A common framework
The Global Farm Metric defines on-farm sustainability and measures whole-farm impacts.
The framework will create a common language for sustainability that helps farmers to understand and communicate their impacts in a holistic way.
Find out more here.
An indication of the health and wellbeing of the people working on and associated with the farm
Health and wellbeing of workers:
Considers the physical (accidents and near misses), emotional health of workers and the nature of their working conditions.
Training and capacity building:
The training and development of workers on the farm.
The diversity of workers on the farm, the nature of their employment contracts and working conditions.
Indicates the abundance and diversity of natural life on the whole farm.
Captures the diversity of crops and livestock on the farm (managed).
Captures the diversity of wildlife, plants and fungi on the farm.
Identifies the habitat diversity on-farm as a driver of animal and plant biodiversity.
Plant & Crop Health
Identifies crop cultivation practices on the farm.
Indicates the health of the cropping system in terms of rotation practices for all farmed crops.
Pest and disease control:
Measures the use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides and records methods of pest and disease management.
Indicates the resilience of the cropping system.
Identifies the livestock management practices and impact on animal welfare.
Reflects livestock housing, feeding and inspection practices.
Health and welfare:
Indicates the health, welfare and resilience of the animals on the farm.
Feed and input efficiency:
Identifies the feed type and source of the feed for animals on-farm, as well as the efficiency of protein conversion.
Captures nutrient management in relation to water and soil quality, biodiversity, productivity and crop health.
Inputs and Outputs:
Indicates the amount of nutrients (N,P & K) that are used at a field level.
Indicates the efficient use of nutrients (uptake or loss) in relation to the production system.
Reflects the balance of nutrients on the
Energy & Resource Use
Identifies what energy is fuelling the farm and how non organic materials are managed.
Energy sources and usage:
Indicates the amount of direct and indirect consumption of energy, its quality and efficiency of use. Also captures the value of food produce (Mj) for human consumption as a ratio of total production.
Indicates the amount of energy produced directly on the farm (not imported).
Material recycling, re-use and reduction:
The percentage of non-organic material that is recycled, re-used or reduced on the farm.
Air & Climate
Captures direct and indirect emissions and carbon sequestration.
Emissions by source:
Net emissions on the farm that relate to each source (e.g. fuel, livestock, inputs) for each land use (croplands, forest and grassland).
Removals and sequestration:
On-farm carbon removals and sequestration.
The degree to which the air in a particular place is pollution-free. Of particular importance on farms are Ammonia and Nitrous Oxide.
Captures water quality and management.
Captures source, availability and efficiency of water use on the farm (mains, boreholes, ground, surface tanks, reservoirs, stored and grey water.)
Indicates the chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of water running within the farm boundary.
Assesses the value of the water bodies for wildlife. This also captures freshwater biodiversity and includes the aquatic life and algae in the water.
Captures soil health in terms of its structure, organic matter and soil biodiversity.
Soil organic matter:
Measures organic matter which enhances the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil.
Measures the solids and voids in the soil that indicate water holding capacity and infiltration rate. This affects root penetration, water availability and soil aeration, highlighting how prone the soil is to erosion.
Captures the type and abundance of organisms in the soil. This reflects how balanced a soil is and how healthy the ecosystem below ground is for plants and nutrients.
Captures how goods are produced to indicate economic sustainability.
Measures the total yield of agricultural outputs at farm level for food and non-food products.
Indicates the financial health of the whole farm.
Reflects production within the carrying capacity of the landscape and ability to adapt to shocks and stresses.
The Global Farm Metric Coalition is supported by over 80 organisations from across the global food and farming sector, including including farmers, consultants, researchers, educators, environmental groups, certifiers, food companies, financial services and government agencies.
These are some of the organisations driving the mission.Read more