Lionheart Farms recently achieved a good sustainability performance rating from the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) following the conduct in March of the Sustainable Assessment of Food and Agriculture (SAFA) systems assessment.
In a statement, Lionheart said the rating encompassed the four dimensions of sustainability — good governance, environmental integrity, economic resilience, and social well-being that the SAFA project needs to meet.
SAFA is a global framework that appraises the effect of food and agriculture operations on the environment and people. It is part of meeting the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were adopted by the United Nations (UN) for the universal call to action to end poverty, planet protection, and ensuring that people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
PCSD has chosen Lionheart to be the pilot project of SAFA within agriculture, concluding a 4.79 score.
PCSD SAFA team leader Engr. Madrono Cabrestante said the high rating was unexpected and would not be achieved if the company had not been transparent.
“I did not expect Lionheart to score as high as this — it is very impressive. The company was totally transparent towards us,” Engr. Cabrestante said in the statement.
Lionheart Farms president Christian Eyde Moeller said they are and proud of the assessment result considering the great demand for sustainability in agriculture in the environment.
“We are very proud of the SAFA score, I believe it might be a first in the Philippines. The entire world is demanding action on sustainability and it is an opportunity for Palawan to claim a top spot in sustainable agriculture next to tourism,” Moeller said in the statement.
All data gathered from Lionheart such as income rate, government regulations, company policies, management plans, and monitoring reports were rated using a five-scale grading system which ranges from best or a rating of 5.0 to unacceptable or a rating of 1.0.
The data gathering included an evaluation and a four-day inspection by PCSD of the Lionheart Farms, nursery, factory, and the company offices in the municipality of Rizal. Qualitative data were gathered through a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) that was joined by indigenous peoples (IPs), leaders, barangay council members, and representation of employees across all departments.
Moeller said having to complete a good sustainability performance, Lionheart displayed the scientific understanding of policy and planning for sustainable agricultural development. It shows how Lionheart strongly supports the province of Palawan for being a Biosphere Reserve sustained by the Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) for Palawan Act – RA 7611.
On good governance, the results of the SAFA pilot testing by PCSD summarized that Lionheart achieved high accuracy and a high rating in this dimension signifying that the company’s board of directors and the management are all committed to sustainable development.
With the Organic Certification audit, it shows how Lionheart is responsible for its business behavior by reporting its sustainability performance. This rating is an indicator that the company is compliant with the applicable laws, regulations, and standards. The stakeholders are well identified and empowered. Moreover, all dimensions of sustainability were considered equal.
The company’s strength in this dimension is having to be the best in mitigation, conservation, and improvement practices. Also, a remarkable rating was given in terms of GHG estimated balance of -76,331 MT CO2 per year and Soil Quality with the company’s focus on the analytical, qualitative, and quantitative properties of soil. Lionheart practices Land Rehabilitation to prevent loss of productive soils. Lionheart achieved high accuracy and the best rating in this dimension.
Investments of Lionheart were able to contribute to the sustainable development of the community meeting the most identified needs for jobs, scholarships, health care, and cultural activities as acknowledged by the employees and barangay council.
Financial sustainability is ensured with the investments in modern facilities and technical experts such as laboratory, pieces of machinery, manufacturing plant, analysts which aim to maximize profits in the long term. Through the Risk Management Plan, Lionheart is able to manage and mitigate potential risks.
Moreover, Moeller said Lionheart improves the local economy through the procurement of local suppliers for animal manure, snails, coconut husks, and many more. One important thing is the detailed discussion with the Company President about the vision and business plan that embraces sustainable development. Lionheart achieved the best accuracy and rating in this dimension.
Stakeholders of Lionheart are very satisfied with their livelihood. A good rating in Employment Relations is an indicator that the company is maintaining transparent contracts compliant with national laws.
A remarkable rating has been given in terms of employees’ Fair Access to Means of Production, Gender Equality, Safety, Health Provisions, Training, and Support to Vulnerable People as it provides jobs to elderly, minorities, and educationally disadvantaged. Truly, the company complies with the Department of Labor and Employment directives, said Moeller.
The overall goal of SAFA is sustainable food and nutrition security which is embodied in the vision and mission of Lionheart.
Moeller recognized efforts from all the stakeholders, “It is the people which makes this possible, our employees and host community all embrace the vision and mission of Lionheart”.
“I have committed all of us to continue working with SAFA, we commend PCSD for the leadership it has shown to pioneer SAFA in Palawan, it is visionary and will challenge the entire agricultural sector to work to the highest standard,” he added.