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Monitoring and Marketing Social & Environmental Performance Scott Exo, Executive Director, Food Alliance Business of Sustainability: Eco-Farm Preconference January 2010. Science. Business. Food Alliance defines & promotes sustainability in agriculture and the food industry. Values.

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slide1

Monitoring and Marketing Social & Environmental Performance

Scott Exo, Executive Director, Food Alliance

Business of Sustainability: Eco-Farm Preconference

January 2010

slide2

Science

Business

Food Alliancedefines & promotes sustainability

in agriculture and

the food industry

Values

slide3

Food Industry

Environmental

Groups

Government

Agencies

Labor

Groups

Consumer

Groups

Animal Welfare

Groups

Universities

slide4

An independent, third-party certification program that growers, processors, packers and distributors use to:

  • differentiate and add value to products,
  • protect and enhance brands with credible social and environmental claims.
slide12
A Changing Market

A shift in consumer interest toward companies, brands and products that embody values

Interest not only in product attributes, but also in what the product represents, and what it says about the buyer

The Hartman Report - A Consumer Perspective on Sustainability

slide13

Understanding product claims and labels

  • 1st party label
  • Issued by producer without independent review
  • “We raise free-range chickens” or “We use environmentally friendly practices”
  • 2nd party label
  • Issued by industry, trade or membership association
  • “Our dairy farmers pledge not to use artificial growth hormones”
  • 3rd party label
  • Issued by organization independent from the product/producer
  • “Our coffee is Fair Trade Certified”

Consumer’s Union

www.greenerchoices.org/eco-labels/

slide14

Understanding product claims and compliance

  • Eco-Labels are Credible When They Are:
  • Meaningful and Verifiable
  • Consistent and Clear
  • Transparent
  • Independent and Free from Conflict of Interest
  • Open to Public Comment

Consumer’s Union

www.greenerchoices.org/eco-labels/

slide15

The Type of Organization Behind the Label Matters

Independent

(non-profit) organization

Government Agency

Company

“Who would you prefer provide certification?” Base: Significant shoppers inside the World of Sustainability (n=1,591; 243 Core, 589 Inner Mid-level, 487 Outer Mid-level, 272 Periphery). Source: Sustainability 2008 Survey, Sept. 2008

slide16

Why certify?

  • Growers want a way to differentiate and add value to their products, and increase their competitiveness vs. foreign producers who enjoy lower regulatory burdens and costs.
  • Buyers want a reliable sustainability ‘screen’ for their purchases.
  • Consumerswant assurance their food is grown responsibly.
  • Advocates want better social and environmental outcomes and the means to gauge them.
slide19

"We knew from the start that Oregon Country Beef's principles, values and wholesome operational practices were a perfect match with ours and our brand... Now, we can assure our guests that our beef is the safest available and has been raised with the best ranching practices… With the public's heightened interest in food origins and concern about genetically modified foods, we're proud that our beef is traceable from the ranch to the table and has been certified by Food Alliance. "

Burgerville President Tom Mears

slide24

Lessons & Assumptions

  • This is about stewardship and business
  • Buyers and consumers want traceability, transparency and accountability.
  • Meeting these expectations provides both a business opportunity and an instrument of change.
  • It’s a high-bar, not an industry floor.
  • Certification is a voluntary, biz-by-biz decision.
  • A seal doesn’t sell product, marketing does.
slide26

Certification Process

Farm/Ranch

Non-Certified Products

Whole Farm Criteria

Food Alliance Certification Standards

Species/Crop Specific Evaluation Criteria

Food Alliance Certified Product

slide27

Certification Process

Shellfish Farm

Whole Shellfish Farm Criteria

Food Alliance Certification Standards for Shellfish Production

Non-Certified Products

Whole Farm Evaluation Criteria

The Whole Farm Evaluation Criteria are scored. Scores are based on performance indicators for each criteria.

A producer must score an average of 75% in each category of the Whole Farm Criteria.

In addition, a producer must commit to continual improvement of management and production practices in the five topic areas.

Species Specific Evaluation Criteria

Food Alliance Certified Product

slide28

Certification Process

Shellfish Farm

Whole Shellfish Farm Criteria

Food Alliance Certification Standards for Shellfish Production

Non-Certified Products

Species Specific Evaluation Criteria

The Species Specific Evaluation Criteria apply only to those shellfish species for which a producer is seeking certification.

