Georgian Farmers’ Associations’s Environmental Policy
Environmental sustainability is one of the biggest responsibilities of Georgian agriculture. As a leading sector in terms of land use (43%) and employment (37%), agriculture directly accounts for one fifth of country’s greenhouse gas emissions and more than 70% of freshwater use. Therefore, it is crucial that farmers, as well as, other stakeholders engaged in food systems acted sustainably and responded to climate change.
GFA fully recognizes its role of protecting the environment, preserving biodiversity and, on the other hand, making sure that in value chains farmers’ economic return is fair and public has access to safe and nutritious food. Our goals are to tackle climate change, protect natural resources and enhance biodiversity. We are raising awareness of farming and rural communities on climate change, environmentally friendly and climate-smart approaches, organic farming, circular economy, and relevant legislation and standards.
As an association GFA is integrating good agricultural practices, environmentally-friendly technologies and innovations into its’ projects and activities. GFA has introduced GeoGAP – a certification scheme for primary produced fruits and vegetables underlining environmental standards and requirements. It gives consumers ability to tell sustainable food from its counterparts and to support local farmers.
Following GFA’s environmental strategy and action plan, its members and employees are working together for a sustainable development of the agricultural sector of Georgia.
Our vision is environmentally sustainable agricultural sector in Georgia where rural and farming communities value natural resources and biodiversity.
Our mission is to provide knowledge, approaches and incentives for climate friendly practices within the agricultural sector in Georgia.
- Promoting rational use of soil and water resources;
- Mainstreaming energy efficiency in agriculture;
- Developing resilience against land degradation (e.g. desertification, erosion and soil pollution), biodiversity loss and climate change;
- Working together with all stakeholders engaged in the food value chains;
- Providing farmers with knowledge, tools and guidance on environmentally sustainable farming practices;
- Undertaking initiatives to encourage greater engagement of its members on local environmental issues;
- Building strong environmental group and movement among its staff.
Working group on climate change and environmental protection
In 2020 Georgian Farmers’ Association has established a working group on climate change and environmental protection. The organization has identified several employees who are interested and have capacity to work in the group. The main idea behind the group is to create organizational community out of passionate professionals that will institutionalize environmental aspects in GFA’s work (e.g. by creating guidelines, environmental management system, risk assessments, etc.) as well as finding ways of engaging its members in the activities.