Sign Up Early for SB'24 San Diego and Save! Spring Rate Ends June 23rd.

The Next Economy
Building Trust to Propel Regenerative Ag Forward:
Key Takeaways from COP28

As we work to find common ground in addressing climate change, changemakers really need to examine what could happen if money and power weren’t a factor.

Over two weeks at COP28, global leaders gathered to discuss the ongoing battle against climate change. Held this year in Dubai, the event offered a unique opportunity to spark change in the global foodscape on an entirely new level; and our team at GoodSAM had the opportunity to sit in on, and participate, in key discussions.

Participating in COP28 was important for me and my team as the often-overlooked role of food and agriculture in addressing climate change requires the efforts of private companies, institutions, and farming communities to come together and work toward a solution. As a brand based in the United States, it is too easy to get stuck in a cycle of self-congratulatory behavior with things we are doing in the US — which sometimes doesn’t even feel like much. COP28 provided us a global stage that helped create a mass-impact perspective — which was inspirational — and when our team realized how much needs to be done in the climate change space, overwhelming.

COP28 created within the GoodSAM team a tremendous amount of motivation to continue to do pursue our mission and work even harder to grow and expand our influence to reach new audiences.

A word my team and I heard constantly throughout COP28? Trust. Whether it is about building trust with farmers, supply partners or others, companies need to take the time to provide the necessary resources to build relationships in order to achieve this with one another. At GoodSAM, we know that you cannot build trust by throwing money at something — you must work for it. It is shocking how many food executives, governments, tech developers, and other key players don’t take the time to leave their offices and spend time with farmers in the field. This face-to-face time is vital for trust building and creating mutually beneficial supply systems, as there is no replacement for sitting with someone and listening to them to fully understand their situation in order to find empathy. Building trust and engaging farmers and other supply partners is vital for full collaboration that will help shift the existing paradigm.

As a brand passionate about creating food systems that benefit everyone and everything involved, GoodSAM’s presence at COP28 marked another notch in our belt to disrupt the traditional — and oftentimes harmful — food system in a space where real, global decisions are being made among politicians, business leaders, and key change activists. My involvement at COP28 in multiple panels on the need for regenerative agriculture and the reduction of methane in the food system throughout both the blue and green zones is a prime example of how small businesses can inspire decision-makers to work toward impactful change. We look forward to attending next year’s event; and as we work to find common ground, changemakers really need to examine what could happen in the climate change space if money and power weren’t a factor.

The most impactful moment of the event for the GoodSAM team was seeing the declaration of the non-state actors, Indigenous peoples/farmers, and youth as our Indigenous populations of the world carry wisdom and our youth carry the future. Since small business is one place where real change can and should happen, seeing these connections and declarations is important to keep small business owners like myself on our joint mission to move positive change forward. Perspective is everything; and it is important to be involved in discussions around important social issues, as it can help propel your business into massive action.

At GoodSAM, we are passionate about impactful snacking and transparent supply networks. Because of this, we are a B Corp-certified brand and all of our products are direct trade, non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free and contain no added sugar; and are grown using regenerative practices and preserving indigenous and smallholder farmer wisdom. When we all put an eye on a common goal that betters all, we can truly make impactful change for the greater good.