Whether it refers to growing plants, raising livestock or building aquaculture systems, sustainable farming is centred on the idea of producing plant or animal products while respecting the ecological, social and economic aspects of agriculture. This means taking a holistic approach to agriculture – using renewable resources whenever available, making as efficient use as possible of non-renewable sources, and creating processes that can be maintained for the long run. In general, sustainable agriculture seeks to either do no harm or have a positive impact on the environment, culture and economy where it takes place.
Here’s a closer look at what sustainable farming may involve:
CONSIDERING THE ENVIRONMENT
Farming practices that take into account their environmental impact will refrain from using toxic chemical pesticides whenever possible. They’ll also operate in a way that doesn’t degrade natural resources. For example, at WA Resources we are conscious of overfishing that is a real issue across the country and the world, and seek to ensure that biodiversity is maintained by growing prawns in our aquaculture farms as opposed to trawling the natural habitat in the ocean. This allows us to produce quality stock without further impacting the ecological systems that depend on a healthy prawn population. As Australia faces a number of environmental challenges with respect to farming practices, sustainable agriculture and aquaculture is an important step towards conserving our wildlife, as well as fighting the effects of global warming.
MAINTAINING SAFE HEALTH STANDARDS
Sustainable farming produces healthier food compared with other methods because of the eco-friendly approaches taken. Because the food is grown whenever possible without the use of potentially dangerous chemicals, they are cleaner and safer to consume. They also protect the environment around the farms and ensure waste is disposed of properly, which helps to protect the health of the people living in the local community and the native wildlife.
WORKING WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
Businesses involved in sustainable farming are also invested in the wellbeing of the communities that surround them. This often means employing locals, buying supplies from and investing in local businesses, and generally contributing to the overall growth of a sustainable and vibrant economy.