U.S. Compendium of Sustainable Food Systems Actions
and the UN Food Systems Summit
The U.S. Compendium of Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) Actions is a voluntary listing by businesses, coalitions, organizations, and state or local governments of the actions they are taking to build more sustainable food systems and to contribute to the objectives of the UN Food Systems Summit. Explore the U.S. Compendium of SFS Actions to discover game-changing actions, opportunities for collaboration, and inspiration for further action.
Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The list illustrates the diversity of sustainable food systems actions and approaches being taken across the United States.
Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA)
As the trusted advisor to crop producers, ARA has taken several steps in support of sustainable food systems. ARA is a member of both the Coalition to Advance Precision Agriculture (CAPA) and the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA), and has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) to form action plans that work toward sustainability and conservation goals. Through a partnership with The Fertilizer Institute, our ResponsibleAg program assists agricultural retailers with federal regulatory compliance, and we have made available a trove of free resources to help retailers and farmers with their sustainability programs. ARA also encourages member companies to incorporate 4R Nutrient Stewardship principles into their programs, which support sustainability through better fertilizer use efficiency, reduced nutrient leaching, targeted precision application, variable rates, and use of the optimal fertilizer product for a given agronomic situation. We also partner with the American Seed Trade Association to provide guidance for proper use of seed treatments, which promotes pollinator stewardship by encouraging the best handling practices for seed treatment products.
American Soybean Association and the U.S. Soybean Export Council
The U.S. soy industry is committed to boosting nature positive production through a commitment to its continuous improvement goals, an industry led effort to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the production system to achieve positive environmental, social, and economic outcomes.
Since the continuous improvement goals were established in 2014, the soy industry and its value-chain have made significant progress toward their sustainability targets. With 2000 as a baseline, before 2025 U.S. soy is committed to: reducing land use impacts by 10 percent; reducing soil erosion by 25 percent; increasing energy efficiency by 10 percent; and reducing total greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent.
Anuvia Plant Nutrients
Anuvia Plant Nutrients produces bio-based plant nutrients using proprietary technology that delivers nutrients essential for crop production. Anuvia’s technology increases yield, improves soil health and reduces environmental impact. As confirmed by independent research, Anuvia’s products reduce greenhouse gases by up to 32 percent per acre by increasing nutrient efficiency resulting in more nutrients being used by the growing plant and less lost to the environment through volatilization or leaching. This important technology provides an easily adoptable tool for large scale farming to reduce and sequester carbon in the effort to achieve net zero goals. Additionally, Anuvia’s products return 16 percent organic matter to the soil feeding soil microbes and promoting soil regeneration. Having raised the standard in plant nutrient manufacturing, the company and its products exemplify a circular economy through their technology that improves farm profitability, protects the planet’s natural resources and regenerates soils.
Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)
AEM developed and released the Environmental Benefits of Precision Agriculture Study which quantifies the tangible production increases and input reductions achieved through modern precision agriculture tools. For example, precision agriculture saves 100 million gallons of fuel per year and reduces herbicide use by over 30 million pounds.
The research illustrates how American farmers can sustainably produce safe, nutritious and affordable food through the increased adoption of technology.
BASF Animal Nutrition
Feed accounts for 50-80% of the environmental impact of the livestock value chain. To enable significant opportunities for sustainable feed formulation, BASF Animal Nutrition has developed Opteinics, an industry-first digital solution integrated with feed formulation software. This establishes the sustainability of feed mixtures - in addition to nutrients and costs - as the third pillar in formulation. With BASF's Opteinics solution, sustainability attributes of feed rations as well as the impact of nutrition on animal growth and excretion can be compared dynamically. Such integrated functionality provides animal nutritionists, formulators, and agricultural advisors with transparent results for action. Next stage developments are being planned, including functions for sustainability optimization. This will enable not only least-cost but also least-impact design within feed formulation. Opteinics from BASF stands for a rethink in global feed formulation because more sustainable feed mixtures can significantly reduce the environmental impact in the value chain for animal protein.
Opteinics has proposed an idea for a feed sustainability solution that calculates the environmental impact of feed and animal products to identify opportunities for improvements.
Beef Quality Assurance Program
The Beef Checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program provides training and education on best practices and cattle management techniques to ensure animals and the environment are cared for within a standard set of guidelines across the U.S. beef industry. The BQA program is a widely adopted voluntary program. More than 85% of the beef supply in the U.S. comes from a BQA certified farmer or rancher, and this number continues to increase monthly. Voluntary participation in the BQA program is an example of how the beef community is committed to raising cattle safely, humanely and sustainably. The program is guided by an advisory group consisting of farmers and ranchers, veterinarians, and animal scientists to develop the educational materials and ensure farmers and ranchers have access to the most up-to-date information and resources. Efforts like this ensure that wholesome, high-quality beef can be raised in the most sustainable way possible.
