Leading Harvest

Leading Harvest

Leading Harvest is a new nonprofit organization at the vanguard of sustainable agriculture.

Partner’s Highlights

  • Leading Harvest’s inaugural product is a first-ever universal outcomes-based certification program. It verifies that farmland is being managed sustainably through outcomes-based evidence and third-party audits. For Leading Harvest, sustainability means best-in-class performance across all environmental, social, and economic issues, from soil health to climate change, from community well-being to safe and fair working conditions for farm laborers. Leading Harvest offers solutions to grow confidently, together.

  • Leading Harvest rationalizes the market for sustainability verification through a universal, outcomes-based certification program that can be applied across all crops and geographies and covers all major economic, social, and economic issues. As evidence of this universal approach, in its inaugural year Leading Harvest is already being applied across 26 U.S. states and on over 25 diverse row and permanent crops.

  • Through its auditing program, Leading Harvest creates a pathway for growers, landowners, companies, and investors to verify economic, social, and environmental outcomes on farmland through third-party audits.

Inaugural Farmland Management Standard

Their inaugural Farmland Management Standard is organized around 13 sustainability Principles.
  • Sustainable Agriculture

    To practice sustainable agricultural stewardship to improve crop production and ensure long-term agricultural sustainability.

  • Soil Health and Conservation

    To maintain or enhance soil health to optimize crop yield and protect long-term soil productivity on agricultural lands.

  • Protection of Water Resources

    To protect water resources and manage water for efficient agricultural productivity.

  • Protection of Crops

    To achieve crop protection objectives while protecting people and the environment.

  • Energy Use, Air Quality and Climate Change

    To conserve energy used by agricultural operations and minimize adverse impacts to the atmosphere and the global climate.

  • Waste and Material Management

    To manage waste, agricultural chemicals and other materials from agricultural operations to minimize their adverse impacts to agriculture and the environment.

  • Conservation of Biodiversity

    To manage farmland in a manner that maintains agricultural production while conserving biodiversity where appropriate or legally required.

  • Protection of Special Sites

    To manage Special Sites on farmland that are geologically or culturally important in a manner that recognizes and respects their unique qualities.

  • Local Communities

    To operate safely and responsibly; contribute to the economic well-being, social networks and health of local communities; and to recognize and respect the rights of local communities and Indigenous Peoples in regions of agricultural operations.

  • Employees and Farm Labor

    To provide a safe and healthy working environment, fair compensation and training for Standard user personnel, contract management company employees and contract farm labor necessary to improve the practice of sustainable agriculture.

  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance

    To comply with applicable federal, state and local laws, statutes, and regulations.

  • Management Review and Continual Improvement

    To promote continual improvement in the practice of sustainable agriculture by conducting management reviews and monitoring performance.

  • Tenant-Operated Operations

    To promote the use of regional agricultural best management practices on farmland leased by farmland tenants to broaden the practice of sustainable agriculture and to promote the efficient use of agricultural inputs and the management of adverse environmental impacts.

Leading Harvest is committed to supporting leaders in the agriculture industry that can advance environmental, social, and economic outcomes at scale. We are thrilled to welcome FarmTogether as a Program User and to support their journey to third-party verified sustainability certification.
Kenny Fahey
Executive Director of Leading Harvest

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