More than $90M Awarded to Promote Sustainable Supply Chains

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation expands conservation efforts to agriculture, seafood and financial markets
Mar 29, 2016 11:20 AM ET
Press Release

PALO ALTO, Calif., March 29, 2016 /3BL Media/ The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, one of the world’s largest conservation funders, announced more than $90 million in grants designed to advance conservation by decoupling food production from negative environmental impacts.

The grant funds will support the formation of a series of collaborations supporting the Moore Foundation’s Forests and Agriculture Markets Initiative, Conservation and Financial Markets Initiative, and Oceans and Seafood Markets Initiative. Collaborators will include Ceres, FishWise, Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, National Wildlife Federation, New Venture Fund, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, The Nature Conservancy, World Business Council for Sustainable Development and World Wildlife Fund. Their involvement illustrates the growing importance of partnerships between the non-profit and private sectors to address the market pressures placed on the world’s forests and oceans.

“The anticipated global population growth and related demand for richer diets, including more protein, sugars and oils, will place unprecedented pressures on our natural resources,” said Aileen Lee, program director for the conservation and markets strategies and incoming chief program officer for environmental conservation at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. “Now more than ever, the need to produce food without causing severe environmental degradation is essential to maintaining the productive capacity and integrity of the Earth’s ecosystems.”

  • Agriculture currently covers nearly 40 percent of the world’s ice-free land, uses 70 to 90 percent of all extracted freshwater and comprises nearly 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Commercial agriculture causes half of all global forest loss.
  • Despite concerted efforts to allow target stocks to rebound, with 80 million tons of global fishery landings in 2012, overexploitation remains common in global fisheries.
  • Global aquaculture has more than doubled since the mid-90s and that brings with it ecological consequences including the physical conversion of coastal ecosystems (e.g., salt marshes and mangroves), pollution of coastal waters with nutrients and antibiotics, and reliance on wild capture fish for feeds.

“Forward-thinking businesses already recognize the imperative to change, and are taking steps toward cleaning their supply chains,” explained Lee. “To do this work with sufficient speed and at a meaningful scale, the core collaborations formed through these grants will build upon and amplify this momentum, to help to transform the markets for top traded commodities including beef, soy, tuna and shrimp — by changing the purchasing practices of major buyers, setting and strengthening standards for production, and shifting practices on the ground.”

The foundation will be working with the following partners with specialized areas of expertise to focus a significant amount of the initiatives’ strategy and resources, forming the following collaborations for each initiative:

  • The Forests and Agriculture Markets Initiative is working to scale more efficient, sustainable, deforestation-free production of beef and soy globally by leveraging the influence of domestic and multinational companies with sufficient market reach to set sourcing standards that incentivize the adoption by producers of practices that prevent deforestation in the Amazon, Cerrado and Chaco regions. The agriculture initiative’s core collaboration will be among National Wildlife Federation (GBMF5222), The Nature Conservancy (GBMF5220), World Wildlife Fund (GBMF5219) and the Moore Foundation.
  • The Oceans and Seafood Markets Initiative seeks to protect marine and coastal ecosystems by improving aquaculture practices and the health and abundance of wild-capture fish stocks. The seafood initiative’s core collaboration will be among FishWise, Seafood Watch, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, World Wildlife Fund, New Venture Fund (the seafood collaboration’s fiscal sponsor, GBMF5208) and the Moore Foundation.
  • The Conservation and Finance Markets Initiative is using the power of mainstream financial markets to help drive the food sector away from production practices that degrade natural ecosystems and to support businesses and the capital markets to make informed decisions based on effective disclosures. The finance initiative’s collaboration will be among Ceres (GBMF5225), World Business Council for Sustainable Development (GBMF5227), World Wildlife Fund (GBMF5226) and the Moore Foundation.

Transforming practices in these markets will require an unprecedented degree of cross-sector collaboration among non-profits, business, governments and other stakeholders. Supporting a platform for these collaborations helps foster increased coherence among these actors, and, by extension, should enable more effective engagement across sectors.

“Data show that the private sector will face resource scarcity and future uncertainty if sustainability isn’t integrated into supply chains,” explained Guillermo Castilleja, Ph.D., chief program officer of the Moore Foundation’s Environmental Conservation Program. “Through these collaborative efforts, we believe NGOs will be able to work with private sector actors with greater adaptability and responsiveness to rapidly shifting supply chain dynamics, in a more easily coordinated and resilient way.”

Outside the new collaborations, a significant portion of funding from the three markets initiatives—a little over $40 million in aggregate—is reserved for responding to needs that emerge as the collaborations’ work unfolds. Additionally, half of the funding to the collaborations will be re-granted to additional organizations whose expertise may be needed to achieve initiative goals. Questions about these new collaborations may be directed to the foundation, at


About Ceres
Ceres is a non-profit organization that is mobilizing many of the world’s largest investors and companies to take stronger action on climate change, water scarcity and other global sustainability challenges. Ceres directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk, a group of 120 institutional investors managing about $13 trillion assets focused on the business risks and opportunities of climate change. Ceres also engages with 100-plus companies, many of them Fortune 500 firms, committed to sustainable business practices and the urgency for strong climate and clean energy policies. For more information, visit or follow on Twitter @CeresNews.

"Ceres is proud to join with WWF and WBCSD in this important partnership to fundamentally change global food sourcing practices, which are not sustainable and are causing profound destruction of ocean- and land-based ecosystems in all corners of the world,” said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, which works with many of the world’s largest companies and investors on sustainability issues. “Ensuring that our food sourcing practices are conserving - not degrading - our natural ecosystems is a colossal challenge, especially as population pressures and climate impacts are growing. It will require wide-ranging strategies focused on all parts of our food commodity value chains - from producers and buyers, to food companies and the investors who own them.”


