"The following are abbreviated examples of possible guidelines used to guide management and facilitate certification. These are non-inclusive as presented and serve as samples. Certification programs require specific criteria and auditing."
WATER CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT
Water is vital for agriculture and human existence.. Farms prevent contamination of surface and underground water by treating and monitoring wastewater. Standards includes measures for preventing surface water contamination caused by the run-off of chemicals or sediments.
The farm must have a water conservation program that ensures the rational use of water resources. The program activities must make use of the best available technology and resources. It must consider water re-circulation and reuse, maintenance of the water distribution network and the minimizing of water use. The farm must keep an inventory and indicate on a map the surface and underground water sources found on the property. The farm must record the annual water volume provided by these sources and the amount of water consumed by the farm.
The Company is committed to the conservation of all aquatic resources on its farms, to pollution prevention, efficient use and quality monitoring.
Preventing the contamination of surface and underground water by treating and monitoring all wastewaters, including those from the mills and housing areas.
Preventing contamination caused by the run-off of chemicals or sediments.
Prohibiting dumping of organic or inorganic solids into natural water bodies, and contaminated wash waters.
Establishing vegetative buffer and no-spray zones around natural streams, lakes and other bodies of water.
Farms that use irrigation must employ mechanisms to precisely determine and demonstrate that the volume of water applied and the duration of the application are not excessive or wasteful.
The farm must have appropriate treatment systems for all waste-waters it generates.
The farm must not discharge industrial or domestic wastewater into natural water bodies without demonstrating that it complies with the legal requirements, and that the wastewater’s physical and biochemical characteristics do not degrade the receiving water body.
Discharged wastewater must comply with the following minimum parameters:
. Water Quality Parameter Value
Biochemical Oxygen Demand (DBO5, 20).
Less than 50 mg/LTotal suspended solids
pH Between 6.0 - 9.0
Grease and oilsLess than 30 mg/L
Fecal coliforms - Absent
Employee education to insure of disposing of waste in place according to its kind, and is prohibited from disposing of garbage in water bodies Education section done and documented.
Following analyses must be conducted:
During the rainiest month of the year.
Additional analyses may be required as a result of the types of contamination identified during the audit
Example of a new and modern facility to make potable water. The workers managing it have been trained and understand their responsibilities including keeping the proper records.
SOIL CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT
One of the objectives of sustainable agriculture is the long-term improvement of the soils that supports agricultural production.
Certified farms carry out activities that prevent or control erosion, and thus reduce the loss of nutrients and the negative impacts on water bodies.
The farms have fertilization programs based on the crop requirements and soil characteristics.
The use of vegetative ground cover and crop rotation reduces dependency on agrochemicals for the control of pests and weeds, as well as minimize the use of herbicides..
Certified farms only establish new production areas on land that is suitable for agriculture and the new crops, and never by cutting forests.
The farm must execute a soil erosion prevention and control program that minimizes the risk of erosion and reduces existing erosion. The program activities must be based on the identification of soils affected by or susceptible to erosion, as well as soil properties and characteristics, climatic conditions, topography and agricultural practices for the crop. Special emphasis must be placed on controlling runoff and wind erosion from newly tilled or planted areas, as well as preventing sedimentation of water bodies. The farm must use and expand vegetative ground covers on the banks and bottoms of drainage canals to reduce erosion and agrochemical drift and runoff towards water bodies
Recognizes that healthy soils are the foundation of any agricultural operation --from subsistence gardens to plantations -- and commits to caring for the soils on which the company depends.
Basing the crop fertilization program on soil and foliage analysis, ensuring that only the appropriate fertilizers are applied and in the minimum amounts.
Applying all agrochemicals in ways that minimize runoff and the impacts on soil and water.
The farm must promote the use of fallow areas with natural or planted vegetation in order to recover natural fertility and interrupt pest life cycles.
The cutting of natural forest cover or burning to prepare new production areas is not permitted.