Sourcing Biodiverse Ingredients February 3, 2022 by Leah Wolfe
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A few themes we explore in this session:

  • How can brands and their sourcing teams meet smaller-scale regenerative suppliers in the middle to overcome obstacles of scalability, transparency, and consistency?
  • Aside from the environmental reasons to increase crop biodiversity, what is the business case for sourcing diverse ingredients?
  • How can organizations build biodiversity into R&D processes, sustainability goals, and metrics for success?
Mike Lee Alpha Food Labs

I call it the Avenger strategy: you’re not just selling Captain America, you’re selling the Avengers. It’s the group, not the ingredient. That can be as simple as going to market with quinoa plus the other ingredient that is crop rotated with quinoa. You don’t have to market 13 ingredients or a whole system — start with two or three. As a farmer, say I’ve got dairy, but then I’ve also got apple trees or walnut trees. That’s the shift in marketing that we need, to start talking about ingredients not as single units, but as groups.

Christina Skonberg Simple Mills

A lot of companies spend significant resources on consumer insights to figure out the needs and desires of eaters. But how much time are we spending with producers to understand their insights? What are their needs at the foundation of the supply system and in our ecosystems?

In the case of quinoa, export demand focused on a really small number of quinoa varieties that didn’t represent the diversity of quinoa being grown in regions like Bolivia and Peru. If we talk to the producers leading the stewardship of that regional biodiversity, we can make much more informed and collaborative decisions, and source ingredients with biodiversity and food sovereignty in mind.

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