Ep. 89: Kevin Murphy, former CEO & President to Driscoll’s fresh berries Enterprises ||

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On episode 89 we welcome Kevin Murphy, former CEO of California-based fresh berry company – Driscoll’s.  Murphy has 30 years of business and agriculture experience. Kevin joined Driscoll’s, the world leader in fresh berries with operations in over 20 countries, in 2007 and rose to President and CEO. Prior to Driscoll’s he was at Capurro Farms where he served for three years as President. For roughly 15 years, Kevin was with Fresh Express from its early inception to its acquisition. During that period he held various jobs that included heading up strategic planning, marketing and operations for the company.
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Most recently, Murphy has become an advocate for the farmers he spent three decades working arm in arm.  Since stepping down at Driscoll’s – Kevin has decided to take on the issue of undocumented workers in agriculture head on.  In a recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, Murphy explained that American farmers desperately need immigration reform.  The editorial teased the readers with a subtitle – “will migrant workers produce our food here or somewhere else?”  What’s great about it – in this WSJ piece Murphy doesn’t lament over the problems.  Instead, he lays out a three step plan to reform immigration in this country beginning from our ground zero – the fields that produce what sustains us and our families everyday.

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In our 50 minute conversation we go deep into Murphy’s three-step plan for immigration reform.  We discuss how that will impact the American farmer and consumer.  We learn how this approach in agriculture could very well be the proving grounds for a much grander solution for immigration reform for the 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country now, and the volumes more set to arrive in generations to come.  We learn how Kevin’s background as an immigrant to the US has offered him unique insight into the issues, and the solutions.  And, we hear how his formidable years dealing with apartheid in South Africa with his work throughout California agriculture has matriculated into him becoming a champion for the underrepresented and the marginalized.
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Want to know what’s really going on with immigration in this country – then turn to your food.  Start to peel back the layers and get some of the backstory of where your sustenance is actually coming from and whose hands are getting dirty in the process.  Need a crash course on how to reassess this? Where to begin being part of a solution for the future – then TuneIn to our conversation with food system reformer Kevin Murphy.
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Ep. 88: Erin Baumgartner, CEO & co-founder of Family Dinner ||

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On show #88 we welcome the CEO & co-founder of Family Dinner – Erin Baumgartner.  Family Dinner is a farmer’s market delivery service that uses data to improve the food supply chain.  It’s an innovative approach to the standard CSA model working directly with a network of farms to broaden their markets through software applications. Baumgartner is the former Assistant Director of the MIT Senseable City Lab in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, a lab that used data to understand complex systems.


Tune in to our 45 minute discussion to hear how Erin’s background in data science is now impacting regional food sourcing, and production.  In codifying a smarter supply chain and being more in-tune with the interests of a modern consumer – Family Dinner is developing scalable tech which would allow anyone to take advantage of regional assets – for anywhere.  But, as we learn from Erin – you can’t fake the hard stuff.  You need to get your hands dirty and develop the relationships with producers and buyers who are interested in maintaining integrity in their approaches.
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From the home office in Somerville, MA – Erin and her menu curation team act as bespoke master chefs for your household.  By knowing a good amount about each of their consumer’s interests and avoidances – Family Dinner sculpts a pretty amazing week of meals which will celebrate and amplify what’s in season and prime to eat.   Culinary plans like paleo, vegetarian and allergy sensitive programs fit nicely into their data driven model for weekly regional offerings.
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Every week they’ll deliver you and your family chef’s quality food from within shouting distance of harvest and home. That’s a pretty good service!
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quick snacks with thought leaders:

‘Quick Snacks’ are excerpts from Sourcing Matters episodes that we’ve used to craft succinct video teasers.  Below are some of the most salient points from our conversations with change agents in food, Ag and the environment.  TuneIn



 

