The Certified Sustainable Standard

Our Early Focus

From the outset, this certification was designed to benefit all stakeholders: Farmers, Processors, and consumers, built on the idea of a food community, not a food chain.

This was the focus from the start:

  • The stewardship and regeneration of Australia’s fragile soils, which have lost so much carbon and fertility.
  • Slash the huge and ever-increasing costs of imported synthetic farm inputs.
  • Equitable farm gate prices for farmers so they can serve as land stewards to constantly improve their soils.
  • Produce the healthiest food possible for consumers at a price mainstream Australians can afford.

Outcomes Based Monitoring

 

Farmers who have made the decision to participate in the Certification Program are able to show the Auditor that fields to be certified are meeting outcomes the Standard requires and have not had any prohibited inputs or GMO’s in the fields for a minimum of 3 years. They are required to commit to a declaration verifying their compliance and to testing of each paddock’s produce.

Once accepted into the Program by the Standards Review Board the growers must commit to the audit and testing of their farm and produce.

Certified Sustainable Produce is NOT Certified ORGANIC and is not produced to be sold or described as a Certified ORGANIC product.

The Certified Sustainable Standard covers the following management areas of farming:

  • Soil Conservation, Soil Health and Improvement
  • GMO’s (Prohibited in the ASP Certified System)
  • Crop Rotation
  • Landscape and Environment
  • Records and Record Keeping
  • Whole of Farm Management System
  • Residues and Possible Contaminations
  • Farm Hygiene
  • Manure Crops
  • Diversity of Crop Production
  • Management
  • Crop Residue Management
  • Seed, Seedlings and Seed production
  • Plant Production
  • Fertiliser Inputs (Prohibited products and Restricted Use Products)
  • Trace Elements
  • Manures and Composts
  • Pests, Disease and Weed Management (Plant Protection)
  • Storage and Processing
  • Community and Social Expectations
  • Certification Audit and Inspection

Pre-Season Growers Agreement

 

  • Sets out their acceptance to grow produce compliant to the Standard
  • Sets out their production area for the current season
  • Sets out the penalties for breaching the standard and their liability to Certified Sustainable
  • Informs them of the power of the Standards Review Board – Power to revoke their status
  • Sets out who may, by legal license, use the Certification Logos and sell products under the ASP Certified Logo
  • Sets out the requirement for marketing Certified Sustainable grain products
  • Outlines the requirement of the Audit and Certification process and in signing allows access to the property and records of the farming enterprise for Auditors

Grain Testing and Independent Auditing

 

  • Grain produced under the Certification process is sent to independent laboratories for pesticide residue and GMO testing prior to any grain being allowed to leave the farm as Certified Sustainable.
  • Independent accredited Auditors who are highly experienced industry participants; specialising and trained in farming production systems facilitate the audit process. They understand Natural Resource Management and the importance of growing and supporting regional communities.
  • These independent auditors also validate the NATA accredited testing which has occurred on the produce and documentation for storage and transport. This then allows the marketing body to ensure that the Standard has been rigorously followed, and supply traceability is ensured.

The farmers are required to validate their compliance to the standard by producing evidence i.e. Production records, Input register, operations reports. Copies of relevant evidence is recorded by the Auditors and kept on file. The Auditors also complete field inspections of production and storage areas. Visual inspection is also undertaken on the Natural Environment and Natural Assets of the certified farmer’s property.

 

In the event of non-compliance

Should the auditor believe for any reason that there is inadequate evidence successfully to grant compliance to the Certified Standard, the auditor must immediately report the non-compliance to the Certified Producer, agronomist and Standards Review Board for investigation. The  Certified Sustaianble producer will be given a corrective action report and they will then liaise with the Standard Review Board to ensure they take corrective action. Any grain produced from this farming unit will be withdrawn from sale as Certified Sustainable and sold into the conventional market.