Season’s Greetings from Blue North Sustainability!

It’s hard to believe that we are once again at the end of another year!

With the festive season upon us, we would like to acknowledge the important relationship that we share with you and thank you for your contribution to Blue North through the course of 2022.

As we reflect on 2022 and plan for 2023, we are excited about the relationships we have developed and the scope, scale, and impact of the projects we are involved in. This has been another important year in our journey as a business…

  • The Blue North team has grown to 15 people, with 2 more joining us in January 2023.
  • We opened a new, larger office at Klein Joostenberg, Stellenbosch.
  • We took on a variety of new carbon workstreams, including international Life Cycle Assessments (LCA), Science Based Targets (SBT) and carbon footprint projects with large agribusinesses and retailers.

A few highlights from our products teams include:

SHERPA:

Reflecting back on the year gone by, we would like to highlight some of the key new developments in SHERPA…

  • We developed three new sustainability frameworks on SHERPA: for food processing factories, aquaculture operations and wild-caught fishery operations. These frameworks were developed as part of a long-term project with Woolworths and their food suppliers. Read more about the project here.
  • A range of training material has been developed to help users unlock even more value with SHERPA. The How-To pdf guides and YouTube videos provide you with step-by-step, easy-to-follow instructions. This training material is available directly in the app. Read more here.
  • In the Performance Indicators section we have introduced tags – allowing you to see exactly which Performance Indicators your Supply Chain Partner and Retailer are interested in you tracking.
  • Last month we introduced SHERPA Journey Scores. The goal of the Journey Scores is to recognise the consistent effort that businesses like yours are doing to advance their sustainability agendas. Read more here.
  • The SHERPA team started sending out regular Insights Reports to all SHERPA users. The aim with these reports is to share key insights into how each business unit is engaging with the different sections in the tool as well as ways users can unlock even more value from SHERPA.

We have exciting plans coming next year, including…

  • Developing the ability to capture the data needed for Science Based Targets in SHERPA.
  • Bringing Journey Scores onto the Dashboard page in SHERPA.
  • A WhatsApp support line – feel free to message or call us with any questions or queries. We will be sharing these contact details soon!
  • Look out for our new LinkedIn page where we’ll be sharing SHERPA news and highlighting our Gold Sherpa users.

FruitLook:

FruitLook also had a busy and productive year…

  • The FruitLook team gained two new, talented Tech Coaches in February.
  • Since January 2022, the FruitLook team has produced eight user case studies.
  • We have visited 13 farms, and had 15 training sessions with 50 attendees.
  • Eight FruitLook-related articles were published this year, four of them as part of a  commodity series in the Smart Agri Barometer.
  • We exhibited at four events (Future of Farming Technology Summit; Nampo Cape; Smart Farming and Agtech Summit; and the Climate Smart Agriculture Conference).
  • FruitLook was presented at three events (Irrigation, Drainage and Water Management Conference; Water Resources, Use and Management Farmer’s Day; Prophyta Short Course)
  • FruitLook was presented to three undergraduate classes, two at Elsenburg and one at Stellenbosch University.
  • The FruitLook Stakeholder Board has increased from 8 to 11 members, and the first in-person FruitLook Stakeholder Board was held.

Through these efforts and your support, FruitLook had 232 new user registrations this year. That is 31 more than last year! We plan to build on this success and take FruitLook even further in 2023.

Confronting Climate Change (CCC):

 Some of the highlights for CCC this year include…

  • CCC was one of the stakeholders exhibiting at this year’s Cape Wine event in the Hillebrand Gori Stakeholder area at the CTICC in Cape Town.
  • CCC was presented at the SAMAC Macadamia Day & Annual General Meeting in White River, Limpopo.
  • Our Carbon Heroes awards website grew in popularity. We will share future plans for Carbon Heroes soon!

There was a number of updates to the CCC online carbon calculator…

  • CCC can now be used in 23 countries outside of South Africa.
  • We added a Sense Check button on the Reports page, making it easier for clients to submit their datasets for checking and grading.
  • We launched a History Report for our users to see trends in their data and view all their previously graded carbon footprint datasets together.

We look forward to some new developments next year including…

  • New CCC workshops on topics such as carbon emissions reductions, target setting through Science Based Targets, and carbon sequestration and removals.
  • Incorporating carbon sequestration into the CCC online carbon calculator.

 Grape Compass:

  • More than double the clients signed up to use our Grape Compass service this year compared to the first year this exciting technology launched in South Africa!

We wish you everything of the best for the remainder of 2022 and look forward to strengthening our relationship through 2023.

Please note: Blue North will close for the holiday period from Friday the 16th of December. We will reopen on Monday the 9th of January 2023.

May you have a joyous holiday season with peace and prosperity in the New Year!

The Blue North Team