2020 is not really that far off.

But in six years, food giant General Mills is committing to sustainably sourcing 100% of its 10 priority ingredients, two of which are corn and wheat. General Mills is among a growing list of food manufacturers, retailers, agribusinesses, grower organizations, conservation groups and others focusing on sustainable food, fiber and fuel production.

Why? A food company like General Mills essentially takes the output of Mother Nature, transforms this output into a food product, and sells it. If the front end breaks down, food companies, and essentially, the entire food supply chain, will feel the pain — not to mention anyone who eats.

Add to this climate change and the charge of feeding a global population projected to reach 8 billion by 2025 with limited natural resources, and sustainable agriculture quickly takes on greater significance.

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General Mills and more than 50 other organizations are members of Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture (fieldtomarket.org), whose Fieldprint projects involve partnering with growers to establish sustainability baselines for the fields they farm. Once baselines or benchmarks are established for a given area and production practices, growers can better understand where they can improve resource management — to produce crops more sustainably and economically, while improving and protecting the environment.