Innovators gather to advance performance monitoring.

April 6, 2016

Sustianable Food Lab 2

Every year the talented SFL team hosts an extraordinary gathering of leaders in the field for their annual Performance Measurement Practitioners’ Workshop. This February’s workshop in Washington DC was no exception. It convened senior representatives from companies, NGOs, standards bodies, development agencies and lenders. Innovators from around the world gathered to share ideas and best practices. COSA’s own Jessica Mullan and Saurin Nanavati presented innovative applications of performance monitoring in working with producer organizations.

The event explored several areas of measuring sustainability. Other popular topics and new advances in understanding included:

  • Getting the most value from data collection (Barry Callebaut, Mars, Root Capital, Syngenta)
  • Private sector role in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • The alignment of various sustainability indicators
  • Measuring gender equity
  • The culture of a learning organization
  • Importance of cash flow for small farmers and segmenting producers for more effective interventions (Gates Foundation, Starbucks, and Mars)
  • Determining a living income
  • Measuring landscape level impacts

Among the topics flagged for further attention by multiple experts was how to measure resilience in order to help farmers in rural communities address and adapt to climate change and market shocks. COSA is leading a working group on community resilience with Lutheran World Relief and will be working with USAID, CCAFS, Root Capital, Rainforest Alliance and SFL to build a learning community focused on climate resilience in smallholder supply chains.

The full workshop report (which includes links to the COSA presentations) is available here.