OFA Launches Sustainability Standards Web Page

November 9, 2007 - 09:23

In an attempt to spark dialogue and awareness regarding the establishment of national standards for sustainable agriculture, the OFA — an Association of Floriculture Professionals — has created a page on their website dedicated to the issue that stands to directly impact how you operate your business in the future.

Last month, the Leonardo Academy and Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) co-hosted a meeting to start soliciting stakeholder input on SCS-drafted language to create a national standard for producers and handlers (including retailers) who want to make a claim of engaging in sustainable agriculture practices. The intent of SCS is to get these draft standards adopted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) no later than April 2010.

The site’s goal is to keep the growing community educated and engaged. The industry has not been included in defining sustainability, the practices supporting it or the standards to claim it, said OFA Executive Director John R. Holmes in a letter: “This is a big deal, and the industry needs to be aware of the discussions and get engaged — not because we disagree about the need to be sustainable or the desire to establish standards, but because the industry has intentionally not been included in defining sustainability, the practices supporting it or the standards to claim it.”

The web page, which is live now, contains plenty of information to bring readers up to speed, including a current draft of the national standard, some background on why a standard is necessary, a timeline for establishing a standard, a press release announcing the launch of a standards process and links to the Leonardo Academy and Scientific Certification Systems websites.

The web page also contains information on the American National Standards Institute. “It is vital that our entire community be aware and directly engaged to ensure that appropriate positions are taken,” the page says.

To view the web page, visit www.ofa.org, and follow the “National Sustainable Agriculture Standards: Your Voice Counts” link.

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