Index Version 1.0

What is the current pilot about?

Index Pilot

Developing the National Index on Agri-Food Performance pilot is the most recent work – known as phase 3 from May 2022 to May 2023. This report expresses the need for and advantage of a Canadian-made Index. It also outlines all projects undertaken in this phase. See Part 1 of the final report, What was achieved: Summary.

The pilot details the metrics for 20 indicators spanning four blocks of sustainability and identifies data limitations. The work also assesses the Index’s alignment with several existing global benchmarking initiatives for additional context. See Part 2, Index Pilot: Indicators and Metrics.

The work includes seven short interpretative papers on key Index findings. Selected indicators are profiled as well as commentaries on interpreting and designing the Index. Part 3, Seven Papers on Index Results includes the following papers:

The phase lays the foundation for a proposed Centre for Agri-Food Benchmarking to manage and evolve the Index going forward. The work outlines the need for the Centre, presents its governance structure and how it proposes to operate and source new and better data in the future. See Part 4, The Centre for Agri-Food Benchmarking.

Index Version 1.0

Index metrics and indicators

The Index presents the criteria for measuring agri-food sector sustainability on a consolidated basis. (“Food sector” includes all supply chains stakeholders directly involved in agricultural production through to retail.)

It includes a suite of 20 metrics and 130 indicators. The intent is to paint a comprehensive view of sustainability – showing areas of leadership and shortcomings.

See Part 2, Index Pilot: Indicators and Metrics.

Index metrics and indicators diagram
Moving forward

What happens next?

The partners have now produced the Index pilot and the measures. They have decided on where to house the Centre for Agri-Food Benchmarking. They have determined how the Centre will be governed and outlined the process needed to source data to improve the Index in the future.

The coalition is now ready to move to phase 4, the next step in a journey to advance the National Index on Agri-Food Performance.

  • Funding: The coalition will seek new funding to launch and operate the Centre for Agri-Food Benchmarking (to be virtually housed at the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute) and to evolve the National Index, known as phase 4.
  • Longer-term sightline: It is intended that the Centre will have a long-term mandate. The need to demonstrate sustainability will persist so to meet global climate, environmental and other goals from 2030 to 2050 and rising ESG requirements.

To be a partner in advancing Canada’s first agri-food sustainability index, please contact:

David McInnes
Founder and National Coordinator
National Index on Agri-Food Performance