Ten Principles
that explain what (and who) agrobiodiversity looks like.

What is agrobiodiversity? The Lexicon created the FACT Activator, which has developed 10 Principles to explain agrobiodiversity.

The FACT (Food, Agrobiodiversity, Clarity, and Transparency) Activator believes that the marketplace can accelerate change in our food systems by providing purchasers (and consumers) with more visibility into how food is grown, produced, and brought to market. Transparency and storytelling help buyers across the value chain make purchases aligned with their values and support the food system they’d like to see. In pursuit of this vision, international food and agriculture experts defined Ten Principles for Agrobiodiversity, conducted three transparent supply chain pilots—fonio in West Africa, small millets in India, and amaranth in Mexico—and built Supply Chain Self-Assessment Tools to encourage food companies to use more diverse ingredients.

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Promote healthy soils. When farmers follow regenerative practices, which includes planting a range of diverse crops, they build soil organic matter, safeguard their water supplies, protect and restore the environment, and improve the quality of the air we breathe.
Adapt to climate change. Nearly half of all human-generated agricultural greenhouse gas emissions are produced by industrial agriculture.

Industrial food production is dependent on chemical fertilizers, pesticides and petroleum-reliant farm technologies, while crops that have grown in a region for hundreds, if not thousands, of years are well-adapted to their environments and often require fewer inputs.

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Promote nutrient security. Throughout the world, food has traditionally provided nutrition and medicinal remedies.

In many rural areas today, people now rely on ultra-processed food primarily produced from four “major” crops (wheat, corn, rice and soybean). This energy rich, low nutrient diet lacks diversity and often leads to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Increasing diversity in local food production improves health outcomes and provides consumers with greater food security.

Enhance livelihoods for women. Women in many regions play a primary role in producing and preparing food for their families, and can also be powerful entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders.

Commodity crops often require heavy equipment designed for use by men, but when production returns to more diverse crops, women have greater opportunities to perform farm work as well as produce value added goods that support livelihoods across the value chain.

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Ensure Knowledge Sharing. The extensive, place-based practices used in diversified farming systems creates opportunities for cooperation and knowledge-sharing among farmers and within communities.

Sharing knowledge keeps traditional farming practices alive; by planting traditionally diverse, bio-regionally adapted crops, farmers protect their cultural and natural resources while increasing their resilience to climate change.

Uphold Resilient Land Use Practices. Support practices that safeguard the environment, preserve open space, secure land tenure, and protect wildlife.
To increase agrobiodiversity and its food system benefits, societies and farmers need to develop effective land use practices and policies to avoid conversion of forested land or land that is unsuited for agriculture, prevent and decrease the predominance of large-scale monoculture farming systems, and promote the increase of diversified cropping systems and other sustainable regenerative production methods.

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Create Opportunities Across the Value Chain. Food grown for local communities can stimulate development and create value added products that support local economies.
Growing more diverse crops provides entrepreneurs with opportunities to create value-added products that provide jobs and stimulate local economies. New economic opportunities also help build skills and knowledge for food preparation, processing and the marketing of more innovative products.
Conserve genetic and natural resources. A key aspect of increasing agrobiodiversity is the conservation and stewardship of seeds and germplasm.

Growers can establish seed banks and other conservation practices to safeguard the genetic heritage of their crops for generations to come. In situ and ex situ seed conservation also provides farmers with greater food sovereignty and helps strengthen food traditions in their communities.

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Empower young farmers. By creating new business opportunities and strengthening communities, agrobiodiversity-based food systems can empower a new generation of farmers and food entrepreneurs.
In most regions of the world, the average age of farmers is nearly 60. A food production system founded on diversity, education and knowledge-sharing can provide youth with the tools to be decision makers in their communities and to gain better working opportunities across the whole supply chain.
Protect indigenous and local cultures. When people lose their native foods, they also lose their culture. In returning to indigenous, more diverse foods, communities rediscover not only their traditions, but themselves.
Cultures are often defined not only by what they grow, but by the variety of foods they eat. Chefs—both in the home and in restaurants—can play an important role in expanding our knowledge of the culinary traditions agrobiodiversity represents, while also bringing global visibility and markets to these ingredients.

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The Connected Market: Agrobiodiversity Supply Chain Self-Assessment Tool

Successfully integrating and expanding biodiversity in food systems requires upholding ten basic principles that support climate-friendly, regenerative, and biodiverse farming practices, responsible and effective food businesses, healthy diets, and ensure fair benefit-sharing with producers and communities.