Ep. 87: Sara Eckhouse – Executive Director, FoodShot Global ||

On episode 87 of Sourcing Matters we welcome the Executive Director of FoodShot Global – Sara Eckhouse. Launched in Fall of 2018, FoodShot Global is an investment platform aimed at accelerating food system transformation through an annual challenge – a call for “Moonshots for Better Food” that will create a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable food system worldwide. FoodShot is a global consortium of world-class partners, including mission-aligned venture funds, banks, corporations, universities, and foundations. Together FoodShot will award up to $10 million in equity and up to $20 million in debt funding to innovative businesses.
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As Senior Advisor to Secretary Tom Vilsack at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Sara Eckhouse focused on local and regional food systems, organic agriculture, and healthy food access. Sara launched and managed programs to support sustainable agriculture, and she has firsthand knowledge of the opportunities and challenges of combining sustainability with profitability in food value chains.
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During our 45 minute discussion we review the goals and objectives of this innovative financing forum. We learn of some of the recipients of funding, and of the Foodshot Groundbreaker award – a prize-pool of $500,000 in philanthropic capital awarded to researchers, social entrepreneurs and advocates in the regenerative food space. We hear why Sara decided to take on this role at Foodshot Global after being an Obama Administration political appointee who for five years influenced US product differentiation.
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Joining as cohost is Jay Vilar – founder, and a practitioner at ‘Nourish’ – a bespoke consulting company with a mission to educate, teach, and train people on the benefits of using food to heal your body and optimize your health.  Located in Boston and Washington, DC – Jay has always been on the forefront of using optimal health techniques, and bio-hacking his nutrition to achieve remarkable results in his career.
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Tunein to hear what it takes to make food and its production the next moonshot to save the planet.

 

 



co-host:

Jay Vilar

  • Founder of Nourish
  • A focus on Nutritional Therapy
  • Rodale Institute Fellow
  • Host of  ‘listen to your mother’ show

@twitter


Ep. 86: Kathleen Kennedy, Executive Director of MIT Center for Collective Intelligence ||

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On episode 86 we welcome Kathleen Kennedy, Executive Director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence.  Kennedy is a frequent speaker at technology and entrepreneurship events around the world. She serves as a judge for many competitions including the MacArthur Foundation, the Inclusive Innovation Competition, and the Lemelson-MIT prizes.  In addition, she is a venture partner at Good Growth Capital and she serves on the board of Hubweek.
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Prior to her current work, Kathleen served as a lead organizer of The Engine, an MIT initiative created to advance innovation.  This venture fund and accelerator program was created to provide comprehensive support to transformative ideas from the formative stage to their most effective implementation.  Kennedy was also awarded the Folio: 40, which recognizes the most innovative and influential people in the media industry, and named by the Harvard Club as one of Boston’s Most Influential Women of 2017.
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During our 45 minute discussion we evaluate how technology and automation will impact the future of food and its production.  More generally, we discuss the future of work and how advancements / innovation doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll have less jobs in the future.  We learn about how one of the first projects the MIT Center of Collective Intelligence initiated – called the ‘Climate CoLab’ – is using the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a proving grounds where computers and humans can work together in a more cohesive way to take on big problems at vast scale.
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Joining as cohost is Chris Sherman, President of Island Creek Oysters. Focused on promoting the many values that shellfish bring to humans, the Oceans and the planet – Chris and his team have built a brand known for global excellence.  As pioneers in regenerative ocean farming – Island Creek Oysters have established a sustainable model of sustenance, and jobs for their community in Massachusetts. Levering his ocean smarts to do greater good, Chris also curates the Island Creek Oyster Foundation, a non-profit which has codified a replicable model of aquaculture for the developing world.  Additionally, Chris is a 2018 Eisenhower fellow. As part of his program to Spain & Columbia – Chris assessed capacity building and innovative financing models for the future of biomimetic aquaculture.
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TuneIn to hear how a Collective Intelligence in many forms allows people and machines to work together in defining proper logic structure and smarter implementation that can help address the biggest problems facing humanity and our shrinking planet.

