New Standards Development

Developing new standards

We welcome the opportunity to develop new standards and broaden the reach of our certification program. At this time, in order to have the maximum impact, we can only consider requests from trade or marketing associations, farmer cooperatives or other organizations, and food companies. Individual farmers wishing to apply should not hesitate to contact us – we may be able to steer you towards an appropriate association.

Before we can get started, we need to evaluate what resources will be required to develop Protected Harvest Production Standards for a new crop. Please send us a Letter of Inquiry addressing the following questions and detailing the measures that have already been taken to minimize your impact on the environment.

Questions to address in a Letter of Inquiry:

What steps has your farm/association/company taken to:

…adopt BioIPM practices and minimize the use of high-risk pesticides?

…adopt practices to improve soil and water quality, wildlife habitat, and ecosystem health?

…demonstrate your commitment towards improving the environment?

…demonstrate leadership in your community or industry?

Have BioIPM standards for your crop already been developed?

If so, are your standards available for peer review and public comment?

How will you implement a BioIPM program?

How do your performance measures compare to conventional industry performance?

Is there ongoing research by university, extension, or crop consultants to support your adoption of alternative practices?

How will the Protected Harvest label be used? Does your plan provide for a fair return to growers?

Are handlers, packers and shippers in your industry willing to undergo chain-of-custody certification?

Is support of a relevant trade association or commodity group likely? If not, why not?

Upon approval by the Protected Harvest Sustainability Council, Protected Harvest will provide the necessary technical support to integrate your standards into our point-based system. We require verifiable performance measures that represent a significant improvement in soil and water quality, wildlife habitat, ecosystem health, and the reduction of pesticide use. Protected Harvest certification validates the commitment of farmers and food companies to protecting the environment. Our requirements are realistic and economically viable.