To promote the adoption of the 10 principles we put together a group of industry leaders and created The Connected Market Tool: a free to use tool that helps food companies, restaurants and interested consumers learn how to ask the right questions of producers and suppliers to better support agrobiodiversity.

Join a bold, new online community for anyone who cares about building more resilient, inclusive food systems.

Contact us

Please share your comments and questions and get a response from a real person!

Eligibility, Submission Terms and Conditions


A Greener Blue Global Storytelling Initiative is sponsored by The Lexicon, a US based 501(c)(3) public charity.


Storytellers will join A Greener Blue Storytelling Collective to create stories for the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture with the FAO and its partner organizations. Members of the Collective will take part in a private online “Total Storytelling Lab” led by The Lexicon’s Douglas Gayeton. Upon completion of this online certificate program, members of the Collective will join seafood experts from around the globe in creating A Greener Blue Storytelling initiative.


Who can enter and how selections are made.

A Greener Blue is a global call to action that is open to individuals and teams from all over the world. Below is a non-exhaustive list of subjects the initiative targets.

  • Creatives and storytellers with a passion for food and the willingness to support small-scale fisherpeople and experts worldwide. This category includes, but is not exhausted in photographers, videomakers, illustrators, podcasters, and writers.
  • Food Activists working to change open sea fishing and aquaculture; 
  • Members of fishing and indigenous communities that support their communities, share their stories and protect their way of life;
  • Local and International NGOs work every day with actors across the whole value chain to create more sustainable seafood models.

To apply, prospective participants will need to fill out the form on the website, by filling out each part of it. Applications left incomplete or containing information that is not complete enough will receive a low score and have less chance of being admitted to the storytelling lab.

Nonprofit organizations, communities of fishers and fish farmers and companies that are seeking a closer partnership or special support can also apply by contacting hello@thelexicon.org and interacting with the members of our team.

Special attention will be given to the section of the form regarding the stories that the applicants want to tell and the reasons for participating. All proposals for stories regarding small-scale or artisanal fishers or aquaculturists, communities of artisanal fishers or aquaculturists, and workers in different steps of the seafood value chain will be considered.

Stories should show the important role that these figures play in building a more sustainable seafood system. To help with this narrative, the initiative has identified 10 principles that define a more sustainable seafood system. These can be viewed on the initiative’s website and they state:
Seafood is sustainable when:

  • it helps address climate change
  • it supports global ecosystems
  • it optimizes impact on resources and nutrient cycles.
  • it promotes a safe growing environment for safe food sources.
  • it advances animal welfare.
  • it enhances flavor and nutrition.
  • it builds resilience and self-sufficiency in local communities.
  • it prioritizes inclusion, equality, and fair treatment of workers.
  • it preserves legality and the quality and the story of the product throughout the value chain.
  • it creates opportunities along the whole value chain.

Proposed stories should show one or more of these principles in practice.

Applications are open from the 28th of June to the 15th of August 2022. There will be 50 selected applicants who will be granted access to The Lexicon’s Total Storytelling Lab. These 50 applicants will be asked to accept and sign a learning agreement and acceptance of participation document with which they agree to respect The Lexicon’s code of conduct.

The first part of the lab will take place online between August the 22nd and August the 26th and focus on training participants on the foundation of storytelling, supporting them to create a production plan, and aligning all of them around a shared vision.

Based on their motivation, quality of the story, geography, and participation in the online Lab, a selected group of participants will be gifted a GoPro camera offered to the program by GoPro For A Change. Participants who are selected to receive the GoPro camera will need to sign an acceptance and usage agreement.

The second part of the Storytelling Lab will consist of a production period in which each participant will be supported in the production of their own story. This period goes from August 26th to October 13th. Each participant will have the opportunity to access special mentorship from an international network of storytellers and seafood experts who will help them build their story. The Lexicon also provides editors, animators, and graphic designers to support participants with more technical skills.

The final deadline to submit the stories is the 14th of October. Participants will be able to both submit complete edited stories, or footage accompanied by a storyboard to be assembled by The Lexicon’s team.

All applicants who will exhibit conduct and behavior that is contrary to The Lexicon’s code of conduct will be automatically disqualified. This includes applicants proposing stories that openly discriminate against a social or ethnic group, advocate for a political group, incite violence against any group, or incite to commit crimes of any kind.

