The term ‘sustainability’ implies the ability to keep doing a particular activity indefinitely, without unacceptable impact on people, land or other natural resources. This Code recognises three key principles of sustainability that can be summarised as:
- environmental issues
Environmentally sustainable land use practices must manage any potential adverse effects to avoid unacceptable degradation of land, air and water resources. Ideal management practices will enhance resources and boost productive potential.
- financial issues
Sustainable farming keeps management activities economically viable and holds any variation in profit (and the risk of poor returns) to an acceptable level.
- social issues
Production practices must be acceptable to local communities and to final product markets.
Assessing sustainability is a balancing act that compares impacts across these three areas. Sustainable nutrient management helps avoid serious adverse effects on the environment while achieving economically viable levels of production, profit and risk, both nationally and on individual farms.