Synthesis is working with a coalition of Ontario farm and food organizations on a consultation process to clarify and streamline sustainability initiatives. The sector operates within a global agri-food system and evidence of a commitment to sustainability outcomes is an increasingly common expectation. In fact, there are already numerous sustainability programs in various stages of implementation throughout the global agri-food value chain, ranging from voluntary programs to more intensely scrutinized standards and codes that require third-party audits and certification.
Building on a strong history of taking a proactive approach to environmental best management practices through 25 years of the Environmental Farm Plan, Ontario farmers are in a good position to meet these emerging expectations for evidence of sustainable practices. By collaborating with the food sector through organizations such as Provision Coalition and the Food Institute at the University of Guelph, stakeholders within the Ontario farm and food value chain can proactively develop a systems-based approach that will simplify and harmonize the multiple sustainability programs and initiatives currently emerging in the marketplace.
Synthesis, in collaboration with David Smith from Orion Global Business Sustainability Consultants, will be consulting with stakeholders across the agri-food value chain during summer 2016 through to winter 2017. This consultation process will be used to determine the needs of the industry as well as to explore opportunities for enhanced collaboration with existing (and emerging) sustainability initiatives.
For more information about this project, visit www.sustainablefarms.ca. You can also follow the initiative on Twitter @sustainfarmfood. If you would like to get involved in the consultation process, contact Dr. Bronwynne Wilton at email@example.com or by phone at 519-822-7272 x. 105.
This project is funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council and Ontario Agri Food Technologies assist in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.