Blue-North-Performance-Assessment-&-Monitoring

Development of Sustainability Self-Assessment Tools

Blue North has been commissioned to develop a range of commodity-specific Sustainability self-assessment tools for the UK retailer  J.Sainsbury’s.

 

The tools, which reflect our experience in supporting farm-level buy-in and engagement in sustainability programs, are designed to serve first and foremost as value-adding management tools for farm owners and managers.

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Sustainable Fruit Initiative – Progress Update

standalone45mmMuch progress has been made in the development of the Sustainable Fruit Initiative over the last few months. As the Grabouw pilot programme draws to a close, we have begun to engage with commercial farming entities in the Eastern Cape. Here we lay out the structure, processes and insights that have evolved through our engagement in the Grabouw pilot region.

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Why modern agriculture leads unavoidably to ecological degradation

To the casual observer on a trip through the countryside, the idea that farming inherently degrades the environment may seem counter-intuitive. After all, we escape to the rural parts of the country in order to “return to nature” and experience a gentler and a more environmentally wholesome way of life, particularly when compared to that which we experience in urban/industrial settings – we go to the country to get away from the smokestacks, smog, traffic and pollution.But beneath the verdant appearance of our agricultural landscapes, the same system features that manifest in the “ills” we associate with urban/industrial settings are very much present and at work.

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Sustainable Fruit Initiative – Pilot Programme

WWF-SA is launching a sustainability initiative tailored to the South African fruit sector, and has engaged Blue North Sustainability (Pty) Ltd to assist in its development and implementation. The Sustainable Fruit Initiative (SFI) is focussed on supporting the achievement of environmentally sustainable farming in the fruit industry, and will ultimately become the environmental “pillar” of SIZA (Sustainable Fruit Initiative South Africa, which is socially focused).

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The evolution of sustainability agendas in global agri supply-chains – David Farrell’s trip to the UK

Visiting the UK and meeting with different people across UK agri supply-chains is always accompanied by discussions around the subject of sustainability – certain concepts and assumptions are affirmed, others challenged, and new perspectives and priorities are brought to the fore. At a minimum, the rapidly evolving and shifting nature of this field is confirmed. These visits are obviously extremely valuable to the shaping of our thinking at Blue North, and below I have shared some thoughts and insights from my latest trip:

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Sustainable Fruit Supply – where to to focus in developing a sustainability strategy?

These thoughts on the development and implementation of a sustainability strategy in an agricultural supply-chain have been developed in the course of the work Blue North does in the sustainability field.

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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 our work in this field that can hopefully be helpful:

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