SMART – sustainability assessment of farms
There is no commonly accepted definition of the term „sustainability“ therefore different experts and organisations explain it in a different way. Despite of this 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 Swiss Research Institute for 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 based on the SAFA – Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture Systems – sustainability guidelines, which have been published in 2013 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). As FiBL also contributed to the development of these guidelines, SMART is fully consistent with the SAFA procedures and principles and allows an efficient application of the guidelines.
SMART is not a new standard, certification system or label but solely an analysis and assessment instrument which provides a comprehensive picture about the environmental, economic and social sustainaiblity of a farm.
The brand SMART and the associated method are owned by the Sustainable Food Systems GmbH: a spin.off company of the three research institutes FiBL Switzerland, FiBL Austria and FiBL Germany. In Hungary SMART assessments are conducted by the Hungarian parter of FiBL called Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (ÖMKi).
More information on SMART in English and German: