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Impressively, the sales of sustainably certified grain by CBH increased by 40% to 1.7 million tonnes in the 2022 financial year. This reflects the changing demands of consumers who are now placing more emphasis on sustainability and environmental responsibility in their purchasing decisions.
This grain was exported under the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) scheme. As a grower, it's important to consider implementing sustainable practices and obtaining certifications like ISCC to remain competitive in the market, but is it right for you? Let’s take a look.
The International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) is a voluntary certification scheme that helps grain growers produce their crops sustainably and meet community expectations. ISCC covers factors such as energy efficiency, waste management, greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and social responsibility.
The purpose of the ISCC scheme is to promote sustainable practices in agriculture and more environmentally responsible supply chains. By following the ISCC standards, farming businesses can prove their commitment to sustainability and appeal to consumers who care about the environment. Although Australia does not yet have its own certification system, there have been talks of implementing an Australian version of the ISCC system which would better serve local growers.
The WAFarmers Grain Council supports the implementation of an Australian system, noting the challenges of getting the certification internationally recognised. However, they believe that it's worthwhile, as a formal Australian certification would open up new markets and add value for our growers. CBH doesn't currently have a preference or bias towards any particular sustainability certification system. They are open to using any system that can provide new and higher-value markets for their growers, regardless of whether it's the ISCC or an Australian-designed system.
If you're a grower looking to participate in the ISCC scheme, you need to understand the requirements of the certification and ensure that your farm meets those standards. Then, complete the ISCC Self-Declaration, which is available on CBH's LoadNet or can be downloaded from CBH (see here). Keep in mind that you may be selected for an audit by the appointed auditor of an ISCC recognised certification body, so be prepared to participate in one if selected.
To help demonstrate compliance with the ISCC requirements, CBH has developed an ISCC Grower Self-Assessment Form, which can be used as a helpful tool. By taking these steps, you can show your commitment to sustainable production and contribute to a more environmentally responsible supply chain.
To maintain certification, the entire supply chain involved in the production and distribution of the grain must undergo certification each year to ensure that the crop is sustainably produced and that the greenhouse gas emission reduction standards are being met. This helps ensure that the grain being produced is environmentally responsible and meets the expectations of consumers who value sustainable production practices.
ISCC has granted exemptions for using the chemicals Omethoate and Zinc Phosphide for Integrated Pest Management. CBH worked closely with the Department of Agriculture to ensure Australian conditions were considered during the application and auditing process of ISCC grower obligations. The exemption for Omethoate has no set expiry date, while the exemption for Zinc Phosphide will expire on September 11, 2023. This means that you can continue to use these chemicals responsibly while still meeting the ISCC's sustainability requirements.
You might be wondering whether it's worth becoming ISCC certified this year. Well, the answer is not a simple "yes" or "no."
On one hand, becoming ISCC certified can open up new markets and opportunities for your grain, as more and more customers are looking for sustainably produced products. Plus, it shows your commitment to environmentally responsible practices, which can be a great selling point for your grain.
On the other hand, becoming ISCC certified does require some effort and resources, such as familiarising yourself with the requirements and being willing to participate in an audit if selected. Plus, there are costs associated with certification, although some growers have found that these costs can be offset by higher prices for certified grain.
Ultimately, whether it's worth becoming ISCC certified depends on your individual situation and goals. It may be worth considering if you're looking to differentiate your grain in the market and demonstrate your commitment to sustainability.
Obtaining an ISCC certification could potentially open doors for growers to qualify for tax exemptions and other incentive schemes within the agriculture sector. However, it is important to note that more research needs to be conducted to determine the full extent of these benefits.
It's important to do your research and weigh the costs and benefits before making a decision. It's always a good idea to talk to your agronomist before making a big decision like this, so go ahead and give them a call.
The Government has reinvigorated the 120% skills training and technology costs deduction for small and medium business.
An election ago, the 2022-23 Budget proposed a 120% tax deduction for expenditure by small and medium businesses on technology, or skills and training for their staff. This proposal has now been adopted by the current Government and details released in recent exposure draft by Treasury.
From 1 July 2022, the standard Superannuation Guarantee (SG) rate increased from 10% up to 10.5%. It’s part of the government’s commitment to increase the SG by half a percent each year until 2025, when the SG rate will reach 12%.
The Australian Federal Budget 2022 was delivered on 29 March 2022 by the Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
See our breakdown of the tax measures impacting small business in Australia.
Smith Shearer, in collaboration with Kitto and Kitto Lawyers, will be hosting the ECCI Business After Hours on 12 August 2021
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