Updated Jan.9, 2015 – Alberta’s crops industry has developed its own sustainability project: The Alberta Crops Sustainability Initiative.
The plan is to encourage farmers to test some of the sustainability platforms created in Canada and overseas to see how they work on Alberta farms. The initiative was developed by Alberta Wheat and Alberta Barley commissions and is supported by Alberta Canola Producers and Alberta Pulse Growers.
“It’s partly an assessment of how farmers stack up against international sustainable agriculture guidelines, and to identify gaps where we could be better in some areas,” said Kara Barnes, market development co-ordinator with Alberta Barley.
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The group will look at a number of different sustainability platforms, including the Sustainable Agricultural Initiative Self-Assessment 2, the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC PLUS), and the Unilever Sustainable Agriculture Code.
The project is voluntary and will include about 30 farmers from across the province. When participating farmers are audited, they will also be supplying information for the Canadian Field Print Calculator.
Auditors will be on a farm for half a day, and will provide each farmer with a detailed report showing how he or she met (or failed to meet) the criteria for the sustainability platform. The four commissions will report the data and their observations to the roundtable.
The project is still looking for interested farmers. For more information, contact one of the four participating crop organizations.