Tag Archives: Sustainability


The Alliance for Sustainable Certification between SAN members is born
22/09/2017


The Alliance for Sustainable Certification between SAN members is born

A new cooperation agreement was signed on September 21 between certification institutions for agroindustrial production, processing and distribution systems, as well as tourism; which are linked to some of the partners of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), such as: Natura Certification Foundation (NaturaCert), Inter-American Tropical Research Foundation (FIIT), Institute for Cooperation and Self-Development (ICADE) and Forest and Agricultural Management and Certification (IMAFLORA), Certifier of Sustainable Products SC (PPS) and SalvaNATURA.

DKRdbCfXUAED0YFAt the conclusion of a series of meetings and agreements among the members of the SAN, the representatives of the certifying institutions signed cooperation agreements with the objective of strengthening operational efficiency and business capacity, aimed at providing quality services related to auditing, certification, verification and training in countries where they are able to offer such services.

The signatory organizations have offices in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

The SAN’s Executive Director, Andre de Freitas, explained that this alliance will allow to take advantage of the strengths of each of the certification bodies, joining efforts to achieve more effective certification processes.

Also, the Executive Director of the Natura Foundation, Elsa Matilde Escobar, said that for this organization it is very important to be part of the agreement, through its certifying body NaturaCert, because this way, it will be able to continue supporting more producers in the process of improving their production systems.


Conclude 2nd round of requests for the Exceptional Use of Pesticides
10/07/2017


Conclude 2nd round of requests for the Exceptional Use of Pesticides

  • SAN publishes an updated policy including the last official resolutions binding with 2017 SAN Standard.
  • During the second round of requests, finished last June 30, 250 requests were received.

Today, the Sustainable Agriculture Network has published an updated version of its Policy on Exceptional Use of FAO/WHO HHP Pesticides that includes the last authorizations granted after the last round of requests.

The second round of requests finished last June 30, with the reception of 250 applications covering 13 substances, 17 countries and 16 different crops. 50% of them were accepted as being aligned to the rules for this period and the other 50% of requests was rejected.

These authorizations will be valid until June 30, 2020 and only with the condition that strict risk management requirements are implemented according to 2017 SAN Standard provisions.

The only exception is in the use of epoxiconazole in coffee plantations, which is only authorized for one year (until June 30, 2018) due the reproductive toxic risk for knapsack spraying pesticide handlers. You can read the full list of authorizations here.

The main reasons for the rejection of all other requests for the exceptional use of FAO/WHO highly hazardous pesticides are (you can read the detailed report here):

  • Incomplete information
  • Substances were not within the range of the 26 active ingredients announced on June 15.
  • Substances are not effective for the control of the indicated pest species
  • Toxicity profile too high (e.g. WHO 1a or a combination of reproductive and mutagenic toxicity)
  • Other less toxic, effective and registered alternatives are available.

You can read the updated policy here. Please, send your questions about the documents to s&p@san.ag


SAN updates its Policy on the Exceptional Use of FAO/WHO HHP pesticides
15/06/2017


SAN updates its Policy on the Exceptional Use of FAO/WHO HHP pesticides

  • As part of the preparation of the entry into force of the SAN 2017 standard, 70 requests to authorize the exceptional use of 27 substances over a limited time were received. SAN authorized the potential use of 12 active ingredients for specific crops and countries.
  • SAN opened a new reception period of requests for exceptional use of pesticides that will be closed on next June 30.

SAN P SP 7 V1_Policy_on_Exceptional_Use_of_FAO_WHO_HHP_pesticides_July_2017 .pdfFrom the almost 70 applications received, 75% complied with the published SAN information requirements, covering 27 active ingredients for 28 countries and 35 crops.

After thorough technical analysis, case by case, with its pesticide experts, SAN decided to update its “Policy on the Exceptional Use of FAO/WHO HHP pesticides” which substitutes the former procedure. You can read the new policy here.

Based on the technical analysis of the evidence presented, 12 active ingredients received authorizations for specific country or crop. These authorizations will be valid until June 30, 2020 and only on the condition that strict risk management requirements are implemented. You can read the full list of authorizations here.

The main reasons for the rejection of all other requests for the exceptional use of FAO/WHO highly hazardous pesticides are (you can read the detailed report here):

  • No evidence of producers’ use/need was provided;
  • SAN has no certified organizations within the requested crop or country scope;
  • There are less toxic, effective and registered alternatives;
  • Other alternative substances are authorized by SAN;
  • Requested substances’ chronic risk profile is too high;
  • Requested substances are listed in the Rotterdam Convention; or
  • Requested substances meet the criteria of class Ia (extremely hazardous) of the WHO Recommended Classification of Pesticides by Hazard.

