Supporting Sustainability & Creating Opportunity

The Canadian agriculture and food sector is poised for rapid growth; however, there is increasing pressure from consumers, brandowners, and government to demonstrate sustainable practices that are verified and transparent. Because it is necessary for supply chains to be market-ready for sustainability requirements, both from a consumer-perspective, but also from an increasingly complex economic climate, the agri-food system needs to increase its ability to clearly articulate and demonstrate sustainability measures across the supply chain. This has resulted in a rapidly evolving landscape of sustainability requirements and programs that creates confusion and duplication of efforts. Furthermore, the global food market system is demanding alignment with multiple sustainability standards and Canada currently does not have a whole farm, whole value chain solution to align with international standards, despite a selection of commodity-specific efforts.

Originally conceived as the Sustainable Farm and Food Initiative, the project has now evolved beyond Ontario to include a national focus. There is an emerging opportunity to collaborate with other provinces on a national approach to farm and food sustainability, an important step forward for the Canadian agri-food system.

The Canadian Agri-Food Sustainability Initiative (CASI) will seek to address the concerns in the agri-food sector and manage risk to meet global demand for safe, healthy, and sustainable agri-food products through an integrated solution. CASI is a collaboration of farm organizations and food/beverage processors, manufacturers, and retailers working together to create a full scope, whole farm, and whole value chain sustainability transparency system. 

CASI is not a new standard; it will protect, promote, and create alignment with various codes, criteria, and standards.

Complexity and costs continue to rise for Ontario farmers to confirm their sustainability performance amid an increasing number of codes, standards, and verification requirements.

By working together to determine equivalencies with both existing and emerging sustainability standards and programs, within Canada and internationally, commodity groups have the opportunity to proactively meet the growing demand for proof of sustainability from their customers – the food and retail sector.

CASI will provide a one-stop portal for Canadian Agri-food supply chain sustainability data, programs and tools. For a brief overview of CASI, you can view the printable poster below.

Project Updates and Work

The Sustainable Farm and Food Initiative (now known as CASI) is pleased to have worked with the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) and the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform to benchmark the Ontario Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) and Growing Your Farm Profits (GYFP) against SAI’s Farm Sustainability Assessment Tool. This is a crucial step in helping to understand where our current sustainability efforts lie and how to build towards the future development of a whole value chain, whole-farm sustainability initiative. Stay tuned for updates on this project.

Proof of Concept Project

We are pleased to share the video that describes the "SFFI concept" and our work with the dairy goat sector. A French video is also available on our YouTube page. This pilot project was completed in February 2018. More information about the project can be found on our "what we've achieved" page.