What is the SAN Sustainable Agriculture Framework?

The SAF translates SAN’s vision (a world where agriculture contributes to the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods) into a practical and science-based approach towards sustainable agriculture, that seeks to build the bridge between the needs of agricultural and livestock producers and the sustainability expectations of an increasingly demanding global market.

It is a modular and outcome-based management tool that offers multiple advantages for the sustainable management of productive systems, as it is designed to easily assess progress towards impacts goals.


What can SAF be used for?

  • The Sustainable Agriculture Framework can be used for multiple purposes:
  • As a manual of good practices
  • As a tool to assess the performance of operations in the field, design support interventions and measure and verify progress
  • To map risks in the field
  • As a roadmap to achieve sustainability goals.


How does it differ from a certification standard?

The SAN-SAF has been built based on an outcome based approach and modular design, which makes it much more flexible to implement and to evaluate, giving it an advantage over traditional certification standards.

SAN does not believe in one-size solutions for all problems, but in the combination of elements and tools to achieve customized solutions, so the SAN-SAF offers organizations the possibility of choosing a set of goals and indicators they want to work on, according to their priorities.

The tool’s modular design is especially effective to meet specific needs and address risks, and incorporates elements that facilitate performance measurement, as all of the good practices included as part of the SAN-SAF have two main aims: to obtain a specific result of benefit for the farms, and to empower the productive systems’ managers so they can implement the recommended practices themselves.

All these elements make the SAN-SAF not an excluding system, but an inclusive one, in which implementation can combine elements of support and advisory, as it is not limited to assurance duties. This also means that the customized implementation of SAF indicators allows it to be complementary with other existing sustainability programs, used as stepping stone towards certification, and even incorporating specific topics and indicators that are of particular interest to a buyer.


Why an outcome-based approach?

To guide the transition to highly productive, economically viable, environmentally sound and socially just agriculture.

An outcome-based approach, instead of just compliance, makes it possible to measure impact more efficiently and make more transparent and accurate claims about the status and sustainability achievements of agricultural operations, so SAF is a more operational tool.