To enable sustainable agriculture throughout the whole food and drink value chain, back in 2002 major brands in the food processing industry created the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform, which (co-) develops tools and guidance to support global and local sustainable sourcing, as well as good agricultural practices.
Farm Sustainability Assessments
Focused on maintaining a healthy natural environment the Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) program has been developed by the SAI platform to support agricultural sourcing as well as good agricultural practices (GAP) by following the three pillars of sustainability:
The FSA program is not a certification system but a verification program for farmers and food & drink companies to help them produce, sell and source sustainably produced agricultural products. It is available for arable crops, fruits and vegetables. Checklists for livestock products are under development and expected to be ready soon.
Companies which aim to be SAI compliant can use the FSA tool and use it to make a SAI claim.
Routes to Compliance
A company verified against FSA can partly or entirely claim their products to be SAI Bronze, SAI Silver or SAI Gold. There are two routes to compliance:
- Farmer self-assessment and third-party verification – as a third-party verification body, we offer services during verification. We can conduct workshops or training, carry out a self-assessment, or simply verify an already completed self-assessment
- Benchmarked schemes – companies and farms already compliant with sustainability schemes officially benchmarked against FSA requirements – and designated FSA bronze, silver or gold equivalent. For this route we can support you throughout the process and the certification and/or verification steps
Farm Management Groups
Although single farms can achieve a SAI claim for their products, the core approach of the FSA program is to install a Farm Management Group (FMG).
Anyone engaged in the supply chain can create a FMG. However, it is important that the group consists of farms with a logical coherence and which meet the requirements described within the FSA Implementation Framework document. FMGs act as an organizational unit engaging with the individual farms within the group, conducting key management tasks (establishing quality management systems, robust accounting systems etc.), carrying out self-assessments and supporting continuous improvement of the farm group during verification audits.
At every step we can provide substantial support to ensure optimal and fast implementation of, and adaption to, all FSA requirements.
Implementing the FSA program provides numerous benefits. As it becomes more broadly accepted within the food industry it helps to reduce the number of assessments needed to access different markets. Furthermore, it can help companies to meet client requirements and expectations on social and environmental criteria.
Additionally, implementation of the FSA program contributes to long term economic viability.
Working with SGS to implement the FSA program ensures self-assessments are conducted correctly and offers support in helping stakeholders to understand and adopt sustainable agricultural practices, and the FSA program.
We focus on prompt identification of training needs for farmers and the scope for improvement to overcome the challenges of FSA implementation.
Our worldwide network of auditors and experts support FSA program implementations at both the farm- and company- level, taking into account the circumstances in each country. To ensure easy implementation and consistent quality for clients, we have developed a range of services to step in and deliver support wherever needed, focusing on implementation support, continuous improvement and other customized solutions, including:
- Verification audits
- Self-assessment checks
- Workshops and training
- Implementation support
- Audits according benchmarked standards (REDcert, REDcert2, ISCC EU, ISCC PLUS, GLOBALG.A.P. etc.)
For the complete range of SGS services and support visit SGS Food Safety.
Head of Innovative Product Management
t: +49 4473 94 39 – 49
Business Development Manager Sustainability
t: +49 40 30101 754