Farm Sustainability Assessment, a tool from the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative to engage, assess and improve the sustainability practices at farm level.
Control Union is a global service provider for the agricultural industry and officially approved by SAI Platform to perform Farmer Sustainability Assessments (FSA). In this program we perform verification services with the supplier and the farmers they source from.
SAI Platform was created in 2002 by the food industry to support the development of sustainable agriculture worldwide. Nowadays, SAI Platform has over 90 members across the global food and drink value chain and covers all major commodities. SAI Platform promotes the development and implementation of sustainable agriculture by developing tools and guidance.
One of these tools is the FSA. Through the FSA programme, SAI Platform strives to support farmers and companies in moving towards sustainable production of agricultural materials.
The FSA checklist has 112 questions covering social, environmental and economic topics. There are three implementation options:
1. Benchmarking: a farm or farm management group complies with a benchmarked standard and they can claim a performance (Bronze, Silver or Gold) level accordingly
2. Self-assessment and verification: the farm or farm management group conducts self-assessments and these are verified by Control Union
3. Hybrid: combination between options 1 and 2.
To go through the FSA process, three steps can be distinguished:
1. engage: the farm management group should be aware of the FSA sustainability requirements
2. assess: the agricultural practices of the supply base are assessed
3. improve: the focus is on continuous improvement, working towards better agricultural practices.
FSA is a verification programme and third party verification is obligatory for companies and farms that want to publicly claim a certain FSA performance level of their farm supply base and/or number of farmers in the FSA programme. Third party verification consists of a farm management system verification and on site farm assessments.
Control Union works with the FSA programme in over 15 countries. We conduct verification audits, farm management system verification, trainings for farmers and suppliers, implementation of improvement plans, etc.