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SMART – Sustainability Assessments in the Food and Agriculture Sector

The term "sustainability" is used inflationary and inconsistently. Hundreds of sustainability frameworks have been developed and more and more companies have "sustainable" products on offer. For consumers and buyers it is very difficult to tell whether a farm or a company are actually operating sustainably or not. In addition, farmers and companies in the agricultural and food sector face the question how to assess their sustainability performance in a comparable way and to communicate it in a credible way, without pursuing green-washing.

Therefore the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL has chosen to develop SMART – Sustainability Monitoring and Assessment RouTine – a method that allows farms and companies in the food sector to assess their sustainability in a credible, transparent and comparable manner. SMART is the world’s first tool, which is fully consistent with the SAFA-Guidelines and provides an efficient manner to apply them in practice.

However, SMART is not a new standard, certification system or label but solely an analysis and assessment instrument. It therefore does not compete with existing standards and certificates, but is a useful supplement.

In order to provide SMART sustainability assessment services FiBL founded the spin-off Sustainable Food Systems GmbH (SFS) which now is the owner of the lincense rights and rights of use of SMART. The SFS is owned by FiBL Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

Some background information is presented on following pages. Additional information is provided on the right hand side including documents for download.