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Sustainable food systems

South Africa’s food system is complex. We rely heavily on a small number of large-scale commercial farms to produce most of the food we eat. This food not only feeds our growing population but also supplies a global supply chain stretching from the United States through to China. This in a context where a significant proportion of the population is food or nutrition insecure. This imbalance needs to be challenged. Using sustainable food systems, a new order and just practices can be formulated. Pinpoint’s view is one in which the whole supply chain is considered to overcome system challenges.

Pinpoint services:

  • Research to understand the formal and informal food supply chain and flows
  • Value chain analysis and impact ‘hotspots’
  • Mapping and understanding resilient food systems
  • Strategic insights on establishing sustainable food system frameworks, policy, strategy, targets and ambitions

Food loss, waste and surplus

South Africa wastes about 10.3 million tonnes of food each year – equivalent to 40% of what is grown. This in a country where resources, such as land and water, to grow our food, are under stress. In addition, the edible fraction of this wasted food (about 80%) could be diverted to feeding those in need, or turned into high value products. Pinpoint is passionate about reversing this trend, minimising food waste, working towards redistributing nourishing surplus to those in need, and identifying suitable high value solutions.

Pinpoint services: 

  • Mapping yield rates, food loss and waste along food chains
  • Food loss and waste measurement and reporting (guided by the World Resource Institute’s (WRI) food loss and waste protocol)
  • Advisory and research services to inform food waste and surplus minimisation, redistribution and beneficiation
  • Research to inform policy, frameworks, strategy, targets and implementation plans

   “It has been a pleasure working with Pinpoint Sustainability on the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa’s Food Loss & Waste Initiative,        in partnership with the Department of Trade & Industry and co-funded by the European Union. Nicola was instrumental in formulating            the food waste initiative road map, proposed budget and governance structure and proposals in partnership with Anthesis from Europe.          She assisted with facilitation of various dialogues and facilitated a Food Loss & Waste Reporting Protocol workshop with retailer members      of the CGCSA. It’s admirable how she always sees projects through from conception to completion. Her work ethic, team work and passion      on sustainability is out of this world!” Matlou Setati, FSl Executive, Consumer Goods Council of South Africa.


Strategy development & implementation

The development of a vision and plan with purpose helps an organisation to achieve one or more goals. This involves allocating time to think, discuss, consult and draft a plan of action on the big picture, how to connect the details, and ensure focus on getting the right things done first. Pinpoint is experienced in taking clients through this journey, whether to develop a roadmap for implementation or to improve the chances of successfully securing funding to finance your projects.

Pinpoint services: 

  • Hotspot mapping or issue and opportunity identification to inform focus
  • External stakeholder and internal staff engagement to gather insights and set targets
  • Development of strategic plans and roadmaps for implementation (incl. practical and feasible targets, actions, tasks and responsibilities)
  • Recommended solution or opportunity feasibility assessments
  • Strategic identification of funding sources, including how best to access funding

Corporate responsibility

Organisations are increasingly recognising the impact of their operations on society’s collective wellbeing and the extent to which sustainability-related issues impact their operations. Leading organisations are actively working to safeguard their operations against sustainability-related risks, while considering the potential they have to positively contribute to realising an economically, environmentally and socially healthy future

Pinpoint services:

  • Socio-economic and environmental research to inform strategic focus and interventions
  • Development of responsibility vision and purpose statements, targets and ambitions
  • Advice on how best to implement more sustainable and socially responsible practices across a business
  • Assessing how best to implement responsible corporate governance
  • Identification and recommendations to enhance internal capacity to deliver corporate responsibility

   “Grootbos engaged Nicola Jenkin to lead a fundraising strategy development process with a view to securing financial sustainability for            our non-profit Grootbos Foundation. The sessions were well structured and facilitated and allowed us to formulate strategic objectives              across the short-, medium- and long-term horizon, as well as action plans to achieve them. The outputs were very practical, and the team      could immediately begin to implement. Nicola is fantastic at flexing between the details and the bigger picture and taking the team                along with her. We would definitely recommend working with Pinpoint Sustainability!” Julie Cheetham, Director, Grootbos Foundation


Project reviews & evaluation

Drawing on our extensive experience as research practitioners across a variety of disciplines and sectors, Pinpoint can provide a considered, neutral perspective to undertake project mid-term reviews and end-of project evaluations to assess the effectiveness of project interventions, impacts and achievements.

Pinpoint services: 


Pinpoint is a trusted provider of research for the public and private sectors. With over 25 years of academic and consultancy research experience, Pinpoint understands the importance of adopting ethical research practices, and developing and applying recognised and appropriate contemporary research methods and protocols.

Pinpoint services: 

  • Desk-based and in-field research (environmental and socio-economic)
  • Methodology and research framework development (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Stakeholder engagement through surveys, questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and workshops
  • Data analysis and mapping (incl. supply chains, knowledge flows, stakeholder networks)
  • Report writing, briefing papers and journal articles
  • Recommendations and insights to inform decision-making
  • Research oversight and capacity building


Green skills & decent work

The greening of skills and occupations refers to the need to develop a country, sector or organisation’s skills base to take care of our natural and social resources, and to enable a transition towards a sustainable and just economy for all. Pinpoint has experience in undertaking supply and demand-led studies across various sectors, from energy to the public service. This includes situating jobs and skills within an economic system to ensure the longevity of decent jobs.

Pinpoint services:

  • Contextual drivers’ analysis (political, economic, social, technical and environmental)
  • Value chain and stakeholder analysis and mapping
  • Skills and occupational supply and demand analysis and mapping
  • Knowledge network mapping and analysis

Capability, capacity & agency

A well capacitated, skilled and knowledgeable collective of individuals is central to Pinpoint’s philosophy of enabling significant positive change and transformation. Pinpoint recognises the value of individual capacity and capability. We seek to understand how best a business, sector or collective can harness this capacity to transition towards a more capable and effective entity or network. Our focus is predominantly on enhancing capability and capacity to expedite socio-economic and environmental change to strengthen corporate, sector and community resilience.

Pinpoint services:

  • Understanding how policy and strategy can best be implemented from a human resource perspective
  • Mapping of stakeholders associated with programmes, businesses, supply chains and sectors to better understand current and future capability gaps and opportunities
  • Identification of skills and knowledge gaps to strengthen current and future resilience
  • Mapping of occupational pathways to meet strategic ambitions