M2M will develop, vet, and work to continuously improve analytical systems and performance measures, in the hope that what gets measured, will be more effectively managed.
By measuring performance attributes with clear linkages to desirable outcomes that improve people’s lives and promote environmental quality, M2M will strive to increase the return on the time and resources invested across the Washington agricultural sector in complying with standards and certification programs.
Likewise, M2M will identify and suggest ways to improve performance parameters and standards in existing programs that lack a solid connection between desirable, widely accepted outcomes and what is being measured and/or promoted.
M2M will serve as a catalyst for enhancing the sophistication of measurement methods within multidisciplinary teams conducting research in a variety of areas. Sharper quantification of baselines at the beginning of projects, along with better ways to track the impacts of ongoing work, will lead to progressively more rigorous and persuasive analysis of research outcomes.
To the extent possible, analytical system outputs and relative rankings will be reported in ways that meet the needs of research teams, individuals, companies, and organizations actively working to promote innovation in food and farming enterprises.
Developing the ability to compare impacts – and quantify tradeoffs – across performance measures and societal goals is also a core M2M objective.
In addition to developing novel analytical systems, M2M will compile and evaluate existing certification systems and performance metrics and standards including:
- Pacific Northwest ecolabel programs such as Food Alliance and Salmon Safe,
- USDA’s National Organic Program,
- The Sustainable Food Trade Association’s sustainability metrics,
- Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops metrics,
- Novel nutrition-related labeling systems for consumer products, and
- Food safety and sustainability indicators being developing by food companies (e.g., Sysco and General Mills), commodity organizations (e.g., dairy, pork, soybean, corn, wheat growers), and retailers (e.g., Wegmens, Whole Foods, and Testco).
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