Criteria and tools

With the Basic Set, the Biodiversity Performance Tool (BPT), the Biodiversity Action Plan and the Biodiversity Monitoring System (BMS), the association provides its members and all interested parties with valuable tools for anchoring more biodiversity in agricultural production, planning concrete measures and recording the success of implementation.

Basic-SetBiodiversity Performance Tool (BPT)Biodiversity Monitoring System (BMS)Links

Basic-Set Biodiversitycriteria

The Basis 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 further criteria and measures.

All actors in the food sector are addressed to implement the requirements and measures of the basis set or to promote and support the implementation:

  • Agricultural holdings and producer groups
  • Voluntary standards at international, national and regional level
  • Companies in the food industry with their own procurement requirements
  • Associations of the food sector
  • Policy makers responsible for agricultural legislation, policies, programmes and subsidies.

Basic set levels:

The basic set contains two levels. On the first level, standards and companies are encouraged to take higher-level aspects of biodiversity protection into account. An example would be the implementation of a Biodiversity Action Plan in existing procurement requirements and criteria catalogues.
The second level deals with concrete requirements for farms. Here, content is presented for criteria of standards and procurement guidelines that focus on agricultural production and are intended to avoid negative environmental impacts of agricultural practices and protect ecological structures. In many cases, this level builds on the first level.

Importance for our association:

The association will continue to develop the basic set on a regular basis and take into account new findings, legal requirements and practical experience.
Furthermore, the association is working on an accompanying programme to achieve a broad implementation of the basic set.
The basic set was selected from the “Recommendations to improve biodiversity protection in policy and criteria of food standards and sourcing requirements of food companies and retailers“.

Click here to download the basic set:

Basic Set German DownloadBasic Set English Download

Biodiversity Performance Tool (BPT)

Compared to other classical agricultural indicators such as nitrogen balance, pesticide pressure, energy performance, water footprint and greenhouse gas emissions, the recording and monitoring of biodiversity potentials at farm level is poorly developed. There is a clear lack of easy-to-use and meaningful tools for (certified) farmers, certifiers and assessors to evaluate the development of biodiversity potentials and the quality of measures.
The Biodiversity Performance Tool captures the current situation of farms with regard to aspects relevant to biodiversity using 79 key figures and indicators. They cover the areas of biodiversity management and landscape elements, agricultural practices and socio-economic factors. The most important indicators are backed by a rating system and the results are presented in a traffic light system. With the baseline and the assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the farm, the BPT provides an important input for a comprehensive and substantial Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP).
The BAP with measures to improve the protection of existing habitats and animal and plant species and measures to avoid or reduce negative impacts is key to good biodiversity performance.
The results of the implemented measures are recorded in the tool and their impact on the indicators is assessed: Aspects rated red hopefully become yellow and yellow aspects change to green dots. The development of indicators over a certain period of time is also mapped. Thus, the BPT can be used as a monitoring tool from which – hopefully – continuous improvement can be read.
The Biodiversity Performance Tool was further developed into the BPT Insects within the framework of the EU LIFE project “Insect Responsible Sourcing Regions”: Key figures with particular relevance for insect conservation were integrated and the reporting functions were further improved. In addition, the BPTi now covers all criteria and measures of the basic set of biodiversity criteria.

Go to the BPTi here: https://www.biodiversity-performance.org/

The BPTi is available free of charge to members of Food for Biodiversity until the end of 2024. Other interested parties please contact the Lake Constance Foundation to discuss usage options: saskia.wolf@bodensee-stiftung.org

Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP)

A Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) is a strategic framework for improving biodiversity in agriculture. A BAP helps certified farms and advisors to get an overview of existing approaches to biodiversity management and to evaluate these approaches with regard to local fauna and flora. The BAP is also a good basis for advising managers and advisors to improve the quality and effectiveness of biodiversity measures. The results help to define relevant measures to promote biodiversity. By defining a baseline, the BAP also provides a good basis for managers and advisors to give advice on how to improve the quality and effectiveness of biodiversity measures.
A Biodiversity Action Plan should focus on the two main areas for biodiversity conservation:

The BAP should contain targets and measures for both fields of action.

Biodiversity Action Plan: Steps

A Biodiversity Action Plan comprises four steps:

  1. Description of the initial situation (baseline)
  2. Objective
  3. Selection, timeframe and implementation of measures to promote biodiversity
  4. Monitoring and Evaluation

The BAP should be reviewed and updated every three years.

Continuous improvement:

Farmers are not expected to implement the selected measures all at once. Farmers can start with a few activities and then aim for continuous improvement over the next years.
The farm or cooperative should appoint a responsible person to manage the farm. The person in charge needs some practical and theoretical knowledge about agriculture and biodiversity, as well as a good internal position for implementation in the BAP.

Biodiversity Monitoring System (BMS)

The Biodiversity Monitoring System (BMS) enables standards and food businesses as well as producer groups and associations to monitor the biodiversity performance of certified farms, supplying farmers or member farms. The monitoring is based on 60 indicators with high relevance for the protection and creation of potential for biodiversity and the reduction of negative impacts. Standards, food businesses and producer groups/associations using the BMS can enter and evaluate data from their affiliated farms. The BMS processes aggregated data sets, i.e. users receive an evaluation of the results of “their” farms – presented with tables and graphs in nine clusters. A filter function allows users to narrow down the monitoring results by country, province, production type, farm size and cluster.
The security precautions of the database guarantee that a user only has access to the data of “his” farms and can only have these analysed.
The BMS was revised within the framework of the “Unternehmen Biologische Vielfalt” initiative and now covers all criteria or measures required in the basic set of biodiversity criteria of the “Food for Biodiversity” association. This makes the BMS ideally suited for monitoring the implementation of the baseline set in specific projects or supply chains.
Go to the BMS here:
https://biodiversity-monitoring.info/

The BMS is available free of charge to members of Food for Biodiversity until the end of 2024. Other interested parties please contact the Lake Constance Foundation to discuss the options for use: marion.hammerl@bodensee-stiftung.org