Sustainability Consortium and Wal-Mart to Help Farmers Through Better Communication with Retailers
Source - The Sustainability Consortium
via Oklahoma Farm Report - 13 Nov 2017
The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) announced their collaboration today with the Walmart Foundation to tackle challenges to help farmers report information more easily to manufacturers and retailers. The need to improve agricultural systems to be not only efficient but also sustainable in the long-term is paramount to meeting the global demand for food into the future, while also minimizing adverse impacts on the environment and society. One of TSC’s main challenges is addressing why so many producers on farms and manufacturers of food products answer questions about farm sustainability with “we are unable to determine at this time."
In 2016, TSC's tools were used by leading retailers to collect nearly 70,000 supplier responses to key performance indicators (KPIs) across all sectors. Around 15 percent of those responses addressed agricultural impacts. Over 50 percent of all responses to agriculture KPIs were "we are unable to determine at this time." Although TSC's past efforts have spurred food companies to improve data collection, many companies still need help establishing the communication systems in place to answer many of the survey questions.
“By improving communication flow between farms and manufacturing and ultimately, retail, this project will increase the demand signal for sustainable farming practices and improve data flow for easier and more accurate reporting of farm metrics,” states Dr. Christy Slay, TSC Director of Research and lead on the project. “By connecting data systems and creating easier and faster ways for producers to report their results, more of their time and effort can be spent on improving sustainability at the farm level.” Slay received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Arkansas in 2010 and has been with The Sustainability Consortium, jointly administered by the Walton College of Business, since 2009...