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co-host:

Chris Sherman

  • President of Island Creek Oysters
  • Eisenhower Fellow 2018
  • Regenerative Ocean Farming Pioneer
  • Curator of ICO Foundation

@IslandCreek

 

Ep. 85: Greg Horner, Greg Horner Consulting – Profiles in Land and Management Series ||

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As we contemplate a future where land management is an important part of addressing climate change (as the IPCC Report suggests), we can’t overlook the vast acres of US public lands.  These acres need to be resilient to the stresses of climate change, and we also have an opportunity to manage them in ways that increase their ability to store carbon.  By shifting our management of these lands to prioritize soil health, we can achieve multiple benefits for the climate, the water cycle, and biodiversity.
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Using adaptive grazing is one important strategy to increase the soil health of our public grasslands and rangelands. For episode 85 of Sourcing Matters, consultant Greg Horner discusses his recent work interviewing innovative public land managers across the US about their use of adaptive grazing as a tool to improve soil health, restore ecosystem function, and increase biodiversity.  While these agency staff are increasing soil health, they are also increasing soil carbon and making the land they manage more resilient to climate change.
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But wait, cows are bad for the climate, right?  And grazing is damaging to public lands? 

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The current state of scientific knowledge suggests a more complex reality: while cattle in feedlots (where most beef comes from) have a high carbon footprint, well-managed cattle on pasture can be carbon-negative, sequestering more carbon in the soil than they produce in methane (White Oak Pastures Life Cycle Assessment – PDF). By accelerating soil health and soil-building efforts, adaptive grazing can be an important strategy for improving ecological outcomes on public and private lands.
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While grazing can absolutely damage public lands, it is not the cattle that are responsible but the human managers.  Like a hammer, grazing is a tool that can be used to tear things down or build them up.  With careful management, adaptive grazing can provide the disturbance that a landscape needs to function properly, recreating the historical impact of herds of wild grazers, stimulating grass growth, and providing a landscape that promotes a diversity of plants and animals.
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In partnership with TomKat Ranch, the McKnight Foundation and others, Greg created a series of profiles of public land managers who are redefining the value of grazing on public lands.  Instead of using continuous grazing, most of these managers are moving cattle frequently, providing intense impact in small areas and then moving on to new areas and letting the grass recover without being re-grazed.  These managers report multiple benefits, from better forage quality and quantity to an extended growing season, from increased bird or tiger salamander populations to reduced erosion and increased water infiltration.  These managers are building soil carbon for a variety of reasons, and their stories are an inspiration.

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TuneIn to our 40 minute discussion for a better understanding of our role in proper management of public lands for the future.
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@GregoryHorner

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Summary prepared by Greg Horner

 

 



Ep. 84: CEO – Cheryl Cronin and Director of Community Engagement – Carrie DeWitt of Boston Public Market Association.   -ft. cohost: Lisa Sebesta, founder of Sitari Capital and co-founder of Fresh Source Capital ||

