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Background to the Implementation Guides

The Unilever Sustainable Agriculture Code tells suppliers and farmers what we expect in terms of sustainable practices, but doesn’t tell them how to achieve it. There are different ways in which the requirements could be met, and we don't want to be prescriptive. However, we realise that some guidance is useful. The implementation guide website is a source of information and reference for when our suppliers and farmers, reading the Code, ask questions such as:

  • What do Unilever mean by that?
  • So, what does Unilever think I need to do to comply with the Code?
  • Where can I go to get advice and information on this?

Or even:

  • Why is this included in the SAC?

This website aims to provide growers and suppliers with practical advice on how to achieve the standards set out in the Code.

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 can be found in a grey box with black text titled "Dairy Guidance" 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.

We also outline where changes or additions will be made to the existing SAC to make it more inclusive of livestock systems (shown on a grey background with black text within question boxes). 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.

PLEASE NOTE that when the SAC requirements mention ‘crop’ this may refer to pasture and any crops grown for animal feed, as well as the raw material being produced for Unilever, i.e. milk (in some cases requirements related to the ‘crop’ will not be applicable to milk. The guide indicates when this is the case).

Disclaimer:

The Unilever Sustainable Agriculture Code and the accompanying implementation guides aim to be a reference source of current best practice for sustainable agriculture, at the same time it is not meant to be an exhaustive compilation.

The ultimate responsibility for which practices are implemented, and how, resides with suppliers and their farmers.

Related documents:

The Code itself, and more information on how Unilever will be using this code, is available in our “Unilever Sustainable Agriculture Code Scheme rules” (a PDF of this document is in Related Links box)

Unilever suppliers are also bound by the Unilever Supplier Code and will often be committed to social and environmental actions by membership of SEDEX. More information on these links can be found in the Social and Human Capital Implementation Guide.