Foodservice companies that support greater diversity don’t only think about providing a range of menu options on the plate.
They also go back to the fields where these foods are grown to support a diversity of producers to source from; they know that to create lasting change in our food systems requires the engagement of everyone across the value chain in support of reaching a common goal.
A quick note: while distributors and farmers are vitally necessary, for the purposes of this framework, we will assume that the distributor will follow the direction of the customer (the client company and foodservice management company) and that participating farmer groups are organized and supported by a technical assistance provider and/or designated client company staff.
Therefore, with a lens toward equity, we will focus on the first three listed stakeholders for exploring pilot design based on their power and design leverage in structuring pilots.
Just BIPOC Sourcing
Connected Markets: Just BIPOC Sourcing
To create conditions for success, all of the stakeholder entities in the ecosystem must achieve some baseline conditions which are outlined in the CONNECTED MARKET: JUST BIPOC SOURCING Self-Assessment Tool. We encourage you to complete the questionnaire before continuing with the development of your equitable foodservice pilot.
Designing a more equitable sourcing model can begin with a pilot.
While foodservice pilots offer the opportunity to experiment with new sourcing programs or menu plans, they often fail before they begin. A design process that misses key elements will prevent good execution. If growers are selected without paying enough attention at the outset to the nuances of distribution, logistics, and pricing, buyers may be poorly prepared to address various internal barriers that will inevitably arise, forcing frequent meetings to find solutions and keep the flow running smoothly.
By focusing on these buyer barriers at the outset, we can highlight that it is not enough for one leader or one chef to intend to source produce from small, BIPOC farmers.
There are actually multiple layers of entities and decision makers and processes at play, and each of those layers has a set of base conditions that must be met in order for a pilot to be successful.
Additionally, pilots should be designed with friction in mind. The most difficult aspect of sourcing pilot work is getting to the very first order. Once initial orders are placed, the pilot can be continuously improved, but often getting to that first order is the greatest hurdle to overcome. In practice, your initial approach may not meet every ambitious and aspirational goal of a BIPOC sourcing project, but this should not be a deterrent for beginning the work; along the way be prepared to learn from your mistakes or obstacles as they arise, devising solutions to reduce friction in the supply chain, get orders flowing, and “open the door” for further improvements.
In the below diagram, we model this approach by showing that selecting experienced growers, using an existing distributor, and selecting a limited number of sites is the most effective way to generate initial orders. After orders are in progress, and if there is interest to continue to grow the program by recruiting more and less experienced growers and adding buyer sites, those steps can now be taken.
If initial orders fail to take place, the buyer should re-evaluate their readiness based on the base conditions laid out in the CONNECTED MARKET: JUST BIPOC SOURCING Self Assessment Tool, revisit the pilot program design to reduce friction, proceed through another round of planning, then re-launch.
Tracking and evaluating certain key metrics will help create systems for continuous improvement with BIPOC sourcing pilots and programs.
At a minimum, we recommend that the client company and foodservice management company leadership be able to readily access reports from their client units and/or distributor partners that clearly show the purchases made by volume and spend for the BIPOC sourcing pilot.
But to understand and deepen the impact of BIPOC sourcing pilots, companies should explore more in-depth quantitative metrics, such as the percentage of BIPOC sourcing out of total food program spend, the number of unique crops sourced over time, and if possible, the dollar impact per target supplier.
Qualitative evaluation is another way of evaluating pilot efforts. Interviews with chefs at individual client sites can reveal nuances about how the pilot’s process changes are affecting the day-to-day operations of site staff, and opportunities for leadership to support improvements. Interviews with farmers can reveal if the pilot is meaningfully increasing their sales.
In addition to their ability to enhance, expand, and institutionalize the pilot into a foundational and impactful sourcing practice, this qualitative and quantitative data can be woven together into a cohesive story for internal and external storytelling.
It’s important to note that ensuring the success of a pilot goes far beyond simple metrics. The infrastructure, policies, and commitment laid out in the base requirements of this primer are essential – otherwise, there will be no successful sales to track. It can be tempting to declare an intention to source x dollars from x number of BIPOC suppliers and wait for results. A comprehensive set of metrics should generally evolve after infrastructure is in place, and not before, so that a program can be scaled appropriately and in context.
To avoid the all-too-common injustice of requiring extra labor from BIPOC producers without remuneration, the burden of data collection or provision on farmers should be as minimal as possible.
