[permaculture] [Fwd: [SANET-MG] Sust Ag standard moves into highgear]

Scott Pittman scott at permaculture.org
Wed Oct 1 23:20:54 EDT 2008

I'm a little confused as to why this is included on the permaculture site it
is total Greenwash with no substance.  It is all the usual pigs at the
trough of a new marketing concept.  Nowhere is sustainability defined but it
is pandered as if it was a gift to the Amerikan consumer in the name of
protecting us from something other...

I think we do a disservice by promoting this type of hype on our listserve.

Scott Pittman
Permaculture Institute

-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Lawrence F.
London, Jr.
Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2008 8:03 PM
To: permaculture
Subject: [permaculture] [Fwd: [SANET-MG] Sust Ag standard moves into

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [SANET-MG] Sust Ag standard moves into high gear
Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2008 11:57:06 -0700
From: Michael Straus <michael at STRAUSCOM.COM>


Media contact:

Amanda Raster, Leonardo Academy

  <mailto:Amanda at leonardoacademy.org> Amanda at leonardoacademy.org,

First National Sustainable Agriculture Standard Setting Initiative Moves
Into High Gear

Industry, NGOs, Academia and Government Representatives

Agree on First Steps Toward Building a National Consensus Standard

Madison, WI (September 29, 2008) - The first successful steps toward
developing a national consensus standard for sustainable agriculture in
the United States have now been taken by a diverse, multi-stakeholder
committee selected to lead this endeavor.

At an unprecedented opening session, more than 50 representatives of U.S.
agricultural production, food and clothing manufacturing, retail,
government, environmental and labor organizations, academia and
certification launched historic negotiations over what should be
considered "sustainable agriculture". The representatives were selected
from a pool of nearly 200 individuals who applied to serve on the
Standards Committee, the guiding body for development of the standard.

During the meeting held last week, committee members identified some of
the difficult issues that are likely to dominate the discussions to come,
such as: 1) the relationship between organic, mainstream and sustainable
agriculture; 2) the place of genetically engineered crops in sustainable
agriculture; 3) the degree to which sustainable agriculture standards
should establish a path for continuous improvement; 4) inclusiveness of
small and mid-size farms, as well as mainstream and conventional
agriculture; 5) the sequestration of carbon in soils and the role of
agriculture in the global fight against climate change; 6) the strength of
labor protections; 7) the intersection of product safety and
sustainability; and 8) whether the scope of the standard should extend
beyond plant agriculture to include livestock and other sectors of

"The issues involved in sustainable agriculture are complex," said Dr.
James Barrett, Environmental Horticulture Department professor at the
University of Florida, who served as interim chairman at the Standards
Committee's inaugural meeting. "As a result, there are many diverse, valid
points of view that will need to be articulated and considered as this
process unfolds."

The entire standard setting process is being conducted under the rules of
the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the national voluntary
standards body that has overseen the development of thousands of
guidelines in nearly every business sector. Leonardo Academy, a non-profit
organization that specializes in using market-based incentives to advance
sustainability and improve the environment, is facilitating the current
process as an ANSI accredited standard developer.

"We were impressed not only by the depth of knowledge and understanding
reflected in the thoughtful comments and deliberations of the Committee
but also by the level of respect for one another's viewpoints and
concerns, and the willingness at this early stage to seek common ground,"
said Michael Arny, Leonardo Academy president.  "The tone set here in
Madison bodes well for the success of the process moving forward."

Among the actions taken by the Standards Committee was an agreement to
form work groups charged with the following tasks:

	1. Conduct a needs assessment for the sustainability standard,
including potential market and agricultural applications

	2. Review and articulate the mission, principles and scope of work
3. Collect reference documents to inform the standard setting process
4. Report on potential methodologies and indicators for measuring various
aspects of environmental, social and economic sustainability;

	5. Identify potential funding sources to support full stakeholder
participation in the process

	6. Outline outreach opportunities for soliciting involvement from
all affected stakeholders

In addition, the Standards Committee acknowledged "the extensive effort
and hard work of SCS to initiate the discussion on sustainability." The
Committee further agreed to recognize and set aside the Draft Standard for
Trial Use (SCS-001), published by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS)
as a vehicle for initiating the broader standard-setting dialogue, as one
of several reference documents expected to be used in its future standards
development deliberations,

"We appreciate the acknowledgement of the Committee and are delighted that
the draft standard has helped to stimulate this national dialogue and to
get the ball rolling toward the development of a consensus standard," said
Linda Brown, Executive Vice President of Scientific Certification Systems
and Standards Committee member. "Looking ahead, the draft standard will
continue to inform the process, both as a reference document and through
real world examples of companies who are already meeting its requirements
and adopting new sustainability practices in accordance with its

According to Michael Arny, ANSI rules allow all interested stakeholders to
participate in subcommittee deliberations as the standard development
process moves forward. In addition, ANSI gives the public an opportunity
to weigh in through a formal public review process before the draft final
standard is submitted to ANSI for promulgation as an American National

Leonardo Academy is currently seeking charitable contributions to fund its
work on this standard development initiative and to support active
participation by the full range of stakeholders in the process. For more
information, please contact Amanda Raster at Leonardo Academy
(608-280-0255, amanda at leonardoacademy.org).

For more information on the first Standards Committee meeting, including
the approved motions and a list of Standards Committee members, visit:


Leonardo Academy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1997
with a vision of advancing sustainability and putting the competitive
market to work on improving the environment. Leonardo Academy is a Think
and Do Tank that develops and distributes strategies, guidance, metrics,
standards, and education focused on increasing sustainability. Leonardo
Academy helps companies, organizations, families, and individuals
successfully promote, encourage, and implement environmental improvement
through a wide range of sustainability services, including sustainability
assessments and strategy development, LEEDR and LEED-EB implementation and
certification, emissions footprint analysis and emission reduction and
offset strategies, sustainable land management, sustainability education
and training,

Michael Straus, President
Straus Communications
P.O. Box 2257
San Francisco, CA 94126
Michael at StrausCom.com
Phone: (415) 777-1170
Cell: (415) 519-8343
Fax: (415) 373-3702

*  <file://www.StrausCom.com> www.StrausCom.com
*  <file://www.BeyondOrganic.com> www.BeyondOrganic.com
*  <file://www.SustainableNews.org> www.SustainableNews.org

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