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On episode 84 we’re live recording on-site from The Boston Public Market on Hanover St. in downtown Boston, Massachusetts.  The Boston Public Market is an innovative four season model set to evolve how we source and consume local food.  Today we’re welcomed by the CEO of The Boston Public Market Association Cheryl Cronin, and the Director of Community Engagement – Carrie Dewitt.
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The Boston Public Market launched in 2015 as a year-round indoor market with the mission of bringing seasonal and local food to Boston’s downtown crowd. Everything sold at the market initially comes from somewhere in New England. This includes everything from seafood to ice cream and fresh produce. It is operated by the Boston Public Market Association, a nonprofit organization born from the collaboration between the city of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
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Cheryl Cronin is CEO of the Boston Public Market Association since January, 2016. Prior to her current work, she was an attorney for over 30 years. She served as the General Counsel for the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Boston Public Library and on the Board of Sail Boston. Additionally,  Cheryl received the Eleanor Roosevelt award from the Massachusetts Democratic Party and the Abigail Adams award from the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus. She has been on Boston Magazine’s list of the 50 most powerful women.
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Carrie DeWitt is the Director of Community Engagement at the Boston Public Market Association. Carrie plans and implements a calendar of public and private programming and events that support the Market’s public impact and reach. Prior to her work at the Boston Public Market, Carrie worked as the Assistant Director of the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, a 100 year-old outdoor Market featuring over 140 growers and producers. Carrie is a graduate of the Agriculture, Food and the Environment masters program at the Friedman School at Tufts University.
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Joining as co-host of our 40 minute conversation is Lisa Sebesta, founder of Sitari Capital.  Sebesta works with investors to evaluate and manage impactful, direct investments in private companies that align with their values.   She is also a Managing Partner at Fresh Source Capital – a General Partner investment fund focused on the sustainable food and agriculture sector.  Previously, Lisa served as a consultant to the Fair Food Fund, and spent 15 years as an equity analyst and portfolio manager for investment firms Batterymarch Financial Management & Boston Advisors.

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Want to know what’s going on with the local food movement in the northeast – TuneIn.

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@BosPublicMarket

 



co-host:

Lisa Sebesta

  • Founder of Satari Capital
  • Managing Partner @ Fresh Source Capital
  • 15 years as an equity analyst and portfolio manager
  • Participates on numerous boards throughout New England Food

@LisaSebesta

 

 

Ep. 83: Kristofor Lofgren, Sustainable Restaurant Group CEO, and Founder.   -ft. cohost: Scott Soares, former Mass Ag Commish & shellfish farming leader  ||

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For episode 83 of Sourcing Matters we welcome CEO & Founder of Sustainable Restaurant Group and Bamboo Sushi – Kristofor Lofgren.  Sustainable Restaurant Group (SRG)’s mission-focused concepts aim to conquer the environmental disaster that is the worldwide fishing industry today. Bamboo Sushi and QuickFish will never put a fish on their menus that is endangered or on Seafood Watch’s ‘Red List.’ With nine total restaurant locations across Portland, OR and Denver, CO, the company will be expanding Bamboo Sushi this coming September with three new locations in the San Francisco Bay Area – Seattle and Arizona will follow shortly after, eventually making its way to the East Coast.

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In 2008 Bamboo Sushi became the world’s first Marine Stewardship Council-certified sustainable sushi restaurant. Since, under Kristofor’s leadership Bamboo sushi has been promoting responsible fisheries and sustainable management practice for the betterment of the environment and his patrons.   TuneIn to our 40 minute discussion to learn what’s happening to our seas, and to our seafood.  To understand how we can take a lead role in determining the health and stability of our oceans through the food choices we make.  And to hear how this entrepreneur is building a sustainable business model focused on benefiting diverse stakeholders ranging from his fisherman, processors, employees, investors and consumers.

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Joining today’s conversation is Scott Soares – former commissioner of Massachusetts Agriculture, and served as the Director of USDA Rural Development for Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island for the Obama administration.  Scott has 15 years of fishery and aquaculture experience prior to that – including early in his career serving as the 1st Massachusetts coordinator of aquaculture for nearly a decade. Recently, along with a few ventures promoting the bounty of New England’s waters to broader audiences – Soares has taken on the role of the Mass Shellfish Initiative coordinator.

