Food and beverage giants agree to strengthen supply chain management

Companies such as Unilever, Mars and PepsiCo are part of a new collaborative partnership aiming to develop free science-based decision tools that improve farm-level sustainability reporting metrics and data collection.

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) – a collaborative group focusing on lifecycle and supply chain sustainability impacts – has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to align a free online tool for farmers to quantify and understand environmental impacts with the needs of businesses.

TSC singed the MoU with the Cool Farm Alliance (CFA) to build up the knowledge of the non-profit’s Cool Farm Tool that provides information of farming impacts on water, biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the collaboration, more than 100 TSC members – which includes Unilever, Kellogg’s and P&G – will have access to new farming performance indicators and retailer sustainability surveys.

The partnership will strengthen the links between farmers in more 60 countries supplying global markets that are part of the CFA and the global retailers enlisted in the TSC. Through the partnership, farmers and brands will work to facilitate climate change mitigation in agricultural supply chains.

CFA’s deputy general manager Daniella Malin said: “We are delighted to announce this partnership with TSC. The Cool Farm Tool is becoming increasingly widely used in supply chains around the world, and we are eager for its uptake by farmers to support complementary sustainability programs like TSC. We look forward to a long and fruitful working partnership”

Streamlining supply chains

Brands sourcing agricultural products have a plethora of issues to look out for. In order to tackle rising food waste – and the subsequent emissions – Tesco has reached out to suppliers to get them to agree to halving food waste by 2030.

Mars, L’Oreal and Tetra Pak are among a host of international businesses that have come together to form a cross-sector initiative to help tackle deforestation, while TSC member Unilever had to suspended sourcing from an Indonesian-based palm oil supplier over alleged illegal peatland clearance methods.

With WWF claiming that businesses can unlock new market opportunities by using credible voluntary sustainability standards, TSC hopes the new partnership will drive sustainability into supply chains.

TSC’s director of research Christy Slay said: “TSC has been working with CFA for several years now, and we are excited to formalise this partnership agreement. By working together we can streamline the reporting experience for growers and food manufacturers, making it easier to communicate sustainability data.”

TSC has more than 100 members and there are more than 2,000 people using TSC tools globally to facilitate sustainability. TSC also convenes more than 200 global organisations – including WWF and CDP – at 75 networking opportunities.

Matt Mace

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