Our mission at Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) can only be delivered by ensuring that we understand and address effectively the challenges in transforming agriculture into a sustainable activity. Positive changes occur only when many people decide to establish a constructive dialogue and work together, that is why engaging our stakeholders from multiple sectors is an essential part of our work.
We believe that the transformation of agriculture requires the collaboration of all parts of the value chain, so SAN’s stakeholders include producers, workers organisations, traders, NGOs and civil society organisations, governments, retailers, academia and scientific research institutions.
Our stakeholder engagement is focused on ensuring:
- Our SAN Sustainable Agriculture Standard is credible and effective
- Our processes and mechanisms for implementing the SAN Standard are appropriate and effective
As SAN, we engage with our stakeholders not only during the in Standard-setting protocol but to maintain communications that help us understand and respond effectively to the the needs, expectations and experiences of our stakeholders. We engage in a variety of ways including one to one meetings with NGOs and civil society organisations, companies, producer and workers organisations, workshops, webinars, online consultation platforms and technical forums, as well as developing partnerships through collaborative projects.
We are committed to improving the dialogue with key stakeholders to meet our mission. In the past, we have received criticism that the SAN/Rainforest Alliance certification system has been weak engagement with trade unions as a key stakeholder in producer countries. We agree, and have begun a dialogue with several trade union representatives in producing countries to understand their concerns, raise awareness of the SAN Standard and how the certification system operates and to get input on how to improve our auditing processes around workers’ rights.
SAN believes that certification has a role to play in supporting the journey towards sustainability but also recognises that it has limitations and is exploring what more can be done to address sustainability challenges in the agriculture sector.
SAN is an active member of the Global Living Wage Coalition with five other standards systems – Fair Trade International, Forest Stewardship Council, Goodweave, Social Accountability International and UTZ – who are working to establish common living wage benchmarks for countries around the world. As part of this work, SAN has facilitated a workshop with fruit sector unions in Costa Rica to discuss the living wage concept and methodology.
Stakeholder Engagement in the SAN Standard Revision Process
The Sustainable Agriculture Network periodically revises and improves its standards. As a member of the ISEAL Alliance, SAN follows the ISEAL Standard Setting Code available here.
First Round of consultation for the 2017 SAN Sustainable Agriculture Standard
The first round of consultation was undertaken between April 15 and June 30, 2013 and resulted in feedback from over 1,000 stakeholders in 50 countries through:
- Workshops in 21 countries (cities and rural locations) that represent main crops or markets for the SAN/RA certification system.
- An online consultation platform available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, which was open to the general public, free to access and linked to SAN’s main webpage
Final Round of consultation for the 2017 SAN Sustainable Agriculture Standard
From March 1 to April 30 2015, the SAN Secretariat engaged approximately 200 stakeholders from 100 organisations through:
- One to one meetings with NGOs, companies and producer organisations
- Webinars with SAN technical committees
- An online survey
- Question and Answers on SAN Consultation Centre platform
During December 2015, specific consultations on the contents of the SAN Pesticides Management Requirement were conducted.