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Sustainability Monitoring and Assessment Routine: Results from pilot applications of the FAO SAFA Guidelines

Jawtusch, Julia; Schader, Christian; Stolze, Matthias; Baumgart, Lukas and Niggli, Urs (2013) Sustainability Monitoring and Assessment Routine: Results from pilot applications of the FAO SAFA Guidelines. In: Symposium International sur L'Agriculture Biologique Méditerranénne et Les Signes Distinctifs de Qualité liée à l'Origine, 2-4 Décembre 2013, Agadir, Morocco.

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There is currently no common understanding of how to measure sustainability in the food sector. To close this gap, the FAO has developed Guidelines for Sustainability Assessments of Food and Agriculture Systems (SAFA), which were published as a test version in June 2012. The Guidelines describe about 60 sustainability objectives, which are classified into 20 themes and four dimensions: Good governance, Environmental integrity, Economic resilience, Social well-being, as well as assessment procedures.
This paper presents an approach for the sustainability assessments of enterprises in the food and agriculture sector in full compliance with the SAFA Guidelines. We developed an indicator-based tool (“SMART”), which is applicable at all food supply chain levels, and includes stakeholder and employee surveys. SMART consists of a pool of more than 430 indicators for processing and trade and 240 indicators for primary production.
The tool has been tested in pilot applications in three enterprises and on 60 farms, in Europe and Mexico. The SAFA procedures of goal and scope definition, compliance and relevance checks, data collection, data analysis and reporting were all able to be applied to all enterprises and farms. An individual choice of suitable indicators for assessing the SAFA goals was necessary for each enterprise. The duration of the assessment increased with the size and complexity of the enterprise: from 4 hours for a family sized farm to 20 working days for an enterprise with more than 100 employees and a wide portfolio of products.
The SAFA Guidelines provide an applicable but also resource-demanding framework for sustainability assessment. To decrease the diversity of statements about sustainability, we recommend a widespread uptake of the SAFA Guidelines. Our approach for operationalization of the SAFA Guidelines provides support for enterprises in applying the SAFA Guidelines in their specific context in a sound and efficient way.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Department of Socio-Economiv Sciences, Sustainability performance, Sustainability assessment tool, SMART, SAFA, pilot studies
Agrovoc keywords:
socio-economic development -> socioeconomic development
Subjects: Values, standards and certification
Food systems > Produce chain management
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Society > Rural sociology
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Sustainability > Sustainability assessment
Related Links:http://www.fibl.org/en/themes/smart-en.html, http://www.agadir2013.org/
Deposited By: Schader, Dr. Christian
ID Code:29547
Deposited On:14 Dec 2015 11:47
Last Modified:15 Mar 2022 10:50
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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