Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) 3.0 launch accelerates growth of sustainable agriculture

SAI Platform today unveils the new and improved Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) toolset, version FSA 3.0. This new version includes the widely trusted Self-Assessment Questionnaire that reflects the latest industry consensus on sustainable farming.

Building on the success of previous iterations, FSA 3.0 also continues to serve as a global verification framework and benchmark reference for numerous sustainable farming schemes that can benefit from having obtained FSA Equivalence.

Since its inception in 2014, the FSA has become a recognised and trusted toolset and this latest version will be even more effective in accelerating sustainable agriculture on the ground as well as supply chain collaboration and alignment.

A new online FSA Priority Screening Tool helps farm groups gain valuable insights into relevant sustainability challenges such as climate change, biodiversity decline and labour rights. Farm groups are also offered extra guidance in developing, implementing and monitoring a performance improvement plan with a new Continuous Improvement Module.

Jan Kees Vis, Global Director Sustainable Sourcing, Unilever, commented: “The FSA is used by many SAI Platform members, creating additionality. FSA 3.0 is strengthened with a priority screening tool, which gives focus, and an outcome measurement module to provide us with much needed data.”

Larry Fernandes, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial and Sustainability Officer, Ingredion added: “The FSA is critical to achieving our sustainability goals, as it gives us a common framework to accelerate progress through collaboration with customers and other stakeholders.”

FSA implementation can now incorporate existing external impact measurement tools identified through a new Outcome Measurement Handbook.

Robert Erhard, President of SAI Platform and Agricultural Raw Materials Specialist for Nestlé, said: “Companies are increasingly turning to on-the-ground agricultural solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reverse biodiversity decline and improve worker well-being. The Farm Sustainability Assessment 3.0 offers our members and their suppliers a way to do this by using a solid yet flexible approach to assessing farm sustainability performance worldwide. This new version empowers everyone in the agricultural value chain even more to work together on raising the sustainable agriculture bar. I am proudly sharing our new and improved FSA toolset with any farm and business that wants to join us in growing a better planet, and I want to thank our members that have contributed to this achievement.”

The existing version of the FSA (2.1) will be phased out over the next 18 months. During this period, sustainability schemes will maintain their benchmarked status and Verification Bodies can still register FSA Letters of Attestation against the old version of the FSA.

About the Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA)

The FSA has enabled well over 100,000 farms to assess and improve their agricultural practices and have them independently verified against a global framework.

In addition, the FSA brings transparency for buyers of agricultural ingredients navigating the expanding range of sustainable agriculture schemes. SAI Platform has benchmarked more than 100 schemes against the FSA to ensure that global businesses can make consistent sustainable sourcing decisions across countries and crops.

Almost all FSA tools and guidance materials are freely available to farmers, companies in agriculture-based supply chains and other stakeholders.

The new and updated resources can now be downloaded from the SAI Platform website. This includes the FSA Learning Centre, providing step-by-step guidance to farm groups that wish to implement the FSA. SAI Platform members and their suppliers can also benefit from access to the updated FSA Web App, allowing them to efficiently manage the implementation online.

About SAI Platform

Founded in 2002, the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform (SAI Platform) is a global not-for-profit organisation helping to transform the food and drink industry to source and produce more sustainably.

With over 120 members, from companies and organisations in the food and drink industry, we are at the forefront in pioneering sustainable agriculture around the world.  We enable our members to share expertise, create solutions to common challenges and promote sustainable agriculture in a pre-competitive environment.

By developing tools and principles we are creating secure and resilient agricultural supply chains. Our current focus is on beef, dairy and crops. Our innovative and industry-focused tools, the European Roundtable for Beef Sustainability (ERBS), the Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA), Spotlight and the Sustainable Dairy Partnership (SDP), lead the way to effective sustainable practices while delivering value to our members, farmers, their communities and consumers.

Among the SAI Platform members involved in the development of FSA 3.0 are the Dutch companies: Ahold Delhaize, FarmFrites and Heineken.

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