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A Sustainable Alliance for Agriculture; GMA Joins Field to Market

June 3, 2015

By: Meghan Stasz, Director, Sustainability

This spring, GMA has expanded our successful sustainability program, which previously has focused on packaging and recycling as well as reducing food waste in the supply chain, to include sustainable agriculture.

Our first step has been to join Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture. This group is a multi-stakeholder initiative working to unite the agricultural supply chain to define, measure, and advance the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel production in the U.S.

That’s a complicated way of saying that we’re working with all parts of the agriculture chain—farmers, agribusiness, NGOs, academia, government—to increase yield while reducing our environmental footprint. That could mean helping growers use less water, increase energy efficiency, or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to more efficiently produce the commodities that go into our members’ products every day.

Applying sustainable solutions in all areas of our work while continuing to deliver products that enhance consumers’ lives is a top priority for both GMA and our members. By joining Field to Market, we hope to help advance industry’s efforts to source commodities from sustainable suppliers in the U.S.

It might surprise you, but agriculture can have a significant impact on the environment. Growing food takes water, fertilizer, and land. In some places, these natural resources are becoming scarce or their quality is being degraded.

Recognizing the need to produce more with less, the food industry is working to provide farmers with the tools and resources they need to be even more efficient. That’s where groups such as Field to Market come in.

One of Field to Market’s early projects was to create something called the Fieldprint Calculator. This tool helps a farmer map out natural resource use on his or her land or on a specific field, then compare the results with the regional, state, or federal average. The farmer can track progress year over year—often called “continuous improvement.”

This kind of innovation is what’s made the U.S. agriculture system so amazingly productive, resulting in the safest, least expensive food supply in the world. GMA and its member companies are proud to be working to make agriculture even more sustainable and excited about our new partnership with Field to Market.

 

 

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