Sustainability Metrics and Food Chain Transparency Webinar

Join the CCOF Foundation on March 28 for a free webinar on meeting consumer demand for sustainability and transparency in the food chain.

In today’s market, consumers have increasing interest in the details of sustainable food production. To meet consumer demand for more information, retailers and processors have responded by setting sustainability metrics. What factors into these metrics for consumers and the companies who set them? How does organic fit into these metrics, and what does it mean for organic producers who sell to companies who use them? Join representatives from the Sustainable Food Trade Association (SFTA) and Whole Foods Market for a discussion on meeting consumer demand for transparency throughout the food supply chain.

Consumer interest in sustainable food production offers opportunities for organic producers to highlight the benefits of their organic production practices to their customers. It also opens the door for organic businesses to explore sustainability practices that fall outside of the United States Department of Agriculture National Organic Program requirements. In the first half of this webinar, Lisa Spicka, associate director of SFTA will give a broad overview of the trends in sustainability and transparency in the food supply chain. Then, learn how organic companies have partnered with SFTA to create and implement innovative, sustainable business practices throughout their supply chain by using SFTA’s sustainably metrics and other resources.

Robin Foster, team leader for Responsibly Grown at Whole Foods Market Global Produce, will lead a discussion of the Whole Foods Market Responsibly Grown Program. Launched nationally in 2014, the program is part of Whole Food Market’s focus on improving transparency and sustainability in the supply chain as part of the larger drive towards satisfying consumer demand for socially and environmentally responsible farm products. Foster will review the basic “core” requirements for a produce or floral company doing business with Whole Foods Market. In addition, she will give an overview of the criteria required to be rated by Whole Foods Market as Responsibly Grown, highlighting how this applies to organic growers. Discussion will include how Whole Foods is planning to modify this program in the future, as well as areas where organic growers have an opportunity to push forward on sustainability practices. If your fresh produce or floral products end up on the shelves at Whole Foods Market, whether through direct sales or through brokers, distributors, or other means, the Responsibly Grown program applies to your operation.

Time will be reserved for questions from webinar participants.

About Our Presenters

Lisa Spicka is the associate director of the Sustainable Food Trade Association (SFTA) and CEO of Maracuja Solutions. Spicka uses her diverse background to help members and clients develop and implement sustainable management systems. These systems increase supply chain integrity, create roadmaps to improved environmental and social contributions, measure impacts, and improve brand reputation and product quality.

Spicka has worked extensively in the United States and Latin America since 1997 in the organic food and agriculture industry. She has held operations, project management, and sustainability leadership roles for a spectrum of companies, ranging from non-profits to multi-billion dollar brands, including the Organic Crop Improvement Association, Cypress Grove Chevre, and Amway/Nutrilite. In her roles, Spicka has led domestic and global initiatives that focus on supply chain integrity verification, food safety, organic certification, and sustainability management and strategy.

Spicka holds a degree in Spanish from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, and graduated cum laude from Thunderbird School of Global Management with a Global Masters of Business Administration in sustainable supply chain management.

Robin (Allan) Foster is the team leader for Responsibly Grown at CCOF-certified-organic Whole Foods Market Global Produce, working with growers and shippers of produce and floral items all over the world to incentivize progress on social and environmental sustainability. Prior to joining Whole Foods Market in 2014, Foster spent over 10 years leading the organic farm certification program for CCOF Certification Services. Her academic accomplishments include a bachelor’s degree in sociology from San Francisco State University, and a Masters of Business Administration from San Jose State University. During her freshman year in college she got her hands dirty in a three-month internship on an organic farm that led to her ongoing commitment to the organic community. In the 20 years since, Foster has held positions on farming operations ranging from field work to sales to quality assurance. Foster is a lifelong resident of California’s Central Coast and is committed to improving the environment of both her local and global communities.

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