American Crystal and Field to Market

American Crystal and Field to Market

By Greg Richards, Agronomy Manager

We increasingly hear news stories about the consumer desire for their food to come from sustainable sources. In response, companies like General Mills, Kellogg’s and Nestle’ have embarked on a journey to source their key ingredients from companies that have like-minded sustainability goals. Below are some of the excerpts from each company’s websites supporting this claim.

General Mills

Our goal is to sustainably source the raw materials we use in our products. We are committed to sustainably sourcing 100 percent of our 10 priority ingredients by 2020 – representing more than 50 percent of our annual raw material purchases. We partner with multi-stakeholder groups to advance sustainable sourcing frameworks, then pilot scalable solutions and share our findings so others can refine their efforts. At the same time, we are improving water stewardship and reinforcing socially responsible practices across our extended supply chain.

Kellogg’s Responsible Sourcing

By 2020 We are committed to responsibly source our row crops like rice, wheat, corn and sugar beets by measuring continuous improvement through metrics focused on water, fertilizer use, greenhouse gas emissions, livelihoods other relevant factors as aligned with industry standards and measurement tools, such as Field to Market.

Nestle’ Environmental sustainability

Our goal is for our products to not only be tastier and healthier, but also better for the environment along their value chain. To help us improve our environmental performance, we are adopting a life-cycle assessment approach.

 In response to the demand of the consumer, American Crystal has also embarked on the journey to become a sustainable sugar supplier for our customers.  In 2014, American Crystal joined dozens of other companies in a coalition called Field to Market. In so doing, shareholders like Harvey and Joe Morken, have begun logging each of the operations on their farm to provide data that will be used as a benchmark for the sugarbeet industry.

 Morken

What is Field to Market?

Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture (www.fieldtomarket.org) brings together a diverse group of producers; agribusinesses; food, beverage, restaurant and retail companies; conservation organizations; universities and public sector partners seeking to create sustainable outcomes for agriculture. Through collaboration across the supply chain Field to Market is helping to define, measure, and advance the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel production. Field to Market follows a science-based, outcomes-based, technology neutral approach to understanding and promoting sustainability for U.S. commodity crops.

For decades our growers have supplied information on the production practices each utilize to grow their sugarbeet crop. This information has been analyzed time and time again to reveal the best management practices that lead to the highest yields and quality over time. The results of these analyses have been shared with our growers and Allied Industry to promote the improvement of sugarbeet crop production in the Red River Valley. This trend in the evolvement of the BMP’s that lead to higher yields and quality have also lead to increasing profits through the utilization of sustainable practices such as reduced tillage due to seldom used row crop cultivations, better managed fertility practices, improved weed control with fewer trips across the field through the use of GMO technology, and many other practices. Since joining Field to Market American Crystal has begun looking at ways to better tell our story of sustainability.  Today we have more than 2 dozen growers, like Joe & Harvey Morken that are tracking inputs across their farms to provide additional documentation for our customers and the consumer.  Through their efforts to provide American Crystal this information, the Morken’s believe that they will not only help us tell our story, but they can also become better and more profitable farmers in the future.

In response to the demand of the consumer, American Crystal has also embarked on the journey to become a sustainable sugar supplier for our customers.  In 2014, American Crystal joined dozens of other companies in a coalition called Field to Market. In so doing, shareholders like Harvey and Joe Morken, have begun logging each of the operations on their farm to provide data that will be used as a benchmark for the sugarbeet industry.