BRUSSELS 11 March 2019 – The Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) supports the uptake of sustainable agricultural practices in over 35 counties. Its legislation filters allow users to adapt the FSA questionnaire according to a country’s laws, keeping it relevant wherever its used. Based on a new Country Legal Compliance Assessment, SAI platform is publishing updates to the FSA Implementation Framework that provide stronger assurance, and greater clarity in where and how the legislation filters can be used.
As well as automatically pre-answering the FSA questionnaire saving farms time, the legislation filters also complement standards and schemes that have been benchmarked against the FSA. This allows several standards to achieve bronze or silver level equivalence with the FSA.
Explaining the improvement Joe Rushton, FSA Manager commented “Previously legislation filters were only permitted for the USA, Canada, Australia and EU member states. However, this assumed that regulations are adequality enforced in these countries”.
“For each country, users now have a consistent and impartial way of evaluating a farms risk of legal non-compliance in relation to the FSA and justifying under which circumstances using legislative filters is appropriate” Joe added.
Anthesis RiskHorizonsTM was used to categorise countries into Very low, Low, and Medium risk of FSA related legal non-compliance. This was based on several measures of a country’s environmental, social, and governance performance. How legislation filters can be used now depends on the countries risk category and the implementation option.
“I am really pleased that SAI Platform can now conclude this important piece of work. The changes that we are announcing today are based on systematic research, careful consideration and constructive dialogue with members and partners, and I want to thank everyone for their input and patience during this process” concluded Sven Sielhorst, Systems Director.
FSA users can read more about the use of legal filters in the updated version of the FSA Implementation Framework and Benchmarking methodology. The changes will have no impact on the status of FSA verified farm management groups, and any update to FSA benchmarking results will be subject to a 12-month transition period. For an overview of those benchmarks effected, please refer to the benchmarking results list. SAI Platform will review the Country Legal Compliance Assessment when necessary, and at least every five years.
For more information, please contact the FSA team.