Why did we decide to convert our certification standard into an outcome-based technical framework, and how did we achieve it?


SAN developed its 2017 Sustainable Agriculture Standard during a 3-year process that started with technical governance decisions and scientific advice in 2014 and included a combination of five global stakeholder consultation processes, two field test rounds on representative sample farms in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and peer reviews by a diversity of expert committees.

The 2017 SAN Sustainable Agriculture Standard is a high level standard, but we realized it is a compliance-based tool, not suitable for the evolving needs of organizations looking towards demonstrating outcomes or impacts. In consequence, we decided to transform this certification standard into an outcome-based technical framework (SAN-SAF) to facilitate implementation in the field and enable innovation and flexibility.

In the following paper we want to share with the sustainability community some experiences about our outcome-based standard development from a practitioner’s point of view. Why did we develop our Sustainable Agriculture Framework, and how?

Oliver Bach