SAN is opening up a short extension period until June 30, 2017 to receive new requests for exceptional use under the following conditions:

  • Requests shall be sent to s&p@san.ag.
  • Requests will only be accepted, if sent by agriculture or cattle producer representatives and if representing a proven need based on realistic evidence for the use of prohibited pesticides by the producer.
  • Only requests for crop or country crop expansions covering the current SAN certificate scope will be accepted.
  • No requests for new active ingredients that are not included in this policy will be granted. See the last page of the policy for more details.

SAN expands beyond certification in order to accelerate agricultural transformation
29/05/2017


SAN expands beyond certification in order to accelerate agricultural transformation

New SAN1

SAN now offers customized Solutions for Sustainability related to verification, assurance, technical assistance and project development.

The Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) announced today the decision to expand its scope and work with other tools beyond certification to accelerate the agriculture transformation the world needs. SAN is moving from being purely a standard-setting body and co-manager of a certification system, to becoming an implementation partner for farmers, companies and donors. SAN will now provide customized solutions in the areas of assurance and verification, technical assistance and coaching, and the development of innovation projects at regional and international levels.

“The challenges our planet faces are huge and growing fast; from climate change and biodiversity destruction to child labor and workers’ rights, our world is at risk in many areas. At SAN we believe we can help transform agriculture, from farm to final product, by providing customized, credible and innovative solutions for farmers, companies and donors and thereby become an accelerator of positive change for both people and planet.”

Andre de Freitas, SAN Executive Director

SAN’s new focus is on creating individual plans by crop, regions and/or environmental/social/economic issues, according to the needs of the company, sector or donor partner. Custom plans can be dynamic and include opportunities for stretch goals and continuous improvement. Furthermore, the new SAN Solutions for Sustainability can also help value chains become Climate Smart, Deforestation Free, Pollinator Friendly and Socially Responsible. This new focus allows companies and brands to make unique and compelling, social and environmental claims directly to consumers.

With more than 20 years of experience working with producers, companies, certification standards, auditors and trainers around the world, SAN will be a powerful and efficient ally to the partners it works with, to help achieve and monitor goals, to create value on the ground and to transform agricultural practices. SAN is a member-led organization combining global and local reach and is comprised of a global network of NGOs, with a central secretariat staff working in the UK, the US, Costa Rica and Guatemala.

“Through our network of local members, and using our best-in-class agricultural standard as a road map, we can help achieve agricultural transformation with real scale, in a practical and efficient manner.”

Romeo Domínguez, SAN Board President.

This expansion in SAN’s work is a natural evolution of the organization and allows it to continue to deliver on the core mission ‘to be a global network to transform agriculture into a sustainable activity’. In addition to these new work areas, SAN will continue to be part of the SAN/Rainforest Alliance certification system.

Working across 40 countries and more than 100 crops, SAN provides customized, credible and innovative agricultural solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental and social problems. To find out more about what we do visit www.sustainableagriculture.eco


The much awaited Anker Methodology living wage manual is available now
12/04/2017


The much awaited Anker Methodology living wage manual is available now

The Global Living Wage Coalition (GLWC) will host the launch event for Living Wages Around the World: Manual for Measurement by Richard Anker and Martha Anker in New York City on April 19.

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The much anticipated publication of the Anker Methodology for estimating living wages is available now through Edward Elgar Publishing, and the GLWC will host an active discussion on the methodology, and the ways it is being put to use to help workers move toward earning a living wage.

The book describes a new methodology to measure a decent but basic standard of living in different countries and how much workers need to earn to afford this, making it possible for researchers to estimate comparable living wages around the world and determine gaps between living wages and prevailing wages, even in countries with limited secondary data.

The SAN/Rainforest Alliance system is a member of the GLWC alongside Fairtrade InternationalForest Stewardship Council (FSC)GoodweaveUTZ , Social Accountability International (SAI) and the ISEAL Alliance.

With the publication of this manual on the Anker Methodology of Living Wage measurement, there is an unprecedented opportunity to measure living wages that are accepted by the variety of players involved in living wage issues, and to lead cooperation and shape discussions about worker needs and wage levels around the world, to achieve progressive improvement in wages towards a living wage globally.

You can register for the launch event here and get more information about the GLWC here.


In person training activities for the 2017 SAN Standard continue successfully
03/04/2017


In person training activities for the 2017 SAN Standard continue successfully

The in person training activities for the 2017 SAN Standard are progressing successfully with five regional workshops so far this year.

