Supply Chain
Barry Callebaut, Unilever Pilot New Platform to Monitor Sustainability in Ag Supply Chains

By piloting the Equivalency Module with US farmers, Barry Callebaut and Unilever now benefit from streamlined sustainability assessment.

Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture and SAI (Sustainable Agriculture Initiative) Platform have announced the first use of their joint Equivalency Module by Unilever and chocolate giant Barry Callebaut.

By piloting the Equivalency Module with US farmers, Barry Callebaut and Unilever now benefit from streamlined sustainability assessment. This provides greater efficiency in measuring and assessing the sustainability performance of their supply chains through improved alignment between the foremost agricultural sustainability initiatives worldwide.

The joint Field to Market/SAI Platform Equivalency Module allows farmers utilizing Field to Market’s Fieldprint® platform — with its outcomes-based, metrics-driven approach to measuring environmental sustainability — not only to fulfill the requirements of SAI Platform’s Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) by completing a 15-question module, but to reach FSA Bronze level by confirming that they comply with all local, state and federal laws and regulations relevant for their farming operation. Farmers can pursue additional levels of performance to qualify for FSA Silver or FSA Gold through their responses to 14 additional questions.

Barry Callebaut and Unilever both assisted Field to Market and SAI in testing implementation of the Equivalency Module. By piloting this approach alongside Control Union, these companies enabled the solution to be fully executed within US supply chains. With the ability to verify the sustainability performance of their key sourcing regions, the companies can also identify improvements that will benefit the entire food and agriculture value chain.

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“This new approach between Field to Market and SAI Platform allowed us to partner with our supply chain to engage participating sugar beet farmers in our Fieldprint® Project in Minnesota and North Dakota and achieve FSA Silver level verification,” said Kevin Ogorzalek, Sustainable Sourcing Manager at Barry Callebaut — a joint member of both Field to Market and SAI Platform. “These new developments make it simpler for us to collect sustainability data and assess the performance of sugar we source in the United States.”

The benefits of this aligned approach extend beyond sugar supply chains and are also available to the 10 additional commodities supported by the Fieldprint Platform.

“It’s exciting to see Field to Market and SAI Platform bringing their partnership to life through this solution, which streamlines sustainability assessment across global supply chains,” said Stefani Millie Grant, Senior Manager for External Affairs and Sustainability at Unilever, and chair of Field to Market’s Board of Directors. “By utilizing the Equivalency Module in our North Dakota Wheat Fieldprint Project, Unilever is better able to assess and characterize the sustainability performance of a key ingredient of our Knorr pasta, and identify opportunities for continuous improvement through Field to Market’s outcomes-based approach to advancing sustainable agriculture.”

Barry Callebaut and Unilever’s respective pilots of the joint Equivalency Module resulted in several improvements that will benefit the entire value chain, including:

  • Detailed requirements and background information for farmers and the supply chain on each of the 15 questions used to assess sustainability performance, giving both ends of the supply chain greater clarity and confidence in executing the Equivalency Module;

  • Expanded and updated implementation guidance explaining how to get started for several different scenarios of farmer-level engagement, ensuring users feel quipped to take full advantage of the Equivalency Module;

  • Streamlined user experience through embedding the questionnaire as an optional module with Field to Market’s Fieldprint Platform.

“This collaboration between Field to Market and SAI Platform is a win for American farmers and the value chain alike,” said Todd Cymbaluk, Senior Agriculturist at American Crystal Sugar, a key supplier to Barry Callebaut and member of Field to Market. “By championing a coordinated, comprehensive approach to assessing agricultural sustainability, US farmers who are able to demonstrate continuous improvement in sustainability through Field to Market’s outcomes-based metrics gain value through the greater recognition in global markets offered through SAI Platform’s FSA program.” 

Field to Market and SAI Platform have released resources to equip interested brands and retailers interested in leveraging the joint Equivalency Module to assess the sustainability performance of key US sourcing regions; they will host a joint webinar for interested stakeholders to explore the benefits of utilizing this pathway to advance continuous improvement and achieve global recognition in July.

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