SeaFurtherTM’s Sustainability Program supports salmon farmers in reducing their environmental footprint by 30% by 2030, helping the industry save 2 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide. The new Lewisburg West facility uses innovative technology that have the ability to segregate specific inclusions in very small doses, helping the company better manage inputs, reduce shrink and use fewer resources (e.g., ingredients, water, land) to feed animals.
Darling Ingredients, Inc.
As a member of the animal feed sector focused on rendering to give materials a second use, Darling Ingredient, Inc. is focused on maximizing the use of natural resources. Within their facilities they are currently pursuing a goal to reduce energy and water usage by 5% from 2020 to 2025.
EcoAgriculture Partners and convening the 1000 Landscapes for One Billion People initiative
EcoAgriculture Partners is a part of the UN Food Systems Summit Advisory Board for Action Track 3 – Boost Nature Positive Production and are organizing an independent dialogue with FAO North America on March 30th for "strengthening support for landscape partnerships" as our proposed game-changing solution.
This builds on the work and experience of EcoAgriculture Partners, as a convenor of the partnership-based 1000 Landscapes for One Billion People initiative, which is working to operationalize this support to scale actions for livelihood and nature positive impacts. This is done in partnership with major conservation leaders (UNDP, Conservation International, Rainforest Alliance, WWF-LFL, Commonland and Tech Matters) through 4 pillars:
I) digital platform (developed by TechMatters in CA),
II) finance solutions,
III) capacity development, and
IV) global network building for local leaders.
Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC)
We are a non-profit, member-based organization launching a national scale ecosystem services market program for agriculture to recognize and reward farmers and ranchers for their environmental services to society. ESMC members represent the spectrum of the agricultural sector supply chain with whom we are scaling sustainable agricultural sector outcomes, including increased soil carbon, reduced net greenhouse gases, and improved water quality and water use conservation. Our goal is a voluntary, national market to sell credits for greenhouse gas reduction as well as water quality and quantity for the agriculture sector by 2022.
ED&F Man Liquid Products LLC, Westway Feed and Green Field Solutions International Ingredient Corp.
Upcycling food and waste is important to the animal protein supply chain. From bakery waste to cheese factories and distilleries, byproducts from other industries are upcycled by the animal food sector. At ED&F Man Liquid Products LLC, Westway Feed, over 95% of ingredients used are other industry byproducts. Their MAS program diverts a portion of proceeds of sustainably sourced molasses to fund impact projects in sugarcane communities.
Elanco Animal Health
Elanco's approach to sustainability and ESG commitments is called Elanco Healthy Purpose, and supports the UN SDG's goals of zero hunger, good health, and climate neutrality. The Elanco Protein Pledge is a commitment to create more resilient food systems by enabling 57 million people access to protein. It is a commitment to improve the sustainability of Elanco's customers, the health and welfare of 3 billion farm animals and support agricultural productivity of 250,000 dairy and poultry smallholder farmers. Elanco's Planet Pledge is a commitment to remove 21 million tons of emissions from our customers' farms while reducing our environmental impact. We will partner with customers to achieve net zero farm emissions, grow our environmental benefits product portfolio, and implement sustainable packaging and 100% renewable electricity sources across Elanco. We can reduce animal agriculture emissions by improving animal health – Elanco products reduce beef's footprint by 9% and will help farmers reduce methane emissions by 1/3 by 2050.
Gowan Milling, Gowan Company
Gowan Company has built one of the largest privately owned solar fields in Arizona to supply power to our production site and other office locations. Additionally, Gowan Milling has switched to 100% LED lighting. Since September, Gowan Milling has introduced general recycling with a 10% diversion goal to complement our cardboard and metal recycling. Gowan Milling is also working on developing an ISO 14001 certified EMS and we are examining our energy and water use in the production buildings to identify ways we can reduce our consumption per unit produced.
Gowan Company also works to fund and support childhood education and in 2008 started the Gowan Achievement Program and in 2013 funded the opening of Gowan Science Academy. We are working to improve every day and hope to see great strides in our sustainability efforts.
ICA-TriNova LLC (ICA)
ICA is developing post-harvest food interventions for produce, grains and nuts. The company has worked closely with USDA researchers for the past 20 years to develop efficacy and residue science critical for market acceptance. The technology has a proven impact for food safety and shelf life of all agricultural commodities.
Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy
Initiated by dairy farmers, the Innovation Center illustrates the transformational impact of convening an agricultural sector from grass to glass to work collectively and transparently to demonstrate social responsibility progress. Its Board sets priorities and establishes committees comprised of industry leaders and experts to develop strategies to address priority topics, identify best and next practices, and build or support industry-wide initiatives. Its Dairy Sustainability AllianceÂ® provides a forum for input and engagement for dairy farmers and 150+ multi-stakeholder member organizations. Through voluntary adoption of the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment, dairy processors and cooperatives, currently representing 74% of U.S. milk production, agree to work collaboratively and follow a rigorous set of standards that correlate to global dairy sustainability indicators and demonstrate how U.S. dairy supports the SDGs. With this foundation, the Innovation Center led the development of 2050 industry-wide environmental stewardship goals for carbon neutrality, water use, and water quality.
Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER)
A 'Sustainability Road Map' is being developed for the animal food industry. The project will perform an issue materiality assessment and survey of sector needs. Analysis will be used to develop metrics, tools and resources to be used by the industry in their own continuous improvement efforts. The project will also advance implementation and use of feed ingredient life cycle assessment.
KSE Process Technology
KSE Process Technology is developing dosing and weighing systems for the animal feed industry association to make them more sustainable and create a safer, cleaner work environment.
Land O'Lakes is collaborating with Campbell Soup Company, Cotton Incorporated, Nestlé Purina PetCare and Tate & Lyle to bring advanced precision conservation tools to American farmers through their trusted ag retailers. Through the Truterra™ Insights Engine, farmers are able to receive data insights on sustainability and profitability levels for each field they farm, analyze the impact of new conservation practices and management changes, and make the most informed decisions on how to continuously improve their stewardship. These insights and resulting practice and management changes help advance Zero Hunger, Clean Water, Climate Action and Life on Land goals by reducing GHG emissions, improving nutrient use efficiency, boosting soil quality, and reducing soil erosion. Truterra, a farmer-owned, farmer-driven food and ag sustainability program, also engages state and local public agencies and conservation groups to improve farmer access to conservation funding and helps de-risk conservation practice adoption through testing and trialing programs.
Manna Fish Farms Inc. & Manna Seafood Blockchains Inc.
With a circular business plan for the future, Manna Fish Farms (MFF) is pursuing permits for ocean farming of seafood in U.S Federal waters. Transparently and responsibly, MFF is leading the way for on shore and offshore sustainable seafood industry development in the United States. Manna will grow finfish, shellfish and seaweed to feed the world! Manna Seafood Blockchain, Inc. has convened a blockchain network for seafood, and with participants' transparency and collaboration will build seafood product trust and will implement transformative change in the seafood supply chain and industry. Utilizing IBM BTS technology, MSB will increase supply chain efficiencies, reduce waste, reduce and track carbon footprints, and ultimately save money for and provide more revenue to the fisherman and farmer. Blockchain will provide an immutable record of the seafood data, such as capture location, harvest date, gear type, husbandry methods, and this data will be locked in for consumer information, thereby building trust and reducing fraud and mislabeling.
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA)
NASDA supports strong effective partnerships among public entities, such as state, local, tribal and federal govts, and with other food and agricultural stakeholders, including consumers. Without such partnerships, improving food systems will not be achieved. NASDA actions are successful models for working together for robust food systems and include NASDA Food Security Tool Kit, state implementation in partnership with U.S. FDA of Integrated Food Safety System for preventive controls for safe food, state innovative financing in partnership with EDF for on-farm conservation, and the TriNational Agricultural Accord-a 30-year successful international united voice of states and provinces for agriculture across North America.
The NASDA Foundation is a leader and problem solver on our nation's most important agricultural issues, including education, outreach and research to enhance food systems. NASDA Foundation supports public - private partnerships to enhance food security via local food systems. The Women in Agriculture Farm to Food Accelerator program is an online course that helps women farmers and food entrepreneurs explore growing their food businesses. Participants receive training in product development, marketing and more. The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Agriculture program started in 2020, when NASDA Foundation, NASDA and MANRRS signed a historic MOU committing to a 5-year project to introduce minority college students to federal agriculture policy, career opportunities at state departments of agriculture and, in turn, introduce state departments of agriculture to a host of diverse, next generation agriculture leaders.
National Corn Growers Association
U.S. Corn farmers are committed to continuous improvement in the production of corn, a versatile crop providing abundant high-quality food, feed, renewable energy, biobased products, and ecosystem services. As stewards of the land, we understand the responsibility we have for creating a more environmentally and economically sustainable world for future generations with transparency and through continued advances and efficiencies in land, water and energy use. Farmer-leaders of the National Corn Growers Association have set five environmental national efficiency goals to further enhance corn production sustainability in the United States by 2030: increase land use efficiency by 12 percent; increase irrigation water use efficiency by 15 percent; reduce soil erosion by 13 percent; increase energy efficiency by 13 percent; reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 13 percent.