There are both fixed and scored criteria in the Species Specific Evaluation Criteria.

Species Specific Evaluation Criteria

Food Alliance Certified Product

slide29

Certification Process

Shellfish Farm

Whole Shellfish Farm Criteria

Food Alliance Certification Standards for Shellfish Production

Non-Certified Products

  • Crop-Specific Evaluation Criteria
  • Fixed Criteria
  • Any specific shellfish species for which a producer is seeking certification must comply with the Fixed Criteria. There are three fixed criteria, corresponding to the Standards:
    • No use of genetically modified seed varieties or livestock breeds
    • No use of growth-promoting hormones or non-therapeutic antibiotics
    • No use of chemicals identified on the Prohibited Pesticide List

Species Specific Evaluation Criteria

Food Alliance Certified Product

slide30

Certification Process

Shellfish Farm

Whole Shellfish Farm Criteria

Food Alliance Certification Standards for Shellfish Production

Non-Certified Products

  • Species Specific Evaluation Criteria
  • Scored Criteria
  • There are five topic areas in the Species Specific scored criteria, corresponding to the Standards:
    • Soil and water conservation
    • Reduction of pesticide use
    • Wildlife habitat conservation
    • Safe and fair working conditions
    • Healthy and humane care for livestock

Species Specific Evaluation Criteria

Food Alliance Certified Product

slide31

Certification Process

Shellfish Farm

Whole Shellfish Farm Criteria

Food Alliance Certification Standards for Shellfish Production

Non-Certified Products

Species Specific Evaluation Criteria

Scored Criteria (Continued)

Scores are based on performance indicators for each criteria. The Species Specific scored criteria are more detailed than the Whole Farm criteria, focusing on the cultural practices used for particular products.

A producer must score an average of 75% in each topic area of the Species Specific scored standards.

Species Specific Evaluation Criteria

Food Alliance Certified Product

slide32

Sample Shellfish Criteria

Whole Shellfish Farm

Recognizing and Supporting Employee Input for Workplace Improvement

Note: Inspectors can give half points here if employer is encouraging employee input but the policy is not necessarily in writing. Provide notation.

Level 1: Employer or managers discourage employees from forming groups or discussing issues.

Level 2: Employer or managers verbally encourage employees to discuss work place issues.

Level 3: As per Level 2, and employer or manager has a policy in writing encouraging employees to develop ideas for improving the workplace.

Level 4: As per Level 3, and the operator supports group activities with space for meeting and/or time set aside during the workday for meetings.

slide33

Sample Shellfish Criteria

Whole Shellfish Farm

Grievance Procedures and Policies

Level 1: Management has no policy and makes no suggestions to employees that they may raise grievances.

Level 2: A management policy exists that allows/encourages employees to raise concerns, safety issues, or grievances without fear of termination.

Level 3: As per Level 2 and at least two apply, and the policies are communicated in writing.

Level 4: As per Level 3, and the employer takes steps to encourage and get feedback regularly from employees. Employer schedules meetings to communicate with employees about their concerns, or has an open door policy in writing.

slide34

Sample Shellfish Criteria

Whole Shellfish Farm

  • Grievance Procedures and Policies
  • Level 1: Management has no policy and makes no suggestions to employees that they may raise grievances.
  • Level 2: A management policy exists that allows/encourages employees to raise concerns, safety issues, or grievances without fear of termination.
  • Check at least one, or all that apply:
    • The policy is verbally communicated to employees either at the time of hire or implementation.
    • Employees are directed to a designated individual with whom to raise concerns/grievances.
    • If needed, employer can speak with employee in native language, or someone on staff is available to translate.
slide35

Sample Shellfish Criteria

Whole Shellfish Farm

  • Grievance Procedures and Policies
  • Level 1: Management has no policy and makes no suggestions to employees that they may raise grievances.
  • Level 2: A management policy exists that allows/encourages employees to raise concerns, safety issues, or grievances without fear of termination.
  • Level 3: As per Level 2 and at least two apply, and the policies are communicated in writing.
  • All the following must apply:
    • The policy is accompanied by a set of procedures that describes how grievances or concerns will be handled.
    • Employees are given the name of the person with whom to file the grievance.
slide36

Sample Shellfish Criteria

Whole Shellfish Farm

Grievance Procedures and Policies

Level 1: Management has no policy and makes no suggestions to employees that they may raise grievances.

