Basic-Set of Biodiversity Criteria

The Basic-Set of Biodiversity Criteria is a fundamental element of the German Sector Initiative "Food for Biodiversity". It was developed together with representatives of food companies, agriculture, food standards, scientific institutions and environmental organizations.

The basic set is not a new "biodiversity standard"! Rather, food standards and companies should compare their specifications with the basic set and - if necessary - revise their own criteria and/or integrate additional criteria and measures.

The agreement to implement the basic set of biodiversity criteria is a major contribution to halting the dramatic loss of biological diversity and related ecosystem services. In addition, unfair competition to the detriment of the environment and nature will be avoided. The general goal is to improve the biodiversity performance of the entire food sector. All actors are addressed to implement the requirements and measures of the basic set or to promote and support the implementation:

  • Agricultural enterprises and producer groups
  • Voluntary standards at international, national and regional level
  • Companies of the food sector
  • Associations of the food sector
  • Political decision makers responsible for agricultural legislation, policies, programs and subsidies.

The implementation of the basic set ensures the protection of existing biodiversity on agricultural land, creates potential for more habitats and species and helps to avoid or reduce negative impacts of agricultural practices on biodiversity (VERY good farming practice).

It contains two levels. The first level clarifies requirements for a standard or the procurement guidelines of a company. At this level, overarching aspects of biodiversity conservation are introduced to standards and companies. The second level deals with concrete requirements for agricultural enterprises. Here contents for criteria of the standards and procurement guidelines are presented, which focus on agricultural production and aim to avoid negative environmental impacts of agricultural practices and to protect ecological structures.

The association "Food for Biodiversity" will regularly further develop the basic set and take into account new findings, legal requirements and practical experience. Furthermore, the sector initiative is implementing a program to achieve a broad implementation of the basic set. This includes further training and technical support for farmers, attractive incentives for farmers to improve their biodiversity, a favorable political framework and consumer awareness.

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Food for Biodiversity is a lighthouse initiative of "Unternehmen Biologische Vielfalt (UBi) and is financially supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation.