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Shining a light on collaborative sustainability initiatives for Global Organisations.
High Level Summary
Most food businesses are facing key challenges such as improving efficiency of water use, maintaining good on-farm soil health to ensure productivity, reducing GHG emissions and rooting out slavery and human trafficking in product supply chains. Faster progress can be made in addressing these major sustainability challenges by working collaboratively. Help has arrived in the form of the new Spotlight Tool, an online platform developed for the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform members who include major food and drinks manufacturers retailers, international agribusinesses and food service companies.
The Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI Platform) is an industry group supporting food businesses sustainable sourcing agendas. ADAS’s Sustainable Food and Farming Team (SFF), in partnership with RSK’s Business Solutions (BSL) developed a new web-based tool for SAI Platform which has changed the way they operate by catalysing collaboration between members. The Spotlight tool, coined “the tinder of sustainable agriculture”, was designed to generate cross industry partnerships by matching SAI Platform’s business members based on shared interests in tackling sustainability challenges.
SAI Platform’s food company members can enter information into the tool about their sustainability challenges, highlighting commodities, sustainability topics (e.g. deforestation, climate change), geographies and how they can support projects. This information can then be visualised over a mapping platform. The tool is changing the way food businesses engage with each other by shining light on their priorities and finding new collaborative opportunities.
What is SAI Platform’s Spotlight?
The Spotlight Tool is an innovative pre-competitive space for food businesses to a) work together on shared sustainability challenges b) reduce barriers that exist between them as competitors and c) build on their combined resources and impact.
How does Spotlight work?
Food companies are asked to enter information about their key sustainability challenges, highlighting specific commodities, sustainability ‘topics’ (e.g. deforestation), geographies and what role they would like to play in any future partnership. As you can imagine this process creates a valuable data set, provided by the members for use by the members and by the SAI Platform Secretariat to inform the agendas of their working groups.
SAI Platform members can then search the online tool or interact with interactive mapping features developed using a software platform to see which companies may have similar interests, and to spark conversations.
The tool provides a pre-competitive space for businesses to identify ways they may work together to make faster progress on their sustainability agendas.
What are the key benefits of using Spotlight?
New partnerships will speed up progress toward sustainability, meeting targets through combined resources and shared learnings. Spotlight activity will inform SAI Platform’s forward agenda
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What’s next for Spotlight?
The Spotlight tool was launched in February and there has been a quick uptake from the SAI Platform membership in getting involved in Spotlight. So far members have entered data describing 200 opportunities across 50 countries covering 50 crops and 20 topic areas, and groups of businesses have begun to engage with each other in new ways. The tool is already shining light on the potential for collaboration based on members’ interests with five country level opportunities having greater than seven companies expressing interest on similar topics. The Spotlight working group meets frequently to discuss how the tool might be developed and deployed further, with some great suggestions already floated for future developments. Watch this space!
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