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The Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) sustainability certification for rice

FSA certification

In an increasingly sustainability and environmentally conscious world, the FSA certification emerges as a key pillar, especially in rice cultivation. This certification guarantees farming practices that respect both the environment and people, ensuring quality and responsibility.

What is the FSA certification?

The Farm Sustainability Assessment certification, known as FSA, is an important initiative within agricultural sustainability. Born from the need to establish clear and common criteria for evaluating and promoting sustainable agricultural practices, the FSA has established itself as an internationally recognised standard.

It is a tool that was created by the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI Platform) to provide producers and consumers with a method for verifying the use of proper sustainable agricultural practices.

The evaluation is based on various criteria, including environmental protection, social welfare and economic sustainability. This means that to obtain the certification, a farm must not only respect the environment, but also ensure fair working conditions for its employees and a sustainable business model.

The main objective of the FSA certification is to provide a framework that can guide companies on their path to sustainability while assuring consumers that the products they buy come from responsible, eco-friendly and humane sources.

Mundi Riso obtained this certification through the Control Union Italia certification service, which is officially recognised by the SAI platform to carry out agricultural sustainability assessments (FSA – Farm Sustainable Assessment). Thanks to these standards, Mundi Riso can claim to have an increasingly sustainable and evolving agricultural supply chain.

What does the FSA certification include?

The FSA certification, which aims to guide companies in their transition towards sustainability, comprises a checklist of 112 questions covering several key areas, including social, economic and environmental aspects.

There are multiple implementation options:

  • A farm, or a group of farms, can demonstrate compliance with a benchmark standard. This leads to it being classified according to performance level, such as Bronze, Silver and Gold.
  • The company, or group of companies, may conduct an internal evaluation of its practices, which is then verified by an external entity, such as Control Union.
  • The company can use a hybrid approach by combining the first and second methods, resulting in a more flexible solution.

Why is sustainability crucial in the rice sector?

The FSA certification applies to all agricultural crops, so it also covers the rice sector.

Rice cultivation has a history spanning thousands of years and rice is one of the staple foods for more than half of the world’s population. However, despite its undisputed virtues, rice production presents significant challenges in terms of environmental impact. From the intensive use of water to greenhouse gas emissions and the use of pesticides and fertilisers, it is essential to find solutions that reduce these burdens without compromising yields.

A sustainable approach not only protects and conserves natural resources, but also ensures that production can be maintained over the long term, ensuring food security and economic sustainability for producers. Not least, it often makes it possible to safeguard certain indigenous varieties and improve the quality of the finished product. In addition, growing consumer awareness of environmental issues is driving the market to favour products from eco-friendly farming.

Finally, beyond purely ecological considerations, sustainability in agriculture also has a social impact. Sustainable agricultural practices can lead to better and safer working conditions for farmers, ensuring fair remuneration and contributing to the cohesion and development of local communities.

Benefits of the FSA certification

In an increasingly competitive and responsible market, the FSA certification makes a clear difference. Companies that obtain this certification undoubtedly gain a long list of advantages.

  • Quality assurance and sustainability: the FSA certification ensures that the rice has been produced through the use of sustainable agricultural practices. This means less pesticides, responsible use of resources and an overall commitment to environmental conservation. In the B2B sector, companies that buy from certified producers can be sure of supplying superior quality products to their consumers.
  • Market differentiation: in an era in which consumers are increasingly informed and demanding, being able to boast a sustainable source of rice allows producers, as well as those marketing the product, to stand out from the competition, strengthening their brand image and reputation in the market.
  • Responding to consumer demands: increasing numbers of consumers are demanding transparency and sustainability. By working with an FSA-certified supplier, such as Mundi Riso, B2B customers are able to respond directly to these demands, meeting the expectations of modern consumers.
  • Long-term partnership potential: commitment to sustainability demonstrates a long-term vision. This not only ensures a stable, quality supply, but also offers opportunities for deeper collaborations and joint projects, consolidating a strong and lasting business relationship.
  • Environmental and social benefits: in addition to direct benefits, companies involved in the production and distribution process as well as end customers are supporting environmental and social initiatives, ultimately contributing to a wider positive impact on society and the planet.