Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform
The global food value chain initiative for sustainable agriculture

Arable and Vegetable

The Arable and Vegetable Working Group was made up of SAI Platform member companies who have an interest in encouraging and supporting sustainability in the production of arable and vegetable crops worldwide. The purpose of the group was to share best practices, lessons learned and support in initiating sustainable farming.

The Working Group addressed a wide range of crops: arable crops including grains (e.g. wheat, barley, rice), pulses (e.g. lentils, peas), oilseeds (e.g. canola, sunflower), and vegetable crops (e.g. potatoes, onions, sugar beets), as well as other crops as needed (e.g. sugar cane, cassava).  

The Arable and Vegetable Working Group has been very active, meeting several times a year as well as planning an annual field visit. The field visits focus on a key concern or project, such as addressing the challenges of producing crops sustainably, or working with farmer groups who are leading in sustainability.

The group has been key in piloting SAI Platform’s Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA), which is based in part on the Principles and Practices for the Sustainalbe Production of Arable and Vegetable Crops. The Principles and Practices describe management objectives and possible tools and measures that can be implemented to increase agricultural sustainability.

In 2012, Arable and Vegetable Working Group supported the development of a financial tool to help farmers with financial performance and overall farm sustainability. The tool allocates the cost of production for a particular crop to its revenues; the direct impacts per crop of energy use, fertilizers, and crop protection as well as labor and land costs become visible and hence manageable. Understanding these direct impacts on financial performance supports sustainable crop rotations. 

In 2018, the Arable and Vegetable Working Group and the Fruit and Nut Working Group merged into the Crops Working Group