While stakeholders can collaboratively determine and refine what data to track and evaluate over the course of their pilot, it’s important to note that. Qualitative data from farmers should only be collected after sales have been in progress for some time.
Providing best water quality conditions to ensure optimal living condition for growth, breeding and other physiological needs
Water quality is sourced from natural seawater with dependency on the tidal system. Water is treated to adjust pH and alkalinity before stocking.
Producers that own and manages the farm operating under small-scale farming model with limited input, investment which leads to low to medium production yield
All 1,149 of our farmers in both regencies are smallholder farmers who operate with low stocking density, traditional ponds, and no use of any other intensification technology.
Safe working conditions — cleanliness, lighting, equipment, paid overtime, hazard safety, etc. — happen when businesses conduct workplace safety audits and invest in the wellbeing of their employees
Company ensure implementation of safe working conditions by applying representative of workers to health and safety and conduct regular health and safety training. The practices are proven by ASIC standards’ implementation
Implementation of farming operations, management and trading that impact positively to community wellbeing and sustainable better way of living
The company works with local stakeholders and local governments to create support for farmers and the farming community in increasing resilience. Our farming community is empowered by local stakeholders continuously to maintain a long generation of farmers.
Freezing seafood rapidly when it is at peak freshness to ensure a higher quality and longer lasting product
Our harvests are immediately frozen with ice flakes in layers in cool boxes. Boxes are equipped with paper records and coding for traceability. We ensure that our harvests are processed with the utmost care at <-18 degrees Celsius.
Sourcing plant based ingredients, like soy, from producers that do not destroy forests to increase their growing area and produce fish feed ingredients
With adjacent locations to mangroves and coastal areas, our farmers and company are committed to no deforestation at any scale. Mangrove rehabilitation and replantation are conducted every year in collaboration with local authorities. Our farms are not established in protected habitats and have not resulted from deforestation activity since the beginning of our establishment.
Implement only natural feeds grown in water for aquatic animal’s feed without use of commercial feed
Our black tiger shrimps are not fed using commercial feed. The system is zero input and depends fully on natural feed grown in the pond. Our farmers use organic fertilizer and probiotics to enhance the water quality.
Enhance biodiversity through integration of nature conservation and food production without negative impact to surrounding ecosysytem
As our practices are natural, organic, and zero input, farms coexist with surrounding biodiversity which increases the volume of polyculture and mangrove coverage area. Farmers’ groups, along with the company, conduct regular benthic assessments, river cleaning, and mangrove planting.
THE TERM “MOONSHOT” IS OFTEN USED TO DESCRIBE an initiative that goes beyond the confines of the present by transforming our greatest aspirations into reality, but the story of a moonshot isn’t that of a single rocket. In fact, the Apollo program that put Neil Armstrong on the moon was actually preceded by the Gemini program, which in a two-year span rapidly put ten rockets into space. This “accelerated” process — with a new mission nearly every 2-3 months — allowed NASA to rapidly iterate, validate their findings and learn from their mistakes. Telemetry. Propulsion. Re-entry. Each mission helped NASA build and test a new piece of the puzzle.
The program also had its fair share of creative challenges, especially at the outset, as the urgency of the task at hand required that the roadmap for getting to the moon be written in parallel with the rapid pace of Gemini missions. Through it all, the NASA teams never lost sight of their ultimate goal, and the teams finally aligned on their shared responsibilities. Within three years of Gemini’s conclusion, a man did walk on the moon.
FACT is a food systems solutions activator that assesses the current food landscape, engages with key influencers, identifies trends, surveys innovative work and creates greater visibility for ideas and practices with the potential to shift key food and agricultural paradigms.
Each activator focuses on a single moonshot; instead of producing white papers, policy briefs or peer-reviewed articles, these teams design and implement blueprints for action. At the end of each activator, their work is released to the public and open-sourced.
As with any rapid iteration process, many of our activators re-assess their initial plans and pivot to address new challenges along the way. Still, one thing has remained constant: their conviction that by working together and pooling their knowledge and resources, they can create a multiplier effect to more rapidly activate change.
Who can enter and how selections are made.
A Greener Blue is a global call to action that is open to individuals and teams from all over the world. Below is a non-exhaustive list of subjects the initiative targets.
To apply, prospective participants will need to fill out the form on the website, by filling out each part of it. Applications left incomplete or containing information that is not complete enough will receive a low score and have less chance of being admitted to the storytelling lab.
