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  • By Michelle Pelletier Marshall, Unconventional Ag Media

Setting Up for Sustainable Sourcing Success

This year’s Unconventional Ag conference, now in its ninth year, will be held next month in Dallas, Texas, on December 12-13 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas. This highly anticipated annual event convenes top stakeholders and industry experts from across the entire ag value chain to bring awareness to the advances, developments, and value-added opportunities affecting the oilseed and grain sector. See more info about the agenda and speakers.

With a focus on sustainable sourcing, buyers, suppliers, and producers should take notice as discussions will center on sustainable production methods and procurement systems for grains and oilseeds, vegetable oils, and plant-based proteins. Key to the discussions is the special workshop at this year’s event - Roadmap for Sustainable Sourcing Success - presented by Jessie Deelo, founder and CEO of The Climate Source.

Deelo, who has expertise in North American dairy, grains and oilseeds, and regenerative agriculture, will speak about how companies can balance meeting their goals for regenerative agriculture and low carbon ingredients with maintaining cost efficiencies, negotiating power with suppliers, and a healthy bottom line. She and her team are practiced in designing and executing regenerative agriculture and decarbonization programs for food companies, suppliers, and farm groups.

Unconventional Ag News talked with Deelo to get more details about the workshop created to equip sourcing professionals with the tools needed to advance their company commitments and drive growth in an emerging and evolving marketplace.

1). The Climate Source bills itself as “lifelong systems change leaders”. Please explain and provide some examples of successes in this regard.

At The Climate Source, we provide consulting services to food companies and agricultural supply chains to develop and execute decarbonized and regenerative market opportunities. Our specializations are in Scope 3 reduction strategy and regenerative market access where we leverage our expertise in impact program design and co-financing.

We bring together big thinkers who understand the interconnections between food and agriculture, markets and finance, environmental outcomes and on-farm practices. What sets us apart is that we also, as individuals and as a team, have direct experience working on farms, running procurement desks, providing direct services to farms, and investing in innovations. When combined, our technical expertise, real world experience, and strategic systems thinking allow us to create feasible and impact solutions.

One recent example is from our work with global dairy companies to develop and execute their Scope 3 reduction strategies. During the strategy process, we are aligning the supply chain investments and program designs to meet the direct and specific needs for the company. Inevitably, due to the holistic nature of agriculture, during the implementation phase, we expand our scope from the farm and supply chain to state and national policy approaches, insurance markets, financial mechanisms, and multi-stakeholder collaborations. It does not seem possible today to have a cost-effective transition to regenerative or decarbonized supply chains without addressing the system within which all of these stakeholders are operating. As systems change leaders, we dive into that complexity and find ways to move our clients forward while also working on the bigger issues that are hampering progress.

2). Please give us more details about the workshop instruction and opportunity to learn.

The workshop is for buyers, traders, and other supply chain professionals to improve their understanding of the mechanics of sustainable supply chain development and equip them with the ability to design and execute customer-facing programs for regenerative and decarbonized product markets.

The presenters will share best practices for developing sustainability programs in food and fuel supply chains. Participants will be guided through how to apply these tools at their own companies.

3). What is the biggest takeaway you see attendees walking away with? How will this help their day-to-day business?

Our goals are to prepare for actionable steps for incorporating carbon reductions and environmental impact metrics into each company’s procurement models while leveraging its unique assets and capabilities.

Participants will come away with an improved ability to lead discussions with internal and external stakeholders about sustainable supply chains and develop their own approach to change management.


Jessie Deelo, who is founder and CEO of The Climate Source, designs and executes regenerative agriculture and decarbonization programs for food companies, suppliers, and farm groups. Building off her career as a commercial farmer, extension specialist and industry consultant, she integrates expertise in regenerative agriculture, corporate impact programs, market access, and strategy development. Her current portfolio of clients includes Unilever North America, USDA Partnerships for Climate-smart Commodities, Athian, Environmental Defense Fund, and Walton Family Foundation.

Deelo has expertise in North American dairy, grains and oilseeds, and regenerative agriculture. She also has experiential knowledge of small- to mid-scale organic horticultural production. Her graduate school training in International Agricultural Development from the University of California-Davis shapes her approach to supply chain sustainability for global markets.


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Contact Lynda Kiernan-Stone,

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