As consumers are becoming more inclined to purchase sustainable products, the agricultural industry is feeling the pressure for increased transparency and traceability within the supply chain leading all the way back to the farm.
For a long time, there wasn't a reliable mechanism for measuring sustainability in the field, but recent advancements in technologies have brought forth an initiative that has helped develop an approach to quantifying the sustainability of farms.
The Fieldprint Calculator took over a decade of research, and what it does is translate yearly crop management practices into quantitative ratings that are based on eight specific indicators: land usage, soil conservation, water quality, energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, soil carbon, irrigation water use, and biodiversity.
"Farmers have always been conscientious about the environment, but by tweaking their existing systems to improve each of the metrics outlined by the alliance, growers expand their options to do business with companies who are committed to sourcing sustainably," says Kaylyn Groce Reagin, a sustainability educator.
"The truly inspiring thing about this initiative is that by making progress in each sustainability metric, farmers not only improve their bottom line, but they're ensuring the longevity of the farm for future generations."- Kaylyn Groce Reagin.