture commodities by 2020. Unilever will use Field to Market to work with farmers to gather data about their fields and farming practices and then come up with solutions that help reduce emissions.
The group’s goals include improving energy use in crop production, reducing in soil erosion to tolerable levels or below on all US cropland, boosting land use efficiency, conserving native habitat, and enhancing landscape quality. The group also pledged to try and solve regional water quality problems caused by sediment, phosphorus, nitrogen, and pesticide loads as well as a reduction in emissions from US cropland per unit of output.