Farming (all crops and livestock)
Biodiversity

  • What are you doing to create and maintain wildlife corridors to link habitats, for example making continuous semi-natural habitats containing hedgerows, field margins and verges? 
  • What are you doing to support wild pollinators e.g. planting hedgerows, trees and wildflower meadows, and have you sought guidance on the right mix of wildflowers so that pollinators have a continuous supply of food? 
  • What are you doing to minimise localised over-grazing and locate feeding sites away from valuable habitats of high conservation value? 
  • Can you assure me that you are not trying to improve or add drainage systems that will affect habitats of high conservation value? 
  • Are you maintaining existing woodland and planting new trees on suitable sites using native species? 
  • Where new farm buildings or conversions have been built, have you provided roosts or nest sites for protected species such as bats and barn owls? 
  • Where you have a river or reservoir on your land, have you ensured there is an undisturbed buffer strip of at least two metres in width, to protect wildlife and prevent soil erosion? 

Soil health

  • To maintain, promote and restore soil fertility, have you adopted minimal- or no-till systems  that use cover crops, crop residues and other natural inputs to help protect soil from erosion and promote good soil structure  thereby avoiding the need for synthetic fertilisers? 
  • Have you adopted an Integrated Pest Management Programme that uses a range of preventative and curative pest control techniques, avoiding the need for the use of toxic chemical pesticides? 
  • Do you control weeds without the use of chemicals, instead employing good rotation design, manure management, well-timed soil cultivation and good farm hygiene? 
  • Do you control disease without the use of chemicals, through good farm hygiene and selecting resistant crop varieties suited to the growing conditions, using resistant rootstock and carefully planning planting dates? 
  • Are you taking steps to prevent soil erosion  and run-off by: maintaining a protective cover of vegetation to protect the soil from exposure to dry weather, heavy rain or strong winds;  ensuring tractor tracks follow contours rather than go up and down gradients;  and/or creating ponds to capture sediment?  

Water

  • What are you doing to ensure you are not polluting or degrading water resources? (e.g. separating polluted water, using bio-filters in dirty water and regularly checking your soil, ground and surface water for contamination)? 
  • In irrigation, washing, processing and for livestock, how are you managing water efficiently, including cleaning and re-using water? 
  • What Better Management Practices have you undertaken to extract or capture, retain or store, and transport and dispense of water efficiently, whether you are an irrigated or rain-fed farm? 

Major Crops
Soy

  • Has your soy been certified by the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS)?  

If not: 

  • Can you assure me that no High Conservation Value Areas have been cleared to plant your soy plantation?  
  • Can you assure me that your soy has not threatened local livelihoods and that you have paid due regard to local community and indigenous rights?  
  • Can you assure me that you are working towards the strengthening and diversification of the local economy to avoid dependence on a single agricultural crop? 

Palm Oil

  • Has your palm oil been certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)?
  • Can you assure me that no human rights abuses have occurred on the palm plantations you source your oil from, in particular that no child or forced labour is used? 

Sugarcane

  • Has your sugarcane been certified by Bonsucro (formerly the Better Sugarcane Initiative)? 

Meat and Dairy
General

  • Can you assure me that your animals were stunned before slaughter?
  • Can you assure me that you do not routinely administer antibiotics to your animals? 
  • If you use soy as feed, is it 100% Round Table on Responsible Soy-certified?  What feed alternatives to soy, other cereals and fishmeal have you considered?
  • Is your stocking rate of livestock within the maximum of 170kg of nitrogen waste generated per hectare, per year?

Beef

Europe: 

  • Are the cows predominantly grass-fed  and have you considered lower-impact alternative feeds such as oil and grain processing waste by-products and legumes?  To reduce ‘enteric’ methane emissions, have you incorporated highly fermentable carbohydrates in the cow’s diet and supplemented it with minerals? 
  • Are they housed in well-ventilated, straw-bedded sheds? 
  • Are calves kept with their mothers until weaned at 9 month of age?  

Globally: 

  • Are the cows predominantly grass-fed  and have you considered lower-impact alternative feeds such as oil and grain processing waste by-products and legumes?  To reduce ‘enteric’ methane emissions, have you incorporated highly fermentable carbohydrates in the cow’s diet and supplemented it with minerals? 
  • Are you certified by the Sustainable Agriculture Network and are you members of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef?  
  • Can you assure me that you do not use growth hormones or antibiotics (especially those of 'last resort') as an illness-prevention measure?  
  • Do you use only physical, mechanical and/or biological pest control methods rather than chemicals?  
  • Do you maintain vegetative cover on at least 95% of pasture, by rotating cattle and using only natural fertilisers?  
  • Is there at least 20% tree cover on the land where you graze the cattle, to aid reforestation and carbon sequestration?  
  • Do you collect cattle effluent and turn it into fertiliser or gas? 
  • Do you ensure that cattle cannot access and pollute aquatic ecosystems?  
  • Do you observe the ‘five freedoms’ of animal welfare? Are your transport and slaughter practices compliant with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines? 

