Leading Harvest Launches Innovative Farmland Management Standard in Canada

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, July 9, 2024

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The nonprofit agriculture sustainability organization piloted its industry-leading farmland management standard in Canada with Anchoring Support from Manulife Investment Management and support from Bonnefield Financial.

SEATTLE, WA, July 9, 2024 – Leading Harvest, an industry leader in agriculture sustainability, has launched its innovative, third-party audited Farmland Management Standard in Canada. The launch follows a successful pilot program including field tests on tens of thousands of acres across five Canadian provinces and representation across the agricultural value chain.

“The food and agriculture sector is facing increasing pressure to deliver on ambitious and necessary commitments to sustainability. The Leading Harvest Standard provides a specific, actionable, third-party audited framework for farmers, landowners, and supply chain companies to verify impact now while also enabling the transition to long-term goals,” says Kenny Fahey, President and CEO of Leading Harvest.

“A sector-wide approach is critical to drive the transformational change necessary to meet agriculture sustainability goals. Our work in Canada has engaged with stakeholders from across the agricultural value chain to ensure the alignment and transparency necessary to enable incentives, generate value, and drive continuous improvement for the sector at large. We are grateful for the leadership of our Canadian pilot participants and look forward to continued engagement with our Canadian partners to accelerate sustainability outcomes across the country.”

The Leading Harvest Farmland Management Standard is a universally applicable, outcomes-based sustainability standard focusing on continuous improvement in agriculture. The program provides a clear and consistent certification to harmonize sustainability reporting across all crop types and regions. More than 3 million acres and more than 100 crop types are currently enrolled across the United States and Australia.

In 2023, Leading Harvest Farmland Management Standard was field-tested on tens of thousands of acres in Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec with 16 crop types, ranging from corn, wheat, and potatoes to pumpkins, ginseng, and asparagus. The pilot program adapted the same Farmland Management Standard that was implemented in the United States and Australia to Canada’s unique agronomic, regulatory, and operating environment.

The Leading Harvest Canada pilot program was facilitated with Anchoring Support from Manulife Investment Management and support from Bonnefield Financial. Canada-based Smartcert led field testing and is an approved Certification Body to carry out third-party audits of Leading Harvest Standards.

More information about Leading Harvest, the Farmland Management Standard, and how to join can be found at www.LeadingHarvest.org.

About Leading Harvest

Leading Harvest is a nonprofit organization that mobilizes the entire value chain through market-driven and third-party audited standards, outcome-driven collaborations, and a learning network to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable and resilient global agricultural system. It created and maintains an innovative, third-party audited Farmland Management Standard, which is a universal, outcome-based sustainability standard focusing on farm management and continual improvement. The Standard is applied across diverse farming operations globally with more than 3 million acres, comprised of more than 100 different row and permanent crop types, now enrolled.