New SAN Sustainable Agriculture Framework: an outcome-based approach to demonstrate sustainability


The Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) is pleased to release its new technical outcome-based tool that facilitates a combination of elements of verification and support to allow farms, groups and productive systems to reach, measure and demonstrate specific sustainability results.

This field-based assessment and management tool is called- "SAN Sustainable Agriculture Framework" (SAF), and translates SAN’s vision into a practical and science-based approach towards sustainable agriculture, that seeks to build a bridge between the needs of agricultural and livestock producers and the sustainability expectations of an increasingly demanding global market.

The SAF can be used as a manual of good practices; as a tool to assess the performance of operations on the ground, design support interventions and measure and verify progress; to map risks in the field, and as a roadmap to achieve sustainability goals.

The SAF is a comprehensive framework, but at the same time, its flexible and modular design allows ‘outcomes’ to be selected and prioritized based on the challenges specific to each local context (pest management, biodiversity conservation, pollinator-friendly production, water and soil management, adaptation to climate change, workers' rights, etc.) enabling  the development of a customized package of measures towards delivering these specific outcomes.

The tool covers the 10 impact areas in which SAN works. Each impact area includes different sustainability goals, which are composed of expected outcomes and performance indicators, to demonstrate achievement.


The customized implementation of SAF indicators through SAN’s solutions allows it to be complementary with other existing sustainability programs, and even incorporating specific topics and indicators that are of particular interest to a buyer.

SAN’s Sustainable Agriculture Framework gathers the experience of more than 20 years of work with standards and certification systems and the lessons learned in this process, to address some of the limitations that we identified related to implementation, measurement and evaluation. It is for this reason that we create a flexible tool that adapts to the requirements of the various agricultural production systems and their specific conditions.

*The SAN Sustainable Agriculture Framework has been published under a Creative Commons License that allows sharing and adaptation of the content for non-commercial purposes, in exchange of providing the proper attribution to SAN. We believe in contributing to build shared knowledge for the common good.