National Dairy FARM Program: Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM Program)
The FARM Program is an industry wide collaboration, created by the National Milk Producers Federation in partnership with the U.S. levy program Dairy Management, Inc. It is open to all U.S. dairy farmers, cooperatives, and processors. The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy has endorsed the FARM Program as the industry wide social responsibility program for on-farm U.S. dairy production for animal wellbeing, antibiotic stewardship, biosecurity, environmental stewardship, and workforce development. Science-driven standards and best practices, with a commitment to continuous improvement, stand at the core of FARM's mission. These practices and standards are required to have a scientific and technical basis and be measurable for implementation. The standards are revised and updated every three years to ensure the program keeps pace with the latest science-based recommendations. Such data-driven procedures have allowed the program to empower dairy farmers, cooperatives and processors to assure consumers and customers that dairy farmers manage their animals, workforce and land responsibly and sustainably.
National Milk Producers Federation
More than a decade ago, the U.S. dairy industry recognized that meeting the nutritional needs of a growing and diversified population (UN SDG2) requires a sustainable food system with transparent production practices and proof points on sustainability goals. The dairy sector believes deeply, in keeping with UN Sustainability Development Goals, that people have a right to wholesome nourishment, produced safely and responsibly, as part of a sustainable food system. To address these needs and demonstrate our commitment to a sustainable food system, in 2009 the U.S. dairy industry formed the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program, which commits U.S. dairy farmers to high-quality on-farm management practices for safe, sustainable dairy production. FARM's transparency provides consumers with confidence that their U.S. dairy products are produced in keeping with the highest level of science-based metrics and best practices. The FARM Program demonstrates key learnings and models implementation possibilities for the global dairy industry. As part of a One Health approach, the Farmers Assuring Responsible Management Program is U.S. dairy's industry wide, on-farm social responsibility program that provides assurances that U.S. dairy farmers are global leaders in key areas.
National Pork Board
In 2008 U.S. pig farmers launched the We Care commitment as a way to promote responsibility across every aspect of pork production. The We Care commitment focuses on six ethical principles that, in concert, focus on food insecurity and food systems resiliency. Those principles are: Our People, Our Communities, Animal Well-Being, Environment, Food Safety, and Public Health. This commitment has yielded a 75.9% reduction in land use, 25.1% reduction in water use, 7% reduction in energy use, and 7.7% less carbon per pound of pork produced. These improvements are due to the holistic work done by U.S. pig farmers to create a more resilient food system. Over the past six decades, increased research and adoption of new technologies has improved today's pig farming methods. Sound science means today's farms use proven methods to improve animal well-being, food safety and insecurity, and the environment. Cooperation across the supply chain and within the community is important to address the focal areas listed above on U.S. swine farms in order to provide a safe, affordable, nutritious protein source globally.
North American Meat Institute
The North American Meat Institute and partners across the animal protein supply chain are uniting through the Protein PACT for People, Animals and the Climate of Tomorrow, the largest-ever effort to strengthen animal protein's contributions to healthy people, healthy animals, healthy communities, and a healthy environment. To achieve this vision, we are establishing transparent baselines and benchmarks for our efforts, setting ambitious targets for continuous improvement, and launching comprehensive communications about animal protein's unique place in sustainable, healthy diets. Public facing metrics and targets that will be adopted by meat packers and processors throughout North America will be released this September.
As humans continue to recognize the sentience and suffering of other beings, our circle of compassion is ever widening. Practices that were once deemed acceptable are becoming outlawed in order to protect the lives of the most vulnerable among us. Our goal is to create an organized network of professionals who are able to formally challenge unethical institutionalized systems and amplify the voices of those who have been marginalized. The veterinary industry has historically facilitated the expansion of animal agriculture, but it's time for veterinarians to start advocating for decreasing our use of animals as part of the One Health approach. Veterinary associations need to work together to envision a future world that does not rely on exploitation of anyone from any species. Elevating the moral issues with our use of animals should be an important goal of the veterinary profession. A more sustainable food system is one that does not rely on exploitation.
Perfect Day, Inc.
