Certified farms operate an environmental and social management system according to the complexity of their operations and in conformance with applicable local laws. The farms record their energy usage, making efforts to reduce it and use more renewable energy.
Farmers must conserve existing ecosystems and aid in the restoration of critical areas. They achieve this by taking steps to protect waterways and wetlands from erosion and contamination, prohibiting logging and other deforestation, and maintaining vegetation barriers.
The hunting of wild animals is prohibited on certified farms, as is the keeping of wild animals in captivity and the extraction of wild plants.
Certified farms conduct activities to conserve water and avoid wasting this resource. Farms prevent contamination of surface and underground water by treating and monitoring waste-water.
Farms employees are treated with respect and in accordance with the main conventions of the International Labor Organization. They are paid a legal minimum wage and have access to education and healthcare services. Minors under 15 years of age or the age established by local law are not contracted.
Certified farms have occupational health and safety programs to reduce the risk of accidents and to support the health of workers exposed to hazardous activities such as the operation of machinery or the application of authorized pesticides.
Certified farms are good neighbors in their communities. They inform the surrounding communities and local stakeholder groups about their activities and plans. They discuss the potential impacts of their activities and contribute to local development through employment, training and public works.
The SAN seeks the improvement of soils over the long term, which is why certified farms use organic fertilizers, propagate ground cover vegetation and plant natural barriers to reduce erosion and runoff of sediments to rivers, streams and lakes. Fire is never used to prepare new plots for production.
Integrated crop management
Certified farms monitor crop pests and use biological or mechanical methods for pest control as a first choice. If the pests cause considerable economic damage, certain pesticides can be used but only by applying them using every possible safeguard for the protection of the workers, the communities and the environment.Transgenic crops (genetically modified organisms) are not grown or introduced on certified farms.
Integrated Waste Management
Certified farms are aware of the types and quantities of wastes they generate. Wastes are managed through programs for recycling, reducing consumption and reuse. Wastes are sorted, treated and disposed of in ways that minimize environmental and health impacts for the workers and the communities. Farms are aware of their greenhouse gas emissions and how to reduce their carbon footprint.