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
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.
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.
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.
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