About FishWise
Based in Santa Cruz, CA, FishWise promotes the health and recovery of ocean ecosystems by providing innovative market-based tools to the seafood industry and supports sustainability through environmentally responsible business practices. FishWise partners with some of North America's largest and most innovative retailers, suppliers, and producers. For more information, visit

“FishWise is excited for the opportunity to work with sustainable seafood leaders – both in the non-profit and private sectors – to achieve even greater impact through this collaboration,” said Tobias Aguirre, FishWise executive director. “Our planet’s wild capture fisheries and aquaculture are at a critical juncture and we must work swiftly to ensure they are on a path to sustainability.”


About Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch
The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the ocean. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program empowers consumers and businesses to choose seafood that's fished or farmed using responsible methods that protect sea life and habitats, now and for future generations. Seafood Watch’s widely recognized and respected science-based recommendations, indicating which seafood items are "Best Choices" or "Good Alternatives," and which ones to "Avoid," are available in its mobile app and at Follow @seafoodwatch or on

“Only a collaborative effort can sustain global fisheries and aquaculture in a manner that doesn’t jeopardize the health of surrounding ecosystems or dependent communities,” said Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program director Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly. “The breadth and complexity of the issues combined with the pace at which we must work make it imperative.”


About National Wildlife Federation
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is one of the oldest and largest wildlife conservation and education organizations in the United States, with nearly 6 million members and supporters and 49 state and territorial affiliates. NWF is dedicated to protecting wild species and habitat and inspiring future generations of conservationists. Our international work develops strategies to reduce the environmental impacts associated with large-scale agriculture, to help ensure that commodity production can meet the world’s needs without destroying forests or jeopardizing wildlife habitat. Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.

“The National Wildlife Federation is honored to join this new collaboration, which will greatly enhance efforts to promote deforestation-free agriculture, starting with soy and beef production in South America," said Barbara Bramble, Senior Director of International Wildlife Conservation.


About The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at To learn about the Conservancy’s global initiatives, visit

“Determining how to boost agricultural output without further deforestation is critical,” said Mark R. Tercek, President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy. “For example, in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, production can be steered into large areas of previously cleared land to meet demand for food without further environmental impact. The Moore Foundation's extraordinary investment in important initiatives like this are a big step toward sustainably feeding a growing population.”


About New Venture Fund
The New Venture Fund (NVF) works to achieve a healthier, more equitable world. Our work spans a range of issue areas to realize social and environmental change. We collaborate with individuals and institutions to provide fiscal sponsorship and project hosting support that enable them to reach their philanthropic goals.


About Sustainable Fisheries Partnership
Founded in 2006, the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Foundation – known as Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) – is a nonprofit organization dedicated to rebuilding depleted fish stocks and reducing the environmental and social impacts of fishing and fish farming through engaging fishery stakeholders (communities, NGOs, government, etc.) and seafood businesses in every part of the supply chain. The organization works to improve fisheries through fishery improvement projects (FIPs) and aquaculture improvement projects (AIPs), which are multi-stakeholder bodies that seek to advance the sustainability of fishing and fish farming operations. SFP also supports Supply Chain Roundtables, which allow seafood suppliers to work in a pre-competitive environment to promote improvement throughout the supply chain. Visit us at

“With its continued support of SFP, the Moore Foundation has demonstrated time and again its commitment to improving the state of the world’s fisheries and aquaculture,” said Jim Cannon, SFP founder and CEO. “We consider the foundation to be one of our strongest supporters, and look forward to maintaining this welcome and vital relationship.”


About World Business Council for Sustainable Development
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a CEO-led organization of some 200 forward-thinking global companies, is committed to galvanizing the global business community to create a sustainable future for business, society and the environment. Together with its members, the Council applies its respected thought leadership and effective advocacy to generate constructive solutions and take shared action. Leveraging its strong relationships with stakeholders as the leading advocate for business, the Council helps drive debate and policy change in favour of sustainable development solutions.

"To make the world and its food system truly sustainable, we need a systemic transformation. This means we must ensure that businesses are measured and valued by their true profits and true value – not just by their financial results,” said Peter Bakker, CEO of WBCSD. “We’re encouraged to see the Moore Foundation support this vision, which will allow us and the other partners to build and scale this critical initiative. The food sector and its financial partners must move away from production practices that degrade natural ecosystems. Modern-day sustainability demands systems and processes that support business and the capital markets to make informed decisions using effective, integrated disclosure. We’re looking forward to collaborating with Ceres and WWF as we work to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world.”


About World Wildlife Fund
WWF is one of the world's leading conservation organizations, working in 100 countries for over half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit to learn more and follow our news conversations on Twitter @World_Wildlife.

“We have long understood that we cannot succeed in our mission unless we solve the interconnected threats of climate change and unsustainable food production. These are the two horsemen of the apocalypse in our work,” said World Wildlife Fund President and CEO Carter Roberts. “Not enough of the world’s attention has been focused on food, but the Moore Foundation just placed a huge bet to solve this problem with leading practitioners, including WWF, which has devoted extraordinary effort to this topic over the past 10 years. It’s one of the most fascinating initiatives in our field and one that will accelerate new solutions and new partnerships that matter. This is not your traditional conservation strategy. This continues Moore’s devotion to operate at the cutting edge of conservation and aim for the greatest impact at scale, no matter how hard or challenging that may be.”


About the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation fosters path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements, and preservation of the special character of the Bay Area. Follow @MooreFound or visit

Peyton Fleming
+1 (617) 733-6660
Genny Biggs
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
+1 (415) 577-0094