On the way to PlanetProof strives for an agriculture in balance with the carrying capacity of our planet, with as much as possible closed cycles of raw materials, and valued by society and the market.
To achieve this, an integrated approach is needed, which involves working on sustainability on several themes in all links of the production chain.
On the way to PlanetProof focuses on increasing sustainability through multiple themes. This makes it all the more challenging because improvements in one area sometimes go hand in hand with lower scores in other areas. It takes a lot of craftsmanship to score well on all themes.
On the way to…
The quality label name ‘On the way’ represents the steps towards a more sustainable agricultural production. It makes it clear that sustainability is a continuous process of improvement with the aim: a production method that is in balance with the earth’s capacity.
The requirements of the certification schemes are regularly revised and the level is increased where possible. The On the way to PlanetProof certificate holders remain involved in the development of the requirements. This is done through working groups and supervisory committees. The Boards of Experts, with representatives from environmental organisations, the business community, scientists, and the government, determine the requirements for On the way to PlanetProof. Curious how this goes? Click here.
With On the way to PlanetProof, certificate holders also contribute to the sustainability goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals in the themes production and consumption, water and soil, landscape, and biodiversity.
Ambitions per theme
Energy & Climate
Ambition: efficient and fossil-free energy consumption and minimal emissions of particulate matter, ammonia and greenhouse gases, contributing to a climate neutral Europe.
On the way to PlanetProof farmers and growers are working on this by:
- Saving energy
- Efficient production by making optimal use of raw materials
- Use of sustainable energy from renewable sources such as sun, wind and geothermal energy
- Capturing CO2 in the form of organic matter in the soil
- Complying with the greenhouse gas emission standards for covered crops
- Standards for emissions of ammonia, fine dust and minerals for dairy and poultry farms
- In dairy cattle: higher self-sufficiency and limit losses of cattle feed
Ambition: crop protection virtually without emissions and without damage to the living environment.
This is what On the way to PlanetProof does:
- Stimulates the use of biological and mechanical control of diseases, pests and weeds
- Limits the use of chemical crop protection products
- Imposing measures that prevent plant protection products from ending up in surface water
Biodiversity & Landscape
Ambition: to strengthen biodiversity (flora and fauna) and landscape on and around agricultural holdings.
On the way to PlanetProof farmers and growers achieve this by choosing from various measures:
- Creation of native, natural herb or flower borders around plots or greenhouses
- Provide nesting opportunities for birds, amphibians and insects
- Nature-friendly management of meadow plots, banks and ditches
- Construction of herbaceous grassland
- Limiting light emission from greenhouses
With these measures, certificate holders contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Life on Land.
Ambition: to realize and maintain a resilient and fertile soil.
A healthy and productive crop requires a resilient and fertile soil. That is achieved by:
- Protecting the soil from erosion, desiccation and depletion
- Promoting a diverse soil life, among other things by supplying sufficient organic matter
- Prevention of soil compaction, including through minimal tillage and the use of fixed tramlines
Ambition: efficient use and reuse of nutrients and prevention of emissions.
Farmers and growers fertilize their crops to help them grow well. This is what On the way to PlanetProof does:
- Requires efficient use and reuse of nutrients
- Stimulates the use of organic fertilizers
- Prevents losses to surface and groundwater
- Limits heavy metal levels in compost and phosphate fertilizers
Ambition: efficient water use from sustainable sources.
Certificate holders are working on this by:
- Monitoring of water use
- Collection and storage of rainwater for irrigation
- Only use of legal water sources
- Collection and reuse of water that has not been absorbed by the crop
- Measuring the water requirement of the plant and adjusting the irrigation accordingly
With these measures, certificate holders contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Clean water.
Material use & waste flows
Ambition: to minimize waste from production materials and packaging by using recycled and recyclable materials.
In the certification schemes there are requirements for:
- Materials of plastic packaging for optimal recyclability
- Waste reduction and waste separation
- Incentive to use of recycled materials
With these measures, certificate holders contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Responsible Consumption and Production.
Animal welfare and health
Ambition: the animals feel good, are kept in suitable housing, are in good health and exercise their natural behaviour.
The requirements for dairy and chicken farmers cover:
- Good animal health supervision: by taking good care of the animals, they have fewer weaknesses and live longer
- Availability of sufficient water and good nutrition
- ‘Free in the meadow’: dairy cows are grazing for at least 120 days a year for 6 hours a day. This means that the cows are allowed to graze on the land.
- Attention to animal comfort:
– For cows: cow brushes and more space in the barn to eat, walk and lie down
– For chickens: larger living areas (8 hens per m2) with daylight and control for a pleasant barn climate