Perfect Day uses precision fermentation (PF) to harness the power of microfungi and fermentation to produce animal-free dairy ingredients (whey, casein proteins and milk fats) that are molecularly and nutritionally identical to their farmed bovine counterparts. Precision fermentation ingredients enable high-demand food products with much lower environmental impacts on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water use, and energy indicators. An ISO-compliant life cycle assessment comparing the GHGs generated from producing one kilogram of animal-free whey compared to emissions generated by making the equivalent amount of bovine whey protein found that animal-free whey protein is 85-97% lower in GHGs than conventional bovine whey production. Products made with precision fermentation ingredients aid the shift to sustainable consumption patterns while promoting environmental conservation, climate change mitigation, building food security, and strengthening resilience to food system vulnerabilities, shocks, and stress.
Redox Chemicals, LLC
Redox Chemicals, LLC has mostly focused on the United Nation’s Food Systems Summit Action Track 3 “Boost nature-positive production” by striving to reduce phosphorus inputs by over 90% from traditional commodity inputs. Redox has worked in conjunction with Rocky Mountain Agronomics and Matthews Land and Cattle on replacing traditional phosphorus input programs on potatoes in Idaho. In Idaho, potatoes on average get 200+ units of phosphate throughout the growing season. This has not led to any yield loss, or soil imbalance, but has improved overall quality and yield on Matthew’s potatoes. With this program, we are seeing less carbon emissions with fewer trucks going in and out of fields, and the potential of significantly reducing phosphorus leaching into water ways.
Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems at Arizona State University
Under the direction of Kathleen Merrigan, the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems develops innovative ideas and solutions to pressing food systems challenges. In fall 2021, The Swette Center will co-publish a report with NRDC and Californians for Pesticide Reform that details the many ways in which organic agriculture combats climate change and contributes to improved health and economic wellbeing. The 46 recommendations are an outgrowth of discussions between our three organizations during the past year as we worked together to produce a comprehensive report based on cutting edge science. The Swette Center published the recommendations in advance of the full report, given the interest of the new Administration and Congress in pursuing an organic agenda. The report includes 46 recommendations for the 46th US President, Joe Biden. These essential changes would strengthen US organic agriculture, and the majority of them are 'low-hanging fruit' that could be accomplished almost immediately.
U.S. Dairy Export Council
The Net Zero Initiative (NZI), launched in 2020 as an industry-wide effort to accelerate voluntary actions on-farm to reduce environmental impacts by making sustainable practices and technologies more accessible and affordable to U.S. dairy farms of all sizes and geographies. This is achievable through research, on-farm pilots, development of manure-based products and ecosystem markets, and other farmer technical support and opportunities. The primary expected outcomes include 1) the collective U.S. dairy industry advances to net zero carbon emissions and significant improvements in water use and quality, 2) in addition to nutrient-dense foods and beverages, dairy farms provide products and services that enable other industries and communities to be more sustainable, and 3) farmers are able to realize the untapped value on-farm, making the system of continuous improvement self-sustaining.
Valent BioSciences LLC
Valent BioSciences supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by following sustainable manufacturing practices, delivering products with low environmental impact, enhancing crop yields and quality, protecting and preserving public and forest health, and fostering corporate social responsibility. Our crop enhancement products assist in the battle against hunger by helping growers maximize their productivity and economic return while minimizing food waste with sustainable technologies. And our microbial insecticides and nematicides protect crops from harmful pests while delivering a safer and more abundant food supply with low-to-no impact on the environment. In addition, Valent BioSciences' mycorrhizal fungi products help restore agricultural soils and promote carbon sequestration. Our postharvest protectants, fungicides and sterilizers reduce food waste and improve the freshness and appeal of fruits and vegetables, thereby promoting healthier diets. Valent BioSciences also supports a variety of organizations focused on food and agriculture, and encourages employees to volunteer their time as well.
Valent U.S.A, LCC
Valent has held a long-standing commitment to sustainability and we use our people, products, and processes to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We research and develop a wide variety of grower solutions that support sustainable agricultural practices to feed us all today and for future generations. To help advance sustainably grown food systems and practices, the Valent Sustainable Solutions organization provides support to help growers achieve SCS Global Services Sustainably Grown Certification. Valent is the sponsor of the Specialty Grower Sustainability Award with Great American Media. The 2021 award will recognize a specialty crop grower or farming operation that is making significant strides in sustainable agriculture through agronomic practices and advocacy. To advance education, Valent partnered with National FFA to provide teachers across the U.S. with a first-of-its-kind 'Sustainability in Agriculture Lesson Series' that can be used both in-classroom and within distance learning environments.
Western Milling (in coordination with its subsidiaries Kruse Western Renewable Fuels, LLC and OHK Transport, LLC) is working on a project to convert over 70% of its diesel-powered units to CNG-powered units, using methane that has been bio-converted from waste from local dairies.