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2015 Version 4 Changes to the 2010 SAN standard

November 2, 2015

The SAN General Assembly approved important changes to the 2010 SAN Sustainable Agriculture Standard which are in effect as of December 1, 2015.

1- Management commitment criterion (criterion 1.3) to become a critical criterion.

This criterion indicates that the farm’s upper management must demonstrate commitment to certification and to complying with the requirements stipulated in the standard and by law. The management must also be familiar with and endorse the system and its programs, and support its execution by providing the necessary resources.

2- Addition of a new Critical Criterion (5.1) requiring the implementation of an effective complaint or grievance mechanisms to protect workers’ rights.

3- Prohibition of the worst forms of child labor has been updated and is now a Critical Criterion (5.10)

This criterion protects children from work that harms their health, safety or morals, including handling of pesticides or hazardous substances; operating power machinery tools; activities requiring strong physical exertion; work on steep slopes, on storage and construction areas and night work. Any type of paid or unpaid work by a child under the age of 15 years old is prohibited, except tasks that are traditional to children in the location and which are undertaken for the purpose of transmission of the family’s or local culture.

Young workers must not work more than eight hours per day and they can work only if law permits it. The criterion also prohibits all forms of slavery or similar practices such as forced or compulsory labor.

4- In order to further improve worker housing conditions, the housing and safe drinking water provisions in the 2010 SAN Standard have become Critical Criteria.

Criterion 5.15 (formerly 5.14) establishes that when farm management provides housing to workers and their families, it must be disease-free, hygienic and safe. Rooms are not overcrowded and the houses have natural lighting and ventilation, and non-leaking roofs. In addition, all farmers, workers, and their families must have access to safe drinking water through access to a public drinking water system or by the farm management or group administrator. Certified farms will have defined implementation periods to fulfill these requirements.

5- Criteria 6.3 and 6.16, related to worker’s training on pesticides and proper bathing facilities for pesticide workers are now critical criteria.

Criterion 6.3 requires that all workers that handle agrochemicals or other chemical substances are trained in subjects like occupational health; pesticides formulations, names and toxicity; interpretation of pesticide labels; correct use of personal protective clothing and equipment; emergency procedures; and secure handling and transportation of agrochemicals.

Criterion 6.16 defines that farms must have showers and changing rooms for all workers that apply or have contact with agrochemicals. There must be policies and procedures that require that all workers that apply agrochemicals shower and change their clothes immediately after finishing the application and before leaving the farm at the end of the workday.

SAN accredited certification bodies will check implementation of these seven new Critical Criteria through annual and non-programmed audits.

All these topics will also be Critical Criteria in the new 2016 SAN Sustainable Agriculture Standard.