Climate Climate Community Nature Soil & Water Governance Resources Inputs Farmer & Workers Crops & Pasture Livestock Products Economics Climate

The Global Farm Metric is a common framework to understand, measure and monitor the state of farming systems globally.

It is designed to establish a common language that aligns existing metrics in the food and farming industry around a holistic view of farm-level sustainability.

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A common framework

Explore the framework here

Exploring the framework

Global Farm Metric categories, subcategories and indicators


Aim: Farms are resilient and adaptive to changing climate.

Subcategories and indicators:

Average conditions

  • Stability in climatic conditions

Extreme events

  • Climate risks to crop yields & quality & livestock health

Growing season

  • Limitations of growing season


Aim: Thriving communities provide the services & networks farming needs.

Subcategories and indicators:

Local services

  • Access to key amenities

Farming services

  • Access to key services for farming

Farmer network

  • Support from community of practice


Aim: Diverse, healthy ecosystems support the long-term sustainability of farming.

Subcategories and indicators:

Farm biodiversity

  • Health of farm biodiversity

Farm Habitats

  • Quality of land for farming
  • Farm habitat health

Environmental hazards

  • Level of air pollution
  • Level of soil pollution
  • Level of water pollution

Soil & water

Aim: Healthy soil & water systems support the long-term sustainability of farming

Subcategories and indicators:

Soil health

  • Structural health of soil
  • Health of soil biology

Soil fertility

  • Level & availability of soil nutrients to plants


  • Availability of water for plants
  • Level of water reserves on farm


Aim: Farmers & workers are empowered and supported to implement sustainable farm management in safety & security.

Subcategories and indicators:


  • Level of legal protection
  • Management stability

Priorities & support

  • Prevalence of sustainability in farm priorities
  • External support for farm sustainability


  • Approach to managing decisions
  • Level of inclusivity


Aim: Farm resources are well maintained, safe & fit for purpose.

Subcategories and indicators:


  • State of buildings


  • State of infrastructure


  • State of equipment


Aim: Farms recognise and manage the risks of reliance on inputs.

Subcategories and indicators:

Inputs of consumables

  • Use of external inputs
  • Use of inputs from off-farm land

Inputs of non-consumables shared / used by agreement

  • Use of external infrastructure & equipment

Inputs of services

  • Use of contractors & service providers

Farmer & workers

Aim: Farmers & workers make a good livelihood from farming, are safe & their rights protected. They are free from discrimination, their cultures & faiths are respected, & they have opportunities to learn & develop new skills.

Subcategories and indicators:


  • Health & safety of farmer & workers

Work & life

  • Rewards for farm work


  • Level of skills, knowledge & experience in workforce

Crops & pasture

Aim: Crops & pasture are healthy & resilient to their conditions

Subcategories and indicators:

Crop establishment

  • Germination success level


  • Level of pre-harvest losses
  • Perennial crop productive lifespan


  • Crop & pasture health level


Aim: Livestock are healthy, enjoy a high quality of life & are resilient to their conditions.

Subcategories and indicators:


  • Livestock losses
  • Productive longevity
  • Fertility level


  • Health level of livestock

Quality of life

  • Quality of life of livestock


Aim: Farms produce high quality food, fibre, feed, or fuel products meeting societal needs, minimise waste through reuse, the use of by-products, & recycling, & deliver high quality in any services they provide.

Subcategories and indicators:


  • Quality of products


  • Spread of production risk


  • Quantity of unutilised materials and substances


Aim: Farms are viable, able to meet new challenges & opportunities, & face rewards & costs which fairly reflect the range & quality of their products & the positive & negative impacts of the farm on people & planet.

Subcategories and indicators:

Profit & costs

  • Economic sustainability of farming

Financial resources

  • Financial flexibility


  • Spread of economic risk

Farm Practices

Aim: Farm practices are optimised in terms of their effects on people and planet, the long- term viability of the farm and on current production, and monitoring drives constant improvement

Subcategories and indicators:

Farming practices

  • Extent to which on-farm & off-farm impacts of farming practices are monitored
  • Extent to which farming practices are adjusted to improve farm sustainability & optimise impacts on people & planet

Buying practices

  • Extent to which buying choices are adjusted to improve farm sustainability & optimise impacts on people & planet

Economic practices

  • Extent to which farm invests to improve farm sustainability & optimise impacts on people & planet

Farm Outputs

Aim: All farm outputs of products, waste, services, & disservices are recognised & valued in decision-making on-farm & beyond the farm gate

Subcategories and indicators:


  • Inventory of yields and amounts of all farm products produced, including utilised by- products and other valuable outputs

Unused products

  • Inventory of amounts of materials, produce, nutrients, chemicals, greenhouse gases and natural resources wasted


  • Inventory of amounts of services produced (e.g., education, skills, carbon storage, protection of indigenous practices, conservation of genetic materials)


  • Inventory of amounts of disservices produced (e.g., experience of discrimination, loss of landscape features)


Aim: Positive impacts of farming on people & planet increase & are valued. Negative impacts of farming on people & planet continuously reduce. Negative impacts of society on farmers & farming are recognised & continuously reduced. Positive impacts of society on farmers & farming increase & are valued.

Subcategories and indicators:

Off-farm impacts of farm

  • Impacts of the production, processing & transport of farm inputs on people & planet
  • Impacts of farming activities on people & planet
  • Impacts of farm products, services & waste on people & planet
  • Impacts of farm spending on external economic sustainability

On-farm impacts

  • Impacts of farming activities on state of the farm
  • Impacts of farm products, services & waste on state of farm

On-farm impacts of societal inputs & practices

  • Impacts of external actions on state of farm

The Coalition

The Global Farm Metric Coalition is supported by over 130 organisations from across the global food and farming sector, 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

Read our latest reports

New Release: The Global Farm Metric Framework Explained

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