Dairy cows

  • Are the cows predominantly grass-fed  and have you considered lower-impact alternative feeds such as oil and grain processing waste by-products and legumes?  To reduce ‘enteric’ methane emissions, have you incorporated highly fermentable carbohydrates in the cow’s diet and supplemented it with minerals? 
  • Are the calves reared for meat rather than destroyed?  
  • Can you assure me that the calves are not exported to low-welfare countries to be reared for meat?  
  • Are the calves kept with their mothers until at least 12 weeks  and fed maternal milk for a minimum of 3 months?  
  • Are the cows housed in well-ventilated, straw-bedded sheds?  
  • Do you stock breeds that suffer from fewer incidences of ill-health, such as lameness?  

Veal

  • Can you assure me that crates have not been used to hold the calves and that they have adequate space to move around?
  • Can you assure me that the calves have been provided with straw bedding and given adequate amounts of fibrous food?

Chicken (meat and eggs)

  • Can you assure me that you do not routinely administer antibiotics to your chickens, especially those of 'last resort'?
  • Have you considered lower-impact alternative feeds such as food waste, oil and grain processing waste by-products and legumes? 
  • If your chickens are raised for meat (‘broilers’) do they have at least one square metre for 10 birds and is the flock no larger than 1,000 birds? 
  • If your chickens are raised to lay eggs, do they have at least one square metre for 6 birds and is the flock no larger than 2,000 birds?  
  • Can you assure me that your birds are not kept in cages?  
  • Do the birds have access to the open air and land covered in vegetation and are they outside for at least one third of their life?  
  • What happens to your old laying hens – are they turned into meat or do they go to landfill? 

Pork

  • Can you assure me that you do not routinely administer antibiotics to your pigs, especially those of 'last resort'?
  • Have you considered lower-impact alternative feeds such as food waste,  oil and grain processing waste by-products and legumes? 
  • Do your pigs have permanent access to the outdoors, are they born outside (without stalls or crates) and then reared outside throughout their lives? 
  • Do your piglets stay with their mothers for 6 – 8 weeks,  are they fed maternal milk for a minimum of 40 days? 
  • Can you assure me that your sows are not confined to farrowing crates when they are weaning their young  and are kept in groups except during the last stages of pregnancy and during suckling?  
  • Is there minimal mixing of unfamiliar pigs?  Can you assure me that no tail-docking is used?  
  • Do you ensure that the pigs do not return to the same land for more than one year in four?

Mutton and lamb (and dairy)

  • Do your sheep have access to pasture throughout the year?
  • Is veterinary treatment kept to a minimum?  
  • Are lambs fed maternal milk for a minimum of 45 days?   
  • Are your sheep predominantly fed roughage, fresh or dried fodder or silage, most of which is sourced locally?  
  • Where your sheep are transported live, is this for no more than 8 hours? 

Turkey

  • Can you assure me that you do not routinely administer antibiotics to your turkeys, especially those of 'last resort'? 
  • Have you considered lower-impact alternative feeds such as food waste,  oil and grain processing waste by-products and legumes? 
  • Do you use slower-growing breeds that are less at risk of heart problems?   
  • Do the birds have continuous access to adequate outdoor space that is covered in vegetation?   
  • Do the birds have at least 10 square metres of space per bird?  

Goat (meat and dairy)

  • Do the goats have access to pasture all year round?  
  • Are the goats predominantly fed roughage, fresh or dried fodder, or silage, most of which is sourced locally?  
  • Are kids fed maternal milk for a minimum of 45 days? 

Duck

  • Can you assure me that you do not routinely administer antibiotics to your ducks, especially those of 'last resort'? 
  • Have you considered lower-impact alternative feeds such as food waste,  oil and grain processing waste by-products and legumes? 
  • Do the ducks have access to a pond or stream?  
  • Do the birds have access to the open air and land covered in vegetation and are they outside for at least 1/3 of their life?  

Fish and seafood
Wild-caught

Method:

  • Has your fish/ seafood been caught using only the following methods: hand-picked, diver-caught, hook and hand line-caught, pole and line-, creel- or trap-caught?  
  • Can you assure me that none of the following methods were used: bottom trawling, dredging, gill nets, fish aggregator devices, purse seine nets, drift nets and longlines? 

Species:

  • Do you stock fish that are low down in the food web; so-called forage fish that are commonly fed to farmed fish (e.g. herrings, anchovies and pilchards) that we could be eating directly?

Management:

  • Can you assure me that your fish has been caught legally, as part of a regulated fishing system? 
  • What Better Management Practices have you undertaken to protect the target species, other marine species and the wider habitat? 
  • Is the fishery you source your fish from certified by the Marine Stewardship Council? 

Farmed

Management:

  • Is the farm you source your fish from certified as organic?

If not:

  • How have you minimised the environmental impacts of the feed given to your fish?
  • Can you assure me that you do not use toxic antifoulants to keep net pens clean and routinely administer antibiotics as a preventative measure? 
  • Are the fish kept at low stocking densities to minimise stress and promote natural disease resistance? 
  • Can you assure me that veterinary treatments are only used when absolutely essential and that sufficient time is allowed between the fish being treated and them being harvested? 

Species:

  • Are salmon and trout feeds made from the recycled processing wastes of fish which have already been caught for human consumption? 
  • Do you stock organically-farmed vegetarian fish species like fresh water tilapia and carp, since they do not depend on wild fish stocks for feed?  
  • Can you assure me that your shrimps/ prawns are not linked with fine-mesh net dredging, human rights abuses, and the destruction of precious coastal habitats like mangroves and saltmarshes?

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