The Sustainable Agriculture Standard development process received a new number from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), LEO-4000, which replaces the previous number LEO-SCS-001. When standard developers initiate the development process for a standard, ANSI assigns a number to be the identifier for that standard development process and for the standard developed.

Michael Arny, President of Leonardo Academy, said, "We asked ANSI to update the number for this standard development process to reflect the fact the Leonardo Academy is fully responsible for developing this standard and to match the numbering systems for the other standards we are developing. People who want to get involved in this standard development process can now find us on the Web by searching for the new number LEO-4000, as well as the old number. We invite people to visit our website to learn more, sign up to participate, and donate to support the development of this standard."

The Sustainable Agriculture Standard will provide guidance to agricultural product producers on how to increase the sustainability of their products and metrics to measure their sustainability achievements. This will provide a simplified language of commerce that makes it very practical for producers to document the sustainability of their products and very practical for buyers, like manufacturers, retailers and consumers, to specify and buy sustainably-produced agricultural products.

Michael Arny said, "The development of a standard for sustainable agriculture is key part of addressing many global issues including climate change, energy, water, food supply and loss of arable land."

Initially, Scientific Certification Systems contracted with Leonardo Academy, a charitable nonprofit organization, to provide ANSI process services for the development of the Sustainable Agriculture Standard.  Since that time this process has evolved to where Leonardo Academy is now fully responsible for developing this standard, with financial support from a number of organizations and individuals, including Scientific Certification Systems.

Michael Arny also said, "I want to recognize and thank all the participants in this process for their ongoing commitment to developing this standard by donating their time, expenses and financial support to the process. This commitment was most recently demonstrated at the Standards Committee meeting in April, hosted by the Gap at its headquarters in San Francisco. Looking back to the beginning, I want to thank Scientific Certification Systems for kicking off this standard development process and for providing ongoing support through its participation and financial support."

About the Sustainable Agriculture Standard and the Standards Committee

There are 58 seats on the Standards Committee to accommodate a broad range of perspectives. The Standards Committee is working to develop a national standard for sustainable agriculture under the rules of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The Standards Committee consists of a skilled, diverse membership representing a broad range of perspectives from across all areas of agriculture, including commodity and specialty crop producers; agricultural product processors and distributors; food retailers; environmental, labor, and development organizations; NGOs; trade associations; government representatives; academics; regulators and certifiers.

Supporting the Standards Committee are six subcommittees that have been working since July 2009 to develop the structure of the standard; draft economic, environmental, and social criteria for possible inclusion in the standard; develop communications materials for process stakeholders; and collect resources to include in the Sustainable Agriculture Standard Reference Library. For more information on the subcommittee work, visit:  https://sites.google.com/site/sustainableagstandards/.