European Initiative for Sustainable Development in Agriculture
European Initiative for Sustainable Development in Agriculture or EISA was founded in May 2001 with the aim of promoting and developing sustainable farming systems in Europe.It is an alliance of national organisations from seven different countries. The members of EISA are FARRE (France), FILL (Luxembourg), FNL (Germany), LEAF (UK), ODLING I BALANS (Sweden), FMTZ (Hungary) and OAIP (Austria).
The members of EISA are committed to “systems of agriculture that are economically viable, environmentally responsible and socially acceptable”.
EISA Aims and Objectives
The EISA organisation aims to benefit both the individual farmer as well as for the politicians and administration of the EU. EISA develops and promoted the EISA Framework for Integrated Farming to support farmers in sustainable development. It also has an established network of Demonstration farms so that farmers and consumers can see first hand how their food is produced while respecting the environment.EISA promotes Integrated Farming throughout Europe and to European legislative bodies and contributes to the development of European agricultural and environmental policies.EISA organises and participates in discussions on sustainable agriculture and also facilitates the exchange of scientific study results on Integrated Farming throughout Europe.
EISA Associate Members
In order to broaden its base and encourage dialogue and participation in the interests of sustainable development, EISA is open to associate members. The Associate Members of EISA are --
- European Crop Protection Association (ECPA)
- European Fertiliser Manufacturers Association (EFMA)
- European Landowners Association (ELO)
- International Federation of Animal Health (IFAH Europe)
EISA has set up the European Integrated Farming Framework as a guideline for sustainable development of agriculture. This Framework has a wide scope that covers many aspects including soil management, animal husbandry, landscape, and wildlife and bio diversity. It was created with the intention of encompassing “aspects of farming which provide consumers with the reassurance of environmental protection, animal welfare and the quality, safety and traceability of their food.”
The Framework is divided into ten chapters that include:
- Organisation, management and planning: The IF idea is to create a sense of awareness and attention to detail in farming methods. The framework suggests keeping detailed records of farming practices, and also of planning and evaluation.
- Human and social capital: The IF framework encourages farmers to embrace EU standards of employment practice. It also encourages the use of local suppliers and markets wherever possible with the belief that it helps maintain both local businesses and livelihoods and improves efficiency. Also the active involvement of the farmer in the local community generates transparency and inspires trust.
- Energy efficiency: The IF framework encourages strategies to increase the input-output ratio and efficiency in the interests of sustainability of resources.
- Water use and protection: The IF framework places great importance on water resources both for crops as well as for the environment. It encourages the use of well balanced water management programmes.
- Soil management: Good soil management ensures the fertility of the soil in the long term. It also improves yield and profitability and reduces risks to the environment.
- Crop nutrition: The IF framework places great emphasis on the nutrition of soil as it ultimately affects the productivity of the land. Fertilisation practices should be balanced keeping in mind local conditions and also with the aim of reducing environmental pollution.
- Crop protection: The IF framework considers balanced crop rotation as a fundamental element and encourages integrated and biological methods whenever available.
- Animal husbandry and animal health: Keeping animals in good health, comfort and low stress is essential. The IF framework encourages compliance with all health controls, disease prevention plans and national livestock identification programmes for livestock and also animal feed and fodder.
- Landscape, wildlife and bio diversity: The IF framework places great importance on the enhancement of species as well as diversity in land and landscape features.
- Waste management, product storage and waste disposal: The IF framework sees waste as a valuable resource for saving money and reducing pollution. Farming effluents and hazardous materials need to well managed to minimise impact on the environment.
Another chapter on ‘emissions to air’ is under discussion to be included in a revised version.
- Sustainable Agriculture