A new sustainability standard, 2017 SAN was launched by Rainforest Alliance and their partner Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) on 29 September in Stockholm.
The 2017 SAN standard update, reduced the number of key principles from ten, like it used ot be in the 2010 SAN standard, to four: Effective Planning and Management System, Biodiversity Conservation, Natural Resource Conservation, Improved Livelihoods and Human Wellbeing. Ten principles were in one or another way incorporated in the new four, so in essense much of the standard remains unchanged, the novelty of the 2017 SAN standard is the system of continuous improvement. The system consists of three performance levels ( good, better and best sustainability) and requires regular improvements on the key elements of sustainable agricultural development, such as, for instance, water quality, waste management, soil conservation as well as working conditions and living wages.
Rainforest Alliance and Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) work together, certifying agricultural products of 1.2 million farmers globally. Farmers who comply with the 2017 SAN standard gain the right to use the Rainforest Alliance’s seal. By having their products certified, farmers gain access to international markets. Furthermore, through the standard, SAN offers a tool to improve agricultural performance and productivity.
The 2017 SAN standard aims to promote sustainable agriculture and is designed to improve farming practices, delivering positive outcomes for biodiversity, natural resources, farm productivity and livelihoods. The updated standard contains, amongst others, stricter regulations about the use of pesticides, worker’s welfare and rights, and practices related to climate-smart agriculture. At the same time, the standard is designed to enable more producers to join the certification programmes and to continuously improve their agricultural practices.