All submissions must be the entrant’s original work. Submissions must not infringe upon the trademark, copyright, moral rights, intellectual rights, or rights of privacy of any entity or person.

Participants will retain the copyrights to their work while also granting access to The Lexicon and the other partners of the initiative to share their contributions as part of A Greener Blue Global Storytelling Initiative.

If a potential selected applicant cannot be reached by the team of the Initiative within three (3) working days, using the contact information provided at the time of entry, or if the communication is returned as undeliverable, that potential participant shall forfeit.


Selected applicants will be granted access to an advanced Storytelling Lab taught and facilitated by Douglas Gayeton, award-winning storyteller and information architect, co-founder of The Lexicon. In this course, participants will learn new techniques that will improve their storytelling skills and be able to better communicate their work with a global audience. This skill includes (but is not limited to) how to build a production plan for a documentary, how to find and interact with subjects, and how to shoot a short documentary.

Twenty of the participants will receive a GoPro Hero 11 Digital Video and Audio Cameras by September 15, 2022. Additional participants may receive GoPro Digital Video and Audio Cameras to be announced at a later date. The recipients will be selected by advisors to the program and will be based on selection criteria (see below) on proposals by Storytelling Lab participants. The selections will keep in accordance with Lab criteria concerning geography, active participation in the Storytelling Lab and commitment to the creation of a story for the Initiative, a GoPro Camera to use to complete the storytelling lab and document their story. These recipients will be asked to sign an acceptance letter with terms of use and condition to receive the camera. 

The Lexicon provides video editors, graphic designers, and animators to support the participants to complete their stories.

The submitted stories will be showcased during international and local events, starting from the closing event of the International Year of Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 in Rome, in January 2023. The authors of the stories will be credited and may be invited to join.

All selection criteria

Storytelling lab participation:

Applicants that will be granted access to the storytelling Lab will be evaluated based on the entries they provided in the online form, and in particular:

  • The completeness of their form
  • The relevance of their story (coherence with the main goal of the initiative and 10 principles)
  • Written motivation explained
  • Geography (the initiative aims at showcasing stories from all over the world so the mix of locations will be a factor that the selection committee will take into account)

Applications will be evaluated by a team of 4 judges from The Lexicon, GSSI and the team of IYAFA (Selection committee).

When selecting applications, the call promoters may request additional documentation or interviews both for the purpose of verifying compliance with eligibility requirements and to facilitate proposal evaluation.

Camera recipients:

Participants to the Storytelling Lab who will be given a GoPro camera will be selected based on:

  • Quality of the story (coherence with the initiative and the 10 principles)
  • Motivation demonstrated during the interaction in the online class
  • Participation in the online class (participants that will attend less than 4 classes will be automatically excluded)

The evaluation will be carried out by a team of 4 judges from The Lexicon, GSSI and the team of IYAFA (Selection committee).

Incidental expenses and all other costs and expenses which are not specifically listed in these Official Rules but which may be associated with the acceptance, receipt and use of the Storytelling Lab and the camera are solely the responsibility of the respective participants and are not covered by The Lexicon or any of the A Greener Blue partners.

All participants who receive a Camera are required to sign an agreement allowing GoPro for a Cause, The Lexicon and GSSI to utilize the films for A Greener Blue and their promotional purposes. All participants will be required to an agreement to upload their footage into the shared drive of The Lexicon and make the stories, films and images available for The Lexicon and the promoting partners of A Greener Blue.

Additional Limitations

Selection and distribution of the camera is non-transferable. No substitution or cash equivalent of the cameras is granted. The Lexicon and its respective partners and representatives are not responsible for any typographical or other errors in the offer or administration of the Initiative, including, but not limited to, errors in any printing or posting or the Official Rules, the selection and announcement of any selected participant, or the distribution of any equipment. Any attempt to damage the content or operation of this Initiative is unlawful and subject to possible legal action by The Lexicon. The Lexicon reserves the right to terminate, suspend or amend the Initiative, without notice, and for any reason, including, without limitation, if The Lexicon determines that the Lab cannot be conducted as planned or should a virus, bug, tampering or unauthorized intervention, technical failure or other cause beyond The Lexicon’s control corrupt the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper play of the Contest. In the event any tampering or unauthorized intervention may have occurred, The Lexicon reserves the right to void suspect entries at issue.