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Farm to Table: A Global Template for Equitable Food Systems with Women Farmers in Malawi

The Sustainable Food Trust in collaboration with Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the University of Louisville and the Organic Association of Kentucky

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WFI continues its collaboration with Sustainable Food Trust (SFT) and Cornell University to develop a whole farm sustainability assessment for use with smallholder farmers in Malawi and has expanded the partnership to include the Organic Association of Kentucky (OAK) and a University of Louisville team to assess smallholder farms in Kentucky. The assessment features environmental and social sustainability, with a strong focus on social equity, in particular women’s empowerment, building on the research previously undertaken by a team of graduates from Cornell University looking at strengthening these indicators. This project feeds into the SFT’s Global Farm Metric initiative, which develops an internationally common framework for measuring on-farm sustainability. Our goal is for the Global Farm Metric to be developed to allow it to be adopted by farmers, food companies, investors and governments in order to measure and monitor the impact of agriculture in a common way, ultimately driving progress towards more regenerative and equitable food and farming systems.

Deliverables & Impact

SFT will adapt and test the Global Farm Metric with smallholder farmers, using Malawi and Kentucky as case studies, and to incorporate measurements that reflect social and human capital with a particular focus on women’s empowerment. The deliverables supporting this goal include:



  1. Recommendations on the suitability of the GFM Framework for smallholder farmers in Malawi and Kentucky & the United States

  2. A survey to test the GFM’s application with smallholder farmers in Malawi and Kentucky

  3. A final report of the results of the surveys of the GFM tested for smallholder farmers, with analysis of the social equity dimension within the Social & Human Categories.


 Kentucky & the United States

  1. Support the OAK research team to strengthen the adaptation of the Human and Social Categories of the GFM for the US context.

  2. Build on the research findings from the Cornell research team to integrate gender and racial equity into the GFM.

  3. A final report sharing findings of the US adaptation and farmer trials of the full GFM with the Cornell research team who are adapting the tool for Malawi

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