Sustainable Food Trade Association Reporting Process
Why reporting is important
Companies are looking strategically at how environmental, social, and economic performance can have a direct impact on the bottom line. Changing markets, regulatory pressure, and stakeholder influence are driving a change in the way business leaders look at the performance of their business.
The often used phrase, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure” is especially true when evaluating your company’s sustainability performance. Without a mechanism to set sustainability benchmarks it is incredibly difficult to evaluate and prioritize decisions, pursue innovation, and effectively respond to stakeholder requests and expectations. Effective metrics can help determine areas within your business operations that need attention. Metrics also provide a framework to measure success and improvement.
Development of the Metrics
The Sustainable Food Trade Association with our members have collaboratively developed a set of sustainability metrics designed for the organic food and agriculture industry. SFTA has outlined 11 specific areas of focus for the organic food industry called the Declarations of Sustainability. These 11 areas represent the backbone to the reporting structure, and include: Organic and Land Use, Distribution, Waste, Water, Energy, Climate Change, Packaging, Animal Care, Labor, Education and Governance. Based upon these, the metrics help a company take a quantitative and qualitative look at business operations.
The SFTA metrics were developed through extensive research, industry and expert stakeholder review. SFTA looked at alignment with widely accepted reporting frameworks (i.e. Global Reporting Initiative, EPA, Greenhouse Gas Protocol, etc.), the most commonly reported on metrics in the food industry (e.g. researching existing reports within the industry), and contacted content experts in each of the 11 areas for feedback/additions/subtractions/edits.
SFTA Member Commitment to reporting
SFTA Full Members commit to writing an annual sustainability report using the SFTA sustainability metrics, 68 of those are core metrics, which are an equal blend of qualitative and quantitative metrics. New SFTA members have 18 months from the date of membership to submit a report and then report annually every year forward.
All SFTA Full Member reports are reviewed by a committee comprised of other SFTA member companies, SFTA Board Members, and SFTA staff. The committee provides a necessary feedback loop to the member on questions about the report, suggestions for the future, and validation on successes. All SFTA reports are available to members in a member only Member Center, for review and reference.
Please view our Members’ Public Reports.