Australia is now the first country in the world to have a certification scheme for regenerative and sustainable farmers, and their produce.
Built on more than 20 years of data from nearly 100 farmers working with Australian Soil Planner agronomists, the Australian Sustainable Products (ASP) certified standards have been developed around best practice methodology.
ASP certified sustainable executive officer Miriam Neilson said the standards have been independently reviewed under rigorous evaluation by the University of Queensland, supported by an AusIndustry funded study.
“Initial results show that wheat farmers abiding by ASP certified standards contributed to an 80 per cent reduction in emissions when compared against peer reviewed conventional wheat production results,” Ms Neilson said.
“This data is a huge boost to farmers, processors and consumers alike, and shows what’s possible in agriculture when it comes to carbon credits and regenerative, sustainable farming.
“While local politicians grapple with carbon emission targets, and the new US President makes plans to fund carbon farmers in America, focused producers on the ground here in Australia have forged ahead to make us the first country in the world to have solid accreditation – it’s something Australia can be very proud of.”
She said farmers and processors under the ASP certified sustainable scheme are independently audited annually and undergo compulsory residue testing of products every year.
The ASP Certified Sustainable Standard Logo is also a registered trademark with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which means the standard and the accreditation processes have been critically reviewed and meet a strict criteria, and the scheme is also independently audited for ISO9001.
Ms Neilson said interest in becoming ASP certified was growing across multiple sectors with agriculture.
“We initially started with grain producers, who have been supplying Wholegrain Milling in Gunnedah for several years now, which in turn is milled into highly sought-after flour for the artisan bakeries in Sydney and Melbourne,” she said.
“There are now multiple Australian products certified including sustainable livestock feed, eggs and even beer. Much like certified organic products, ASP certified products offer consumers confidence in the products that carry the ASP logo and the substantiated research and standards the logo promises.
“We are getting more and more retail enquiry for certified sustainable products each day, and act as a conduit to farmers and processers. It’s an exciting space to be in and the long-term impact on both the environment and consumer health stand to be incredibly positive.”