CASE STUDY COOL FARM ALLIANCE
CFA cultivates biodiversity collaboration for sustainable farming
We’ve been working with the Cool Farm Alliance (CFA) to build upon momentum with their Cool Farm Tool (CFT) biodiversity module to establish it as the ‘go-to’ place for understanding the implications of farm-management practices on biodiversity.
Agriculture is a key driver of biodiversity loss, yet is dependent on many of the ecosystem services that biodiversity provides (nutrient cycling, water availability, pollination and pest control). Protecting and enhancing on-farm biodiversity can be delivered through appropriate biodiversity-friendly farming practices. The CFT biodiversity module is intended to be a reference for growers, policy makers and other stakeholders in the value chain to take management decisions in support of on-farm biodiversity.
The aim of our project was to initiate a pre-competitive cross-industry collaboration, with a view to bringing industry alignment on what on-farm biodiversity-enhancing practices to promote within supply chains. We also sought to identify where enhancements could be made to the CFT biodiversity tool, to make it an industry standard for biodiversity. The intention is that developments made will subsequently help people measure and quantify farmland biodiversity in a standardised way to provide actionable insights for farm practices and management decisions.
We held a workshop with a range of organisations (such as Unilever, PepsiCo, Amazon, WWF UK and The Nature Conservancy) to understand their needs when it comes to biodiversity metrics and tools. Key themes that became apparent from the workshop included the need for biodiversity guidance to be simple and globally applicable, but that detailed and locally relevant information is critical to support the development of effective biodiversity action plans.
Outputs from the workshop were consolidated into several key builds for the tool, which the CFA’s Biodiversity Working Group – formed as part of this work – will take forward for implementation. We’re excited to see how the biodiversity module develops following this work, as our own senior consultant Caitlin McCormack will remain on the Biodiversity Working Group to help guide further developments.