Europe is a geographic area with multiple realities and doing business with the different European countries can represent a relevant effort to understand these differences. We must acknowledge that in many parts of the world there is a significant gap between the reality and sustainable agricultural practices and food/feed production. This is also true in Europe.
ProTerra Europa (ProTerra Standard interpretation for products with origin in the European countries) has been developed with the following goals:
- To support stakeholders gain confidence in the practices associated to products coming from European regions with a diverse reality from theirs;
- To help businesses engage and, ultimately, implement, over time, a sustainable approach to their activities.
The approach adopted by ProTerra is based on a qualitative risk evaluation of the different European countries. The risk is based on both the potential presence of GMO in a crop and in the potential of negative environmental and social aspects of agricultural activity in a given European country.
Risk is often related to regulatory quality (sustainability elements present in the regulatory framework and law enforcement, for example) and other aspects related to governance, such as, control of corruption and government effectiveness. Risk Countries, for example, present a higher risk of human right violations perpetrated against workers. At the same time, poor governance and political instability may impede reasonable due diligence in the supply chains in risk countries as monitoring and capacity building activities might not be possible.
Taking these aspects into consideration, the European Interpretation of the ProTerra Standard has been developed focusing on the risk of the different countries. This shall reduce cost and audit burden for organizations in low risk countries, while assuring due care in organizations operating in high risk countries.
At the same time, food and feed companies can fulfil increasing market demand for European, non-GMO and sustainable products.
ProTerra Europa certification covers topics such as:
- Promotion of good agricultural practices, particularly regarding soil fertility, water management and continuous efforts to reduce the use of fertilisers and pesticides;
- Promotion of good labour practices such as workplace safety, equal opportunities, and particular attention to preventing child, forced labour and aspects associated to modern slavery;
- Protection of biodiversity, particularly through rigorous Non-GMO requirements;
- Traceability and Chain of Custody: traceability enables the market to have a full view over a product’s journey, making it possible to identify if and where GMOs were used;
- And many more…
The ProTerra Foundation’s mission is to be a global network of businesses supporting more sustainable agricultural practices, in the food and feed supply chains. Visit our website to find out more: www.proterrafoundation.org