Level 2: A management policy exists that allows/encourages employees to raise concerns, safety issues, or grievances without fear of termination.

Level 3: As per Level 2 and at least two apply, and the policies are communicated in writing.

Level 4: As per Level 3, and the employer takes steps to encourage and get feedback regularly from employees. Employer schedules meetings to communicate with employees about their concerns, or has an open door policy in writing.

slide37

Sample Shellfish Criteria

Whole Shellfish Farm

Disease Prevention and Management

Level 1: Manager neither prevents establishment of nor systematically controls disease. Manager is not informed about the issue.

Level 2: Manager communicates some knowledge of potential diseases and has the ability to identify most common species and symptoms. Manager also complies with federal and state/provincial transfer rules/permits. Control of disease involves the following limited prevention strategies.

Level 3: As per Level 2 and at least three apply, and actively prevents introduction and spread of invasive species and disease.

Level 4: As per Level 3, and manager has an advanced understanding and clearly manages the operation in order to prevent the establishment of disease, OR, documents that indicate no diseases are on the farm.

slide38

Sample Shellfish Criteria

Whole Shellfish Farm

  • Disease Prevention and Management
  • Level 1: Manager neither prevents establishment of nor systematically controls disease. Manager is not informed about the issue.
  • Check off as applicable:
    • Manager deals with crop production problems stemming from diseases as they are encountered and/or as time permits.
    • Manager has no plan, or systematic inventory disease problems.
    • Manager communicates no knowledge of disease symptoms or how to identify them.
    • Farm records, if records kept, do not refer to diseases.
    • Other:
slide39

Sample Shellfish Criteria

Whole Shellfish Farm

  • Disease Prevention and Management
  • Level 2: Manager communicates some knowledge of potential diseases and has the ability to identify most common species and symptoms. Manager also complies with federal and state/provincial transfer rules/permits. Control of disease involves the following limited prevention strategies.
  • Check off as applicable (at least two apply):
    • Manager does not import/seek new species to produce from outside the region.
    • Pathology screens are conducted on a regular basis.
    • All materials used (bags, shell, etc) in the aquatic environment are properly dried and cleaned on an upland site prior to transfer to a new region or disposal site.
    • Manager performs rudimentary planning for disease control, with some inventory of existing problems.
    • Inventory of problem extends beyond the production system and into upland and buffer areas.
    • Manager communicates some knowledge of species life history and vulnerabilities in order to avoid inoculation.
    • Other:
slide40

Sample Shellfish Criteria

Whole Shellfish Farm

  • Disease Prevention and Management
  • Level 3: As per Level 2 and at least three apply, and actively prevents introduction and spread of invasive species and disease. At least three of the following apply:
    • Manager establishes a policy or protocol designed to prevent establishment not just control of disease as problems arise.
    • Manager only uses certified, high health seed to prevent diseases from coming onto farm.
    • Manager communicates solid knowledge base of diseases in the area and demonstrates the ability to identify symptoms, with some life history knowledge
    • Manager keeps control records to improve control program.
    • Manager seeks additional knowledge to assist with control program effectiveness.
    • Manager works with state/provincial/federal agencies (e.g. Dept. of Natural Resources, Dept. of Agriculture, Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans) to develop and implement control plans.
    • Manager discusses problems with neighbors to increase effectiveness of the control effort.
    • Other:
slide41

Sample Shellfish Criteria

Whole Shellfish Farm

  • Disease Prevention and Management
  • Level 4: As per Level 3, and manager has an advanced understanding and clearly manages the operation in order to prevent the establishment of disease, OR, documents that indicate no diseases are on the farm. Check off as applicable (at least three apply):
    • Manager has systematic inventory of disease occurrences.
    • Diseases are a high priority in overall operation as reflected in farm plans and records.
    • Manager has advanced knowledge of life cycles and control is performed at most effective time.
    • Manager keeps comprehensive records and evaluates program each year for effectiveness.
    • Manager actively tries to coordinate with neighbors in control efforts that have an impact on the wider general area.
    • Other: