In any country, agriculture is one of the pillars of the economy. And like all industrial sectors, it is subject to regulations and standards that must be respected. These are very numerous and are often a source of frustration for farmers. Indeed, it is currently estimated that there are 1,000 standards for agriculture alone. Discover some of them to make your life easier.
Areas covered by standards in agriculture
Standards in agriculture cover eight specific areas. The ISO standards on :
– agricultural tractors and equipment
– food machinery
– fertilizers and soil improvers
– food products and safety
– environmental impact
– electronics in agriculture
– protective clothing
Legislation affects many sectors: environment, water resources and conservation, land use and provincial plans. These standards also apply to livestock and poultry farming, agricultural crops, safety and employment, and wildlife protection and conservation.
The main standards for each area
For agricultural tractors and equipment, the agricultural standards (ISO 17989, ISO/TC 23, ISO 20966 and ISO 4002) apply mainly to the manufacturers of such equipment. In addition to incorporating the principles of sustainable development, these must be tested and verified in terms of safety. The requirements are the same for the standards governing electronics in agriculture (ISO 24631, ISO 11783, ISO 15003 and ISO/TC 23/SC 19). Indeed, all electrical equipment must be tested. The manufacturer must ensure that they are resistant to various environmental conditions.
Seven ISO standards on food machinery (ISO 22000, ISO/TS 22002-3, ISO/TS 22002-6, ISO 22005, ISO 6492, ISO 6493, and ISO/TC 293) are established for each producer to ensure food safety.
ISO 14055 provides guidelines on good practice for combating land degradation and land reclamation. For field activities, ISO 27065 describes the need for protective equipment when pesticides are used. On the other hand, ISO TC 34 contains 840 standards that are the basis for all stages of the production chain. Overall, the requirements aim to enforce good agricultural practices while protecting the environment and improving the societal situation of farmers.
Standards in agriculture: why? For whom?
Standards in agriculture are implemented with the aim of achieving sustainable agriculture. Among other things, these standards serve as guidelines for all those who are involved in the sector, whether directly or indirectly. They are defined for industry, consumers and regulators.
Standards in agriculture benefit the industry by promoting greater productivity. They also require world-class, internationally recognized, quality materials. This allows for better international collaboration. For consumers, the standards help to offer varied, healthy and environmentally friendly products.
On the other hand, these ISO standards in agriculture allow regulatory bodies to establish references in each of the fields concerned by these standards. This, in order to meet the requirements in force.