Social, Environmental

& Ethical Standards

The Food Safety, Ethical, and Environmental Standards (STA) innovation was based in the Mopani District in Limpopo Province and the first phase took place over ten months from October 2014 until July 2015.


It targeted 15 market-orientated smallholder farmers in loose and tight value chains. Through the study, the SAFL aimed to support smallholder farmers to reach compliance with an entry-level food safety standard, localg.ap., in order to sell their produce to supermarkets. ​The study identified some key factors that must form part of future localg.a.p. programmes if they are to be successful. These may be most useful for programme owners such as SPAR. They include:

  • Working with farmers who already have access to finance and some basic farm infrastructure such as fencing and irrigation (typically capitalist smallholder farmers), or a willingness to supply smallholder farmers with said finance and infrastructure (typically market-orientated smallholder farmers)
  • Clear communication of the project, stakeholders involved, and responsibilities of each stakeholder group, including participating smallholder farmers
  • A programme owner or other support agency that pays for the final assessments, or reduced assessment costs
  • Context-appropriate standard requirements
  • Appropriate training materials (including record keeping templates) and training processes
  • Continued extension support from the first training to the final assessment

Some basic recommendations for organisations training smallholder farmers in localg.a.p. include:

  • Training material needs to:
    be context-specific
    include basic record keeping templates
    use less technical terms to communicate standard requirements
    possibly be translated into local vernacular
  • Training should be broken down into more sessions over a period of time so that farmers have time to come to terms with new learnings, implement them, and be assessed at the next training session
  • Training needs to be followed by continuous extension support, preferably by someone who has been sufficiently trained in localg.a.p. and who can speak the local vernacular

The full research report is available here.


SAFL successfully submitted another proposal to the Government of Flanders. The first phase of the STA study focussed on localg.a.p., which is a food safety standard. However, the next phase saw SAFL working with WWF, SIZA, PGS-SA, Solidaridad, and other market-related organisations to develop an integrated food safety, environmental, and ethical standard. The workshop took place at STIAS in Stellenbosch on 25 and 26 February 2016. The workshop report is available here.


For further information, please contact the project manager, Dr Anri Manderson at


Banner photo credit: Aletta Harrison, Eyewitness News.

Project Details


Government of Flanders (through the South African Treasury)

Start Date

Oct 2014

End Date

March 2016







Key Outputs

Two compliant localg.a.p. farmers

Final research report

Report summary

Integrated market standard workshop