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@KSLofgren

 



co-host:

Scott Soares

  • Former Commissioner MA Agriculture 
  • Dir. USDA Rural Dev Northeast for Obama administration
  • 15 years of fishery & Aquaculture experience
  • Served as 1st MA coordinator of aquaculture for a decade

@SjSoares65

 

Ep. 82: Richard Stavis, Chief Sustainability Officer at Stavis Seafood  -ft. cohost: Scott Soares, former Mass Ag Commish & shellfish farming leader  ||

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Joining for episode 82 of Sourcing Matters is Richard Stavis – Chief Sustainability Officer of the Iconic New England Brand – Stavis Seafood.  Stavis Seafoods has been an anchor of the international seafood industry for 90 years. From its origin Stavis quickly grew from a clam company to a one-stop-source for high quality seafood, now delivering more than 1000 seafood items nationwide from more than 48 countries around the globe.
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Stavis is also a leading importer into the Florida seafood market specializing in fresh seafood from Central & South America.  Stavis Seafoods recently launched seafood line ‘SeaTru’ that comes in tow with the tagline of “high-quality seafood that is completely traceable, socially responsible, and sustainably sourced.”
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Richard Stavis wants the industry to shift from talking about what’s “sustainable” to what’s “responsible” – and not just tracing fish but also ensuring that fish is what sellers say it is. Richard is well known for his vision for the near future in the industry when emerging technologies allow for standardized platforms – like how any bank card works at an ATM – so consumers/retailers/restaurant chains can get the information they need about the fish they eat and sell, through information-sharing.
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Joining for our 45 minute discussion is the former commissioner of Agriculture in MA and the Rural Development Agent for New England with the USDA – Scott Soares.  During our lively conversation we cover the stability of the oceans, the health of our fisheries and the industry that serves it, and the well-being of its consumers.   TuneIn to hear what’s going on with our changing waters.

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@StavisSeafoods



co-host:

Scott Soares

  • Former Commissioner MA Agriculture 
  • Dir. USDA Rural Dev Northeast for Obama administration
  • 15 years of fishery & Aquaculture experience
  • Served as 1st MA coordinator of aquaculture for a decade

@SjSoares65

 

Ep. 81: John Piotti, CEO & President of American Farmland Trust, Washington D.C. ||

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On episode 81 of Sourcing Matters we welcome John Piotti of American Farmland Trust.  American Farmland Trust (AFT) is an organization that works to protect and conserve farmland throughout the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C, – AFT is staffed and governed by farmers, policy experts, researchers and scientists.  With the call to action of “Join the Movement”, “Save a Family Farm”, and “Stay Informed” – American Farmland Trust seeks to engage diverse stakeholders in evaluating: What will happen to the nation’s food supply if we continue to wastefully develop our best farm & ranch land?
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By the late 1970s, Peggy Rockefeller, a passionate farmer and active philanthropist, had become frustrated that none of the major environmental or agricultural organizations were effectively applying the emerging tools of land conservation to agriculture. She pulled together a brain trust to explore what could be done. This first-of-its-kind analysis of how and why America was losing farmland had recently been completed by USDA and the President’s Council on Environmental Quality. The group recognized the serious threat posed by farmland loss and concluded that our nation needed a new kind of organization, one that stood at the intersection of agriculture and the environment. It would take a unique and highly innovative organization to operate effectively in this previously unexplored realm. But there was clearly a void that needed to be filled. They formally chartered American Farmland Trust in 1980.
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John Piotti joined American Farmland Trust as president and CEO in July 2016, bringing more than 25 years of executive management and public policy experience to the organization.  Prior, John served as president and CEO of Maine Farmland Trust for 10 years. Under his leadership, Maine Farmland Trust became an award-winning statewide nonprofit organization, helping over 500 Maine farms remain viable. Piotti has earned a reputation as a nonpartisan problem-solver; as a Statesman, an Eisenhower Fellow – and – as a leader in future food that has helped stabilize a regional dairy industry, and procure funding to protect working waterfronts & our natural lands. John holds three degrees from the MIT, in engineering, public policy, and management.
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TuneIn to our 50 minute conversation to hear more about how the practice of American Farmland Trust has now cast over 6,500,000 acres of farmland in the United States into perpetual conservation.  With John’s focus on conservation (regenerative) agriculture practice of these lands, and more  – AFT will remain a pillar in American farmland access, and its management for the foreseeable future.

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@FARMLAND