PSI and TSC’s mutual membership brings over 500 potato growers and key retail partners together to create more sustainable growing practices for potatoes
The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) announced today their mutual membership and partnership with the Potato Sustainability Initiative (PSI) to align metrics in measuring sustainability issues in the potato supply chain. TSC and PSI will work together to align sustainability metrics for over 500 potato growers and key retail partners. This partnership will also help streamline reporting by potato growers to retailers by working together to align metrics between PSI and TSC. PSI will join several agriculture initiatives currently TSC has in place to align metrics from farms to manufacturers to retailers.
TSC has identified sustainability hotspots around the production of potato crops including greenhouse gas emissions from fertilizer use, soil management, use of pesticides, and labor issues on farms. By working with organizations like PSI to reach growers and suppliers to gain more visibility into their supply chains, TSC and PSI together can help companies tackle the environmental and social challenges that occur in agriculture supply chains.
Dr. Christy Melhart Slay, director of research at TSC said, “TSC is very pleased to announce our partnership with PSI. PSI and TSC have created metrics for potatoes, and we look forward to working together on alignment between our tools. Potato growers have been some of the first to create and adopt sustainability metrics. We look forward to learning from this progressive initiative.”
Eric Ritchie, senior manager agriculture North America for farm assurance and policy, McCain Foods, and chair of the Potato Sustainability Governance Committee said, “The growers, processors and customers participating in the Potato Sustainability Initiative welcome our agreement with The Sustainability Consortium. The collaboration provides an opportunity to share information and expertise, align performance measures and help make the process of continually improving the sustainability of potato production more efficient for everyone.”
PSI is the leading program in North America for growers producing potatoes for the processing market, with more than 500 potato growers participating, along with six major processors, key buyers including McDonald’s and Sysco, and the National Potato Council and Canadian Horticultural Council. Potato processors Basic American Foods, Cavendish Farms, Heinz, Lamb Weston, McCain Foods and Simplot fund the collaboration, which includes an annual grower survey, reporting on key performance measures including Integrated Pest Management, nutrient and irrigation use efficiency, energy use, recycling and reuse, and periodic on-farm audits.
“Potato growers have a long history of identifying and pursuing opportunities to improve production practices. The Potato Sustainability Initiative’s agreement with The Sustainability Consortium represents a continuation of our focus on great quality potatoes and real progress on sustainability. It also recognizes the tremendous amount of the time and effort potato growers are investing to continue to improve the sustainability of their farms,” stated John Keeling, Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Potato Council.
The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) is a global organization transforming the consumer goods industry to deliver more sustainable consumer products. We are dedicated to improving the sustainability of consumer products. Our members and partners include manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, service providers, NGOs, civil society organizations, governmental agencies and academics. Each member brings valuable perspectives and expertise. TSC convenes our diverse stakeholders to work collaboratively to build science-based decision tools and solutions that address sustainability issues that are materially important throughout a product’s supply chain and lifecycle. TSC also offers a portfolio of services to help drive effective implementation. Our mission is to use the best sustainability science to help companies make the everyday products we use better and more sustainable. The Sustainability Consortium has more than 100 members and there are over 2,000 users of TSC tools worldwide; it convenes more than 200 global organizations annually over an average of 75 networking opportunities. Formed in 2009, TSC is jointly administered by Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas. It also has a European office at Wageningen University and Research, and a Chinese office in Tianjin, China. For more information visit www.sustainabilityconsortium.org.
PSI grew out of a North American potato industry effort to promote and measure adoption of IPM in potatoes, initiated in 2010 and expanded to broader sustainability measures in 2013. PSI works to advance and communicate continuous improvement in sustainability measures to potato growers, buyers and consumers. The program is directed by a Governance Committee composed of grower and processor representatives and facilitated by the IPM Institute of North America. For more information, visit www.potatosustainabilityinitiative.org or contact Ida Yu, coordinator.