Nonprofit organizations, communities of fishers and fish farmers and companies that are seeking a closer partnership or special support can also apply by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org and interacting with the members of our team.
Special attention will be given to the section of the form regarding the stories that the applicants want to tell and the reasons for participating. All proposals for stories regarding small-scale or artisanal fishers or aquaculturists, communities of artisanal fishers or aquaculturists, and workers in different steps of the seafood value chain will be considered.
Stories should show the important role that these figures play in building a more sustainable seafood system. To help with this narrative, the initiative has identified 10 principles that define a more sustainable seafood system. These can be viewed on the initiative’s website and they state:
Seafood is sustainable when:
Proposed stories should show one or more of these principles in practice.
Applications are open from the 28th of June to the 15th of August 2022. There will be 50 selected applicants who will be granted access to The Lexicon’s Total Storytelling Lab. These 50 applicants will be asked to accept and sign a learning agreement and acceptance of participation document with which they agree to respect The Lexicon’s code of conduct.
The first part of the lab will take place online between August the 22nd and August the 26th and focus on training participants on the foundation of storytelling, supporting them to create a production plan, and aligning all of them around a shared vision.
Based on their motivation, quality of the story, geography, and participation in the online Lab, a selected group of participants will be gifted a GoPro camera offered to the program by GoPro For A Change. Participants who are selected to receive the GoPro camera will need to sign an acceptance and usage agreement.
The second part of the Storytelling Lab will consist of a production period in which each participant will be supported in the production of their own story. This period goes from August 26th to October 13th. Each participant will have the opportunity to access special mentorship from an international network of storytellers and seafood experts who will help them build their story. The Lexicon also provides editors, animators, and graphic designers to support participants with more technical skills.
The final deadline to submit the stories is the 14th of October. Participants will be able to both submit complete edited stories, or footage accompanied by a storyboard to be assembled by The Lexicon’s team.
All applicants who will exhibit conduct and behavior that is contrary to The Lexicon’s code of conduct will be automatically disqualified. This includes applicants proposing stories that openly discriminate against a social or ethnic group, advocate for a political group, incite violence against any group, or incite to commit crimes of any kind.
All submissions must be the entrant’s original work. Submissions must not infringe upon the trademark, copyright, moral rights, intellectual rights, or rights of privacy of any entity or person.
Participants will retain the copyrights to their work while also granting access to The Lexicon and the other partners of the initiative to share their contributions as part of A Greener Blue Global Storytelling Initiative.
If a potential selected applicant cannot be reached by the team of the Initiative within three (3) working days, using the contact information provided at the time of entry, or if the communication is returned as undeliverable, that potential participant shall forfeit.
Selected applicants will be granted access to an advanced Storytelling Lab taught and facilitated by Douglas Gayeton, award-winning storyteller and information architect, co-founder of The Lexicon. In this course, participants will learn new techniques that will improve their storytelling skills and be able to better communicate their work with a global audience. This skill includes (but is not limited to) how to build a production plan for a documentary, how to find and interact with subjects, and how to shoot a short documentary.
The Lexicon provides video editors, graphic designers, and animators to support the participants to complete their stories.
The submitted stories will be showcased during international and local events, starting from the closing event of the International Year of Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 in Rome, in January 2023. The authors of the stories will be credited and may be invited to join.
Storytelling lab participation:
Applicants that will be granted access to the storytelling Lab will be evaluated based on the entries they provided in the online form, and in particular:
Applications will be evaluated by a team of 4 judges from The Lexicon, GSSI and the team of IYAFA (Selection committee).
When selecting applications, the call promoters may request additional documentation or interviews both for the purpose of verifying compliance with eligibility requirements and to facilitate proposal evaluation.
Participants to the Storytelling Lab who will be given a GoPro camera will be selected based on:
The evaluation will be carried out by a team of 4 judges from The Lexicon, GSSI and the team of IYAFA (Selection committee).
Incidental expenses and all other costs and expenses which are not specifically listed in these Official Rules but which may be associated with the acceptance, receipt and use of the Storytelling Lab and the camera are solely the responsibility of the respective participants and are not covered by The Lexicon or any of the A Greener Blue partners.
All participants who receive a Camera are required to sign an agreement allowing GoPro for a Cause, The Lexicon and GSSI to utilize the films for A Greener Blue and their promotional purposes. All participants will be required to an agreement to upload their footage into the shared drive of The Lexicon and make the stories, films and images available for The Lexicon and the promoting partners of A Greener Blue.
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