The organization now known as Grutto was started in the Netherlands by a small team of environmentalists in response to a scandal in the food industry which made consumers doubt integrity of their meat supply. The company has a mandate to promote quality, trustworthy food, while also supporting progressive farmers working to adopt more sustainable production systems.
Grutto's name is a reference to the Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa), the national bird of the Netherlands. The bird is known by other names as well due to its record-setting migrations between continents. Regrettably however, it is now considered 'Near Threatened' due to loss of habitat from human impacts. Sightings of the bird in the high-intensity agricultural landscapes of the Netherlands are declining rapidly. The Grutto organization and community supports projects working to reverse this trend.
The Grutto model shows the power of alliances between producers and consumers for innovation that is a benefit to the environment. They directly source products from transparently operated farms in ways that also de-risk farmers' decision to adopt more sustainable production systems. The company operates an independent marketplace that presents this information connects to buyers who value high-quality, sustainably produced products. Grutto helps organize these parties, facilitates transactions and ensures a seamless customer experience.
By partnering with Wij.land, the Grutto team gained access to an already well-motivated and -organized network of farmers motivated to adopt (or already using) sustainable practices. In turn, Wij.land gained a supply chain partner supportive of more sustainable production systems, in which both producers and consumers benefit.
Grutto and many other customers in the supply chain have unique criteria for producers they are interested in to support. Due to the special peat-based soil type of the Netherlands, assessment criteria of Grutto are based on a set of custom indicators reflective of sustainable production in this agricultural system.
Thanks to the digital infrastructure of the OLN, these criteria can be added dynamically. This enables each business to set their own criteria to identify producers that meet them, as well as grow the size and complexity of their supply chains.
Once a supply arrangement is agreed, in-depth (and independently verified) information about a supplier's performance can be shared to the business, and extended to end-consumers, funders, and more. This makes it easier to establish to develop product relationships and new business opportunities.
By helping Wij.land and its farmers engage progressive communities, organize farm-level efforts and develop supply chain relationships informed by transparency and shared knowledge creation (as described above), the Open.Landscape.Network enables value creation and diversification of income streams. This accelerates sustainability innovation, which is crucial in order to scale-up landscape restoration.