Entries by David Farrell

Virtuous Engagement Loops – An approach to move beyond certification.

We are of the firm conviction that real change only becomes possible when it happens in an “inside-out”, or, when thinking in terms of dynamics in supply-chains, in a “bottom-up” manner. Our SHERPA Management System is specifically and purposefully designed to encourage, support and enable this type of change process. The more decision makers on […]

A First Introduction to SHERPA

I’ve been in some very tough meetings with farmers over the years. The most difficult ones were inevitably those where, in our wisdom, and in an attempt to be efficient in introducing a new concept or idea, we felt it best to convene a large group of farmers in one room; not always the best […]

What Makes a Good Farmer?

What are the attributes of a really good farmer? Would they include a penchant for order and neatness? A single-minded focus on efficiency and yield maximization? A bullet-proof resolve in the face of risk? What about drive for expansion and scale or technical proficiency? While some or all of these may currently inform our rating […]

Limits…the baby in the bathwater?

One just has to reflect on the anxiety evoked by the word “recession” to confirm how strongly we associate the concepts of “growth” with our collective and individual well-being. Understandably then, anything that seeks to limit growth is, almost by default, resisted. Sustainability, when honestly and correctly framed, lays bare the inherent conflict between our […]

What are a Business’s Social Dependencies and Impacts?

In my last post, which you can access here, I examined the throughput of energy and materials that is at the heart of every business (the dark blue horizontal arrow) and the flows from, and to, the environment that must be sustained if the business is to achieve the strategic objective of sustaining “economically viable […]

What is at the heart of every business?

At the center of the Blue North System Map (see below) is the large dark blue arrow running from left to right – it is the cornerstone of our approach to understanding sustainability and making it relevant for businesses. In this post I will examine this element of our system map, how it can be […]

Blue North Social Media Strategy Launched

Blue North is a South Africa based sustainability consultancy working across the agricultural supply chain, driving the concept of  strong sustainability. We have recently launched a social media strategy. If you are interested in this line of work, and/or would like to follow our work as it progresses please “like” and “follow” our Facebook Page, […]

Farm-level Sustainability Measures & Indicators: Assessing Causes or Measuring Effects?

Sustainability “measures and indictors”…or ” scorecards”…or whatever you wish to call the methods and processes to get a quantified grip on the sustainability performance or status of a farm…has become the really big, and rather confused, part of pretty much all sustainable agriculture programs and initiatives. Here are some thoughts on the subject based on […]