(Posted Mon. Sep 16th, 2019)
Efforts throughout society, and virtually every industry, to cut greenhouse gases are underway and agriculture is no exception. There is also a growing awareness throughout the supply chain that any successful initiative will start with farmers.
“There is no silver bullet for addressing GHGs and climate change outcomes, but we are working in the right direction,” said NCGA’s Stewardship and Sustainability Director Rachel Orf. “Throughout the Ag supply chain, from conservation groups to the largest retailers, there is solid agreement that this effort needs to be driven by science. And if it doesn’t work for farmer’s it doesn’t work at all.”
Orf attended a meeting hosted by Field to Market last week in Washington, D.C. with the objective of better understanding climate change risk facing the ag value chain, including retailers, conservation groups, farmers, agribusiness. The Field to Market effort, which is focused on cross-sector dialogues, began last fall with the goal of exploring collaborative actions that can deliver benefits for farmers, consumers and the planet.
“One reoccurring theme is that any successful effort has to start with farmers and work its way up through the system,” Orf said. “Large retailers and suppliers are setting goals for reducing greenhouse gases because their customers want them to do this. However, their sustainability personnel understands we need a farmer-friendly solution that allows mutual progress and keeps farmers farming. That means profitability has to be part of the equation.”
Orf applauded the open conversation at the meeting and the non-judgmental approach to making continuous environmental improvement.
While agriculture has become increasingly efficient, relying on fewer inputs to produce more, NCGA’s partnership with Field to Market, is fostering collective action to address the significant challenges ahead in meeting increased global demand in a sustainable manner.