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May 26

Welcome to the Alberta Crops Sustainability Certification Pilot Project

Posted on May 26 By: Erin Gowriluk

In March 2015, representatives from Alberta’s four crop commissions: Alberta Barley, Alberta Canola Producers’ Commission, Alberta Pulse Growers and the Alberta Wheat Commission underwent on-farm assessments in three major, internationally recognized sustainability certification programs.

These programs included: International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) Plus, Unilever’s Sustainable Agriculture Code (ULSAC) as well as Sustainable Agriculture Initiative whose members include: Heineken, Anheuser-Busch, ABInbev, Kellogg’s, General Mills and a host of others.

Third-party sustainability auditors from Control Union Certifications spent a half day on each farm completing an assessment that reflected the requirements of all three programs in one questionnaire.

Alberta Barley vice-chairman, Jason Lenz, was one of 32 farmers that participated in the project and we are grateful that he was open to sharing his on-farm assessment experience in this video.

Each project participant will receive a confidential, individualized report so they can see how their operations compare to the requirements set out in the aforementioned sustainability programs. The crop commissions will receive a report with aggregated data that includes overall highlights and gaps. We look forward to sharing these results with our members this summer.

Phase two of this project involves benchmarking Alberta’s Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) with the three programs used in our sustainability project. The project will be done in partnership with the Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta (ARECA). The results of this analysis will provide ARECA with an opportunity to ensure that Alberta’s EFP is effective in helping farmers determine whether or not their on-farm practices would align with international requirements.

This video is the first in a series of videos that will focus on sustainability and agriculture, so be sure check back in July for our next video that will feature follow-up conversations with some of our farmer participants.

Erin Gowriluk is the government relations and policy manager for Alberta Barley and the Alberta Wheat Commission.

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