Leading Harvest has expanded its sustainability reporting platform to include agricultural production in Australia.
Announced in mid-March, the nonprofit’s new presence in Australia will include 21 crop types grown across roughly 540,000 hectares across all six states. Participants include Altora Ag, Australian Food and Fibre, Southern Premium Vineyards, Stahmann Webster, Manulife Investment Management, goFARM Australia, Warakirri Asset Management, and RRG Capital Management.
Uniform, Streamlined Sustainability Standards
Profiled in The Land Report prior to its US launch in 2020, Leading Harvest provides farmers and agriculture customers access to a universal certification process through its unique Farmland Management Standard.
The standard — which consists of 13 sustainability principles, including soil health and conservation, protection of crops, waste and material management, and legal and regulatory compliance — provides a measurable way to verify sustainability outcomes that affect communities and the environment.
According to the nonprofit, the Farmland Management Standard results in less administrative burden for farmers and more planet-friendly choices for consumers.
Australian Program Launch
The Australian program’s recent official launch follows a successful 12-month pilot program, facilitated by Mutual Trust, that included farmland producers from across Australia.
“The overarching mission for our program in Australia, consistent with our strategy in the US and globally, is to harmonize the sustainability reporting landscape to create more efficiency for producers, more transparency for consumers and the supply chain, and to improve environmental and social outcomes,” said Kenny Fahey, Leading Harvest’s CEO.
Based on a model pioneered in the US, Leading Harvest’s Australian Farmland Management Standard is unique to Australia and reflects the agronomic, regulatory, and operating realities of its growing regions.
“We are proud to have facilitated the pilot on behalf of Leading Harvest and to have served as its Australian advisor over the past year,” said Phil Harkness, Mutual Trust’s CEO. “We understand that the Leading Harvest initiative provides a much-needed third-party sustainability assurance solution that the Australian agricultural market demands. We celebrate Leading Harvest’s launch and look forward to seeing its success.”
About Leading Harvest
Leading Harvest is a nonprofit organization committed to increasing adoption of sustainability practices in agriculture. It was formally organized in 2020 by and for stakeholders across the agricultural value chain — from farmland owners to companies and communities. The organization provides assurance programs composed of standards, audit procedures, training and education, and reporting and claim offerings that are optimized for flexibility, scalability, and impact.