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In January the workshops were held in Indonesia and Ivory Coast; in February in Kenya; and in March one in India and one in Brazil.

An average of 20 people participated in each activity.  Rainforest Alliance and RA-Cert technicians participated in the workshop in Indonesia; In Ivory Coast staff from the Rainforest Alliance, RA-Cert, CEFCA and AfriCert; In Kenya from the Rainforest Alliance, RA-Cert and Africert; In India technicians from Rainforest Alliance, RA-Cert, IMO and INDOCERT; And finally in Brazil staff from Imaflora and IBD Certifications.

The regional workshops bring together the member organizations of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) and the certification bodies working in these particular regions. The objective is to address the specific needs of these actors in their working regions, with particular attention to the implementation and auditing of the 2017 SAN Standard.

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According to SAN’s Learning & Support Manager, Silvia Rioja, the regional workshops have allowed “harmonization of the interpretation of the standard between different organizations and optimization of the techniques to implement the requirements and evaluate them, which will allow the technical teams carry out their work efficiently”.

The in person training will culminate with two more regional workshops: one in Colombia in April and the last one in Guatemala in May.

Subsequently, Continuous Training will be conducted through SAN’s e-Learning Center.


2017 SAN Standard supports compliance with the 2015 UK Modern Slavery Act
15/03/2017


2017 SAN Standard supports compliance with the 2015 UK Modern Slavery Act

The Modern Slavery Act, passed into UK law in March 2015, is the first of its kind in Europe and one of the first in the world to address forced labor and human trafficking in the 21st century.

Rainforest Alliance Certification, which requires compliance with the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) standards, has long held the protection of human rights as a central tenet and objective. As such, the SAN and Rainforest Alliance welcome the UK Modern Slavery Act as a positive step toward mainstreaming rights-protection norms, good practices, and supply chain transparency, which our certification program has long promoted.

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Sourcing products from Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM farms helps companies meet requirements of the 2015 UK Modern Slavery Act in the following ways:

  • Strict human rights policies and risk reduction procedures at farm level: The 2017 SAN Sustainable Agriculture Standard aligns with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, national laws, and the International Labour Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
  • A strong assurance mechanism: Certified farms receive third-party on-site audits to detect whether or not human rights violations have occurred, and to determine that procedures to protect human rights are operating effectively.
  • Traceability and transparency: Companies using the Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM seal source ingredients that are traceable back to certified farms that comply with the SAN standards.

If you want to know more about the specific criteria of the SAN 2017 Sustainable Agriculture Standard that support compliance with the 2015 UK Modern Slavery Act, you can read a special report with the details in our library.

 


WWF/ISEAL report: How credible standards can help companies deliver the 2030 agenda
07/03/2017


WWF/ISEAL report: How credible standards can help companies deliver the 2030 agenda

A new report by WWF and ISEAL Alliance explores how businesses can use credible voluntary sustainability standards to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The report shows how sustainability standards can help ‘scale up’ efforts to achieve the SDGs: “Credible sustainability standards and certification schemes are a key tool in market transformation and its contribution to SDGs. Credible standards provide guidance on what better production or sustainability for the mainstream, look like in a concrete and practical way, focused on a specific process, sector or industry. This helps businesses to address the biggest impacts in a specific sector. In doing so, a standard typically contributes across a number of SDGs.”

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Specific point oh how standards can help businesses in moving towards the SDGs mentioned in the reports include: “standards pioneer innovative solutions such as HCVs, traceability, living wage and others”; “standards provide a scalable solution, allowing companies to be a part of a broader movement toward greater sustainability in their sector”; and “standards can provide incentives to businesses that improve their sustainability practices, for example through more stable business relations between suppliers and buyers, by offering market access or in some cases through price premiums.”

Also, the report showcases “Good Example Practices”, where the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) is highlighted: “SAN has published a ‘how-to’ guide on addressing sexual harassment and gender-based violence against farm workers. It aims to help certified farms deal with these sensitive issues in order to remain compliant with their standard. The guide explains how to create policies, procedures and programmes to tackle workplace sexual harassment. It also covers educating workers on the issue and how a farm enterprise can monitor if what they have put in place is working. The guide is clearly linked to the SAN principles and criteria that call for a safe, harassment-free and non-discriminatory workplace.”

For more evidence how the adoption of sustainability standards can directly contribute towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), check out ISEAL’s three infographics on this here.

To read the WWF/ISEAL full report, click here.