Our Standards

Our sustainability principles

Types of standards and policies

The SAN has the following types of standards and policies that complement the Sustainable Agriculture Standard. All of these documents can be found in our library.

Check our Standards, Certification Policies and Local Interpretation Guides

General standards

Farm certification: Involves the environmental, social, labor and agronomic management of individual farms.

  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Livestock Production

Certification of groups: Applies to groups of producers such as associations, cooperatives and federations. The objective of group certification is to make it accessible to farmers that do not have the capacity to become certified on an individual basis.

Chain of Custody: Criteria and processes for supporting the traceability of the products from the farm to the end product.

Climate Module: Specific set of voluntary criteria for climate change adaptation and mitigation that strengthen existing certification criteria and provide added value.

Local Standards

Local Indicators or Interpretation Guidelines: Define how the general sustainable agriculture standard is interpreted and applied to particular crop and country situations.

Means of Verification: Detail the elements of compliance for criteria in audits.In each country with certification activities, they also consider applicable environmental, social and labor legislation.

Certification Regulations

Certification Policy: Description of general certification requirements, for the crops and authorized activities, the scope of the certification and related auditing procedures.

Chain of Custody Policy: Guidelines for achieving chain of custody certification..

List of prohibited agrochemicals and pesticides: Substances that cannot be used on the farms due to their impacts on health and the environment.


How are our standards developed?


The process for the development of the SAN Sustainable Agriculture Standards is long and detailed, involving many technical and civil society stakeholders.

The SAN Standards are updated at least every five years using a general Public Consultation process involving producers and industries, consumers, other NGOs, academic bodies, auditors, trade unions and governments.

You can read the Public Consultation Reports in our library.

Our standards must be of high quality and have wide credibility, therefore their development complies with the Codes of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards of the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling (ISEAL) Alliance.

ISEAL is an association of leading voluntary organizations for the development of standards and compliance assessment, which focuses on environmental and social issues. Its members collaborate to obtain recognition, continuing improvement and international legitimacy for their programs,which aim to promote the interests of workers, communities and the environment in the international market.

The transparency and robustness of the processes to develop the SAN standards is ensured through two committees of international experts that make decisions on the content of the standards, making revisions and updates, advising the public consultation processes and evaluating the rules that govern the operations of the system.

In short, they ensure that the standards and policies are designed and maintained for their efficient application; these working groups are the International Standards Committee (ISC) and the Technical Operations Committee (TOC).

Our Members

Transforming Agriculture
for the greater good of all

2017 Sustainable Agriculture Network

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