How to use this site

Related Links:

How to use this site

Common Questions

The following are general questions relating to the Unilever Sustainable Agriculture Code (SAC) Implementation Guidance. For more specialised areas please see the navigation bar to the left.

Q

How do I find guidance related to a specific requirement or section in the Sustainable Agriculture Code?

A

The implementation guidance for each section is arranged in the same order and format as the Code. You can also navigate by the links at the top of each page or search on key words. Useful SAC Appendices and external documents or websites giving more detailed or specific advice can be found in the "Further Reading" box in the left hand column of each page. If you prefer, you can download a pdf of the whole implementation guide document in the 'Related Links' box.

Where cross-references refer to other sections of the implementation guide these are navigated to by hyperlink.


Q

I disagree with the guidance / I can't understand the guidance / I don't think that the guidance is appropriate to my circumstances. What should I do?

A

The writers of the guidance have tried to find information that is as generally-applicable as possible, as well as links to more specific advice where relevant. However, there will definitely be circumstances where local laws, geography, soils or farming systems mean that the guidance is inappropriate. In these cases you should speak to your adviser or extension service if you have one, or your Unilever contact. Please also let us know if you find that this is the case (sustainable.agriculture@unilever.com), and give us suggestions for improvement. We want to make the site as useful as possible for farmers and suppliers, so would value your input tremendously.


Q

What are the 'Further Reading' sections?

A

There are a number of appendices to the implementation guide:

  • SAC Appendix 1 explains the metrics for continuous improvement measurement.
  • SAC Appendix 2 ref explains the risk assessment methodology that needs to be used for several of the requirements.
  • In addition to these general appendices, each section has its own list of references to relevant examples of good practice or further advice on specific topics. We have tested all these links, but have also included a full description of the reference, as we recognise that web-site addresses often change.

Q

What are the 'Related Links' sections?

A

Other websites or documents that may provide associated information or provide tools that you may wish to use are listed in the 'Related Links' sections. These include:

  • A link to the Unilever 'Growing for the Future' website, which gives details of the broader Unilever Sustainable Agriculture and Sustainable sourcing activities.
  • A link to a downloadable pdf of the implementation guide document.
  • Tools such as the Greenhouse Gas Calculator (Cool Farm Tool)
  • Guidance on issues such as how to formulate a Biodiversity Action Plan.

Q

How do I give feedback?

A

We are always looking for ideas to improve our guidance. Feedback can be given to your Unilever contact or can be sent to sustainable.agriculture@unilever.com.


Q

How many mandatories, musts and shoulds have to be complied with?

A

The rules that relate to the level of compliance we expect for raw materials to be called 'sustainable' ('scheme rules'), will be kept under review and we will actively seek the feedback of our suppliers as the Sustainable Agriculture Code is implemented. The scheme rules will be supplied by your Unilever contact.

To summarise:

Mandatories have to be complied with - these relate either to banned practices (child labour, wilful pollution etc.) or commitments to make improvements over time and report on Unilever metrics. These are the equivalent to 'critical criteria' in other standards.

‘Musts’ are practices for which we expect a high level of compliance, although not 100% as it may not be possible in every agricultural system. We believe these are practices that promote sustainable agriculture:

- In the vast majority of farming systems
- throughout the world

Farmers who are working well on commercial, social and environmental issues will already have adopted most of these practices. 'Shoulds' are practices that we haven’t set a compliance level for as they represent a high level of achievement in sustainability and:

- are not necessarily applicable to all parts of the world or all farming systems,
- are difficult or inappropriate on some farms


Q

I am a dairy supplier or farmer, which guidance is relevant to me?

A

The guidance text shown on a grey background with black text refers specifically to dairy suppliers and farmers. The Sustainable Agriculture Code (SAC) and general Implementation Guide are not specifically written for dairy farmers. We provide extra interpretation for Unilever’s dairy suppliers and their farmers on the requirements of the Unilever SAC, and guidance on how to fulfil those requirements shown on a grey background with black text throughout this site. This guidance covers elements that are particularly relevant to dairy cows and the calves they produce, pasture management, and management of manure, silage, run-off and other nutrient sources, as well as pesticides and veterinary medicines.


Q

What does the text on a grey background mean?

A

The guidance text shown on a grey background with black text refers specifically to dairy suppliers and farmers. We provide extra interpretation for Unilever's dairy suppliers and their farmers on the requirements of the Unilever SAC, and guidance on how to fulfil those requirements.


Q

What does 'future requirements change' refer to?

A

Where 'future requirements change' appears shown on a grey background with black text, it refers to questions that may be changed or added to make Unilever SAC more inclusive of Livestock systems. These changes will be made when the next version of the document is published, but it may help you to be aware of them now.