Driving Sustainable Outcomes for Agriculture
Field To Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture brings together a diverse group of grower organizations; agribusinesses; food, beverage, restaurant and retail companies; conservation groups; universities; and public sector partners to focus on defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel production.
Across the entire agriculture supply chain—from the farm gate to the restaurant counter—the challenge of meeting demand for a rapidly growing population, while conserving natural resources, has become increasingly complex. With the world population estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050, the entire food chain must work together to efficiently and responsibly lay the groundwork for the future.
To champion solutions for tomorrow's safe, accessible, and nutritious food, fiber and fuel in thriving ecosystems.
To meet the agricultural challenge of the 21st century by providing collaborative leadership that is:
- Grounded in science
- Focused on outcomes
- Open to the full range of technology choices, and
- Committed to creating opportunities across the agricultural supply chain for continuous improvements in productivity, environmental quality, and human well-being
Field to Market is working to meet the challenge of producing enough food, fiber and fuel for a rapidly growing population while conserving natural resources and improving the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Our efforts are guided by the following goals:
- Land Use – Sustained improvement of land use efficiency by increasing productivity on US cropland, conserving native habitat, and enhancing landscape quality.
- Greenhouse Gases – Sustained reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. cropland per unit of output.
- Water Quality – Sustained contribution to solving regional water quality problems as evidenced by reductions in sediment, phosphorus, nitrogen, and pesticide loads from U.S. cropland.
- Soil Conservation – Sustained reduction in soil erosion to tolerable levels or below on all U.S. cropland.
- Irrigation Water Use – Sustained contribution to solving regional water scarcity problems through continual improvement in irrigation water use efficiency and conservation.
- Energy Use – Sustained improvement in energy use efficiency from U.S. crop production
To achieve these goals, Field to Market will seek to engage 20% of productive acres of U.S. commodity crop production in its supply chain sustainability program by 2020. To measure progress against these goals, outcomes will be measured and reported based on a five-year rolling average.
Promoting Continuous Improvement
Field to Market will provide useful measurement tools and resources for growers and the supply chain that track and create opportunities for continuous improvement at the farm level. The program promotes a voluntary, collaborative approach to sustainability that is expressly science-based, technology neutral and focused on outcomes that are within a grower’s control.
In June of 2016, Field to Market will launch the next phase of its Continuous Improvement Program focused on scaling up data collection and enabling supply chain sustainability claims. Our membership has agreed that over the next 18 months Field to Market will pursue a research agenda that will help inform questions about the ability of U.S. agriculture to achieve:
- Overall reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. crop production, including a consideration of incorporating carbon sequestration;
- Conservation of native habitat, enhancement of landscape quality, and improvement of conservation outcomes; and
- Overall maintenance and improvements to soil health.
The conclusions of this research will be made available in time for Field to Market to potentially refine its overall program goals in conjunction with the launch of this next phase.