Formal certification increases the farm’s competitiveness and contributes to higher sales, as well as enhances its attractiveness in the eyes of business partners.
What does the ASAP audit involve?
The audit is conducted on the basis of a checklist, created according to the Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) – a tool developed by the international organisation known as SAI PLATFORM. This list contains 112 questions concerning different areas of agricultural activity, including farm and production means management, application of agrotechnical solutions on a farm, the farm’s financial stability, as well as social and environmental responsibility.
The audit begins with a general survey on the farm’s specialisation, followed by an inspection visit which serves to verify the points from the checklist. It ends with assessing the advancement of sustainable agricultural practices (by assigning the gold, silver or bronze level) along with a consultation and recommendations concerning further development in this regard. The list is subject to periodic modifications in line with new solutions and standards in agriculture, as well as with the changing consumer expectations. As a result, the audited farms can rely on further development and improvement in terms of sustainability.
The ASAP audit is not a certificate of secure food production. However, it shares most of the issues with the Global G.A.P., thereby supporting the farm in preparing for this certification. However, the audit also concerns additional important issues related to farm stability and its long-term development.
Farm Sustainability Assessment
The ASAP Checklist was created on the basis of the Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) – a tool for assessing the advancement level of sustainable practices by the SAI Platform. The SAI Platform is the only global initiative in the world dedicated to sustainable agriculture in the food industry. The mission of the Platform, similarly to the ASAP Association in Poland, is to promote and implement sustainable practices in the global chain of food supplies.
This is done using a programme for developing new and testing the best practices under projects from all over the world, as well as by creating practical tools for farmers to help them effectively implement the principles of sustainable agriculture. Thanks to these tools (including the FSA), it not only measures the progress of farms in terms of sustainability, but also supports their further development.
The ASAP Checklist systematises the knowledge on sustainable agriculture and represents its uniform international standards. The audit conducted on the basis of the list is therefore recognised on the international food supply market.
The benefits of going through the ASAP audit
According to the 2019 assessment by SAI Platform, Poland and Brazil are the world’s leaders in terms of advancement of works related to the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices. Our farmers are therefore invariably determined to pursue increasingly higher standards of food production. Therefore, they recognise the necessity to follow the standards set out by the global food market. They are also becoming convinced of the sustainable model of management as an economically viable alternative to pursuing agricultural activities. The ASAP audit is a tool that may become a reference point for a farm or a further step in the pursuit of a long-term development strategy.
The assumption behind sustainable development is continuous improvement in a number of fields, which are not necessarily taken into account in a purely financial approach to management. They concern the impact of farming activities on the local community and environment, ensuring appropriate staff working conditions, as well as stability and predictability of the financial result, rather than its maximisation at all costs. These standards distinguish agricultural producers on the foot market and determine the competitiveness of their farms, which tangibly translates into greater profitability of the contracts concluded.
The ASAP audit ensures, besides the safety of food production, that the raw material has been produced with respect to environmental resources and human health, as well as out of concern for good relations with employees and the local community. These values are important to contemporary consumers who more than ever before care about their health, interpersonal relations and the planet they live on. Therefore, it is increasingly common for them to choose products from environmentally friendly and sustainable agricultural production.