Agriculture and Farming Industry Standards
The agriculture industry is one of the oldest and most essential, as it produces food products the population needs to survive. However, some farming techniques and practices are not sustainable, damaging the landscape and polluting the air.
Farming operations need to stay on top of management and ahead of the competition by making efficient decisions. Agriculture ISO certifications guide farmers to the best methods, tools and machinery to achieve these goals. NQA is an accredited certification body with experience in the agriculture industry. We will give you the audits you need to become certified and improve your business.
About the Agriculture and Farming Industry
The agriculture industry uses natural resources to grow or raise products for human use. Commonly used techniques include grazing, crop harvesting, planting and livestock feeding. Many operations produce foods such as:
- Dairy products
Agriculture also includes various farm-related industries, such as flowers, plants, produce, livestock and lumber. Some agricultural products are ready for use as-is from nature, while others are processed to create secondary products.
As agricultural companies and operations strive to feed more people for a smaller cost, the industry sees new trends:
- Genetic modification to keep desired traits in their animals and crops
- GPS technology to aid planting and animal tracking
- More niche markets such as organic farming and naturally raised meat
Some other influences in the agriculture industry include the prices of commodities and the weather conditions, as the climate determines what a region can produce.
Challenges in the Agriculture and Farming Industry
As the world's population increases, there is a magnified need for more food, meaning food production must expand. The emphasis on expedited food production causes issues with:
- Environmental impact: Several factors have led to higher crop yields, including pesticides, plant breeding, fertilizers, agronomy and technology developments. However, many of these practices have harmed the environment through global warming, deforestation and environmental degradation. Burning fossil fuels to operate farm machinery contributes to air pollution.
- Animal welfare: Technology improvements and modern practices in selective breeding have increased meat output. This high output, in some cases, harms animal welfare. Vast numbers of livestock cause air pollution, and the animals may be raised in a manner that harms their health. Industrial meat production practices may also contribute to growth hormones and antibiotic resistance.
- Resource depletion: Farming operations have become more industrialized with inventions such as agricultural machinery, automatic irrigation systems and mechanized feedlots.
- Food waste: The farming industry causes much food waste during food production, distribution, storage, consumption, processing and handling.
- Urban development: More people than ever live in urban areas far from the food sources located in rural regions. As urban areas continue growing, farmers face pressure from communities and developers to sell their land.
- Land management: Planting the same crop in the same field each year depletes the soil of its nutrients, which harms the crops. Rotating crops like soybeans, wheat and corn in the field naturally replenishes the soil. Dispersing cover crops promotes predator insects that manage pests and prevents weed propagation.
Agriculture and Farming Standards Supported by NQA
The farming industry standards supported by NQA are:
- ISO 9001: Successful agricultural operations have goods meeting or exceeding quality standards. ISO 9001 is the international standard for quality management systems. It offers an organizational management approach that benefits customers and stakeholders as a framework outline and set of principles.
- ISO 45001: ISO 45001 is an internationally recognized occupational health and safety standard. It helps companies mitigate harmful factors to protect employees, customers and the general public from diseases, accidents and injuries. Its system management approach is similar to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.
- ISO 50001: ISO 50001 is an energy management standard with a framework for optimizing energy efficiency in organizations. It allows companies to continually improve their energy management practices to meet regulatory and legislative requirements and be industry leaders. Certification to ISO 14001 first makes ISO 50001 certification easier to achieve.
- ISO 14001: ISO 14001 is the international standard for environmental management systems. It outlines principles and requirements for creating and maintaining an environmental management strategy. An efficient structure will ensure your legal compliance and reduce your environmental impact by controlling relevant aspects of your work.
- ISO 22000: ISO 22000 is the international food safety standard. It reconciles food safety management for global food chains. The framework is based on the essential principles of ISO 9001 and HACCP to create, implement, maintain and improve food safety management systems based on business risks.
- ISO 27001: ISO 27001 is the international standard for information security management systems. Certification to this standard enables information confidentiality, availability and integrity. It also protects confidential business data from cyberattacks, theft and vandalism. ISO 27001 will not cover General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
- FSSC 22000: FSSC 22000 is a scheme requirement based on prerequisite programs (PRP) for ISO 22000 and other regulations. It serves as a standard food safety management system that can be audited and certified against. It ensures animal and vegetable products are safe during the production and manufacturing stages.
- PAS 2060: PAS 2060 is the standard for carbon neutrality. Certification to this standard allows companies to prove their operations are carbon neutral. It outlines four stages to carbon neutrality — measurement, reduction, offsetting and documentation — after which verification is possible.
Benefits of Agriculture ISO Certifications
ISO certifications for the farming industry help farming operations use efficient and sustainable practices from farm to fork. These regulations cover many key areas in farming, including irrigation, GPS tools, animal welfare, agricultural machinery, sustainable farm management and effective farming methods. This variety encompasses aspects of agriculture key to farmers, consumers and regulators, so all three parties benefit from farming ISO certifications.
Compliance to farming industry standards results in these benefits:
- Ensures quality and safety: Agriculture industry standards promote the best practices in the industry for an honest supply chain and quality food products.
- Fosters environmental management: Farming ISO certifications help you manage your environmental impact by creating and implementing sustainable methods. Your farming operation can be a leader in promoting eco-friendly processes in an industry often cited for its environmental harm.
- Facilitates global trade: Agriculture and farming industry standards outline practices internationally deemed to be the best, plus specifications for various agricultural processes. This standardization ensures a seamless process and provides a common language for more opportunities for cross-border trade.
- Increases market options: Since agriculture ISO certifications promote trade, end customers will have more options to choose from, and those options will be of higher quality.
- Meets requirements: Farming ISO certifications will help your business meet industry and legal standards by implementing quality control tools and benchmarks for all aspects of your operations, including machinery, materials used and traceability. Since the ISO standards are written by international experts, they will meet public policy standards.
Why Work with NQA for Farming ISO Certifications?
NQA is a certification body that provides excellent certification audit services for the farming industry. Our audits will assist you by improving your operations and ensuring you meet your chosen standard's requirements. This approach helps you meet certification qualifications and have a satisfactory experience achieving agriculture industry standards.
We have several years of experience working with clients in the agriculture and farming industry. We also support many other sectors and have issued more than 50,000 certificates in 90 countries. Our goal with all clients is to certify your business to standards that will improve your products and services.
When you work with NQA, you will receive:
- Comprehensive services: NQA has many certification services available that improve your organization's efficiency. These services have global coverage and are internationally recognized for excellence.
- Competitive rates: Our first-class technical support is available for a competitive cost with no hidden fees.
- Improvement opportunities: Our certification audits assess compliance to your chosen standard and identify improvement opportunities your farming operation can make.
- Professional expertise: Our team will explain the requirements of your chosen standard and the certification process steps.
- Access to experts: Our experts are located worldwide and are active in standards writing and other technical communities. This knowledge keeps you informed of the latest developments in standards and regulations.
- Several training options: Whether your team prefers in-house, online or classroom courses, NQA offers them all. Learn essential technical skills in a format that makes sense for you.
Get a Quote from NQA Today
Farming industry standards ensure agriculture operations are well managed and environmentally safe, which produces quality products. NQA offers a range of certification and auditing services to help you achieve ISO industry standards. Improve your environmental management, food safety, job site safety and more by achieving certification to these standards.