Over the last decade and a half various aspects of the sustainability of food production have been evaluated by different groups of stakeholders. National and federal legislators have looked at the types of chemicals allowed and the acceptable maximum residue levels permitted for particular crops and conditions. Commercial firms (in both the processing and retail sectors) have developed private company labels that distinguish them from competitors. Their suppliers have to comply under a 'licence to deliver'. Some organizations that are concerned with environmental issues have developed guidelines. Finally, producer organizations have developed their own labels. The assumption is that farmers who comply have products with added value, which give rise to better opportunities to sell. Some processors source only from growers complying with such schemes. This paper highlights past endeavours, rules and tools to assure food safety, and present initiatives to bring sustainability into the pre-competitive domain. It also identifies future requirements for sustainability indicators and baseline studies, and demonstrates the need to move from indicator values to target values. This approach allows for the quantitative monitoring of environmental safety that will be required for the food industry of the future, just as food safety is now and was in the past.
|Journal||Outlook on Agriculture|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|