Assessment-Ready Checklist

The assessment-ready checklist is intended to provide a high-level summary of the sustainability requirements that canola growers need to meet in order to get certified under this voluntary program. Specific questions on the requirements and the documentation needed to prepare for an assessment should be directed to your local grain handlers. With each company having its own program, they are best placed to respond to your question and help you decide whether this program is right for you.

STEP 1: Land Clearance Declaration

To be certified under this export program, all land (owned and rented) that you use for growing all crops and pasture land must have been in production or pasture since January 1, 2008. If you have cleared land since 2008, you will not be able to be certified under this export program. This includes any land area that was in forest, wetlands, peat lands, etc. as of January 1, 2008. The clearance of minor areas such as a shelter belt or along an access road (not including forest, wetlands and peat lands) should not disqualify a grower from the program.

If you meet this requirement, sign a declaration form and submit it to your delivery point.

Declaration forms are available from your local delivery point.

Signing and submitting this form is a pre-condition to participating in this export program.

STEP 2: Review Practices and Documents Required

To be prepared for an assessment, you must have these important documents organized and readily available.

  1. Copy of signed Land Clearance Declaration that no new land was cleared after January 1, 2008
  2. Legal description of all land owned or rented
  3. Copies of land title documents confirming ownership and copies of any land rental agreements or other documents as evidence of land rental
  4. List of crops and acres grown on each parcel of land for this crop year and the previous two years, and which parcels were fallow, if any (crop insurance or other similar documents can be provided if available)
  5. A document describing the soil zones for the land farmed (crop insurance or other similar documents can be provided)
  6. Records of fertilizer and pesticide applications, including:
    • Legal Land Description or GPS coordinates
    • Dates of the application (day/month/year)
    • Trade name of product applied, type of fertilizer
    • Rate of application
    • Application equipment used
  7. Contracts with company for delivery of canola
  8. Weighbridge tickets from delivery point for each truck of canola delivered
  9. Contracts with any sub-contractors – e.g., custom application pesticides, fertilizer, etc.
  10. Payroll records for any employees
  11. List of courses or training attended on pesticide and fertilizer use (if any)

Ensure you have access to information showing evidence of the following farm practices. This could be part of the assessment.

  1. Tillage
    • Be prepared to show evidence of no-till (if used), or to describe how soil erosion is minimized.
  2. Stubble
    • If stubble is burned, be prepared to show that it is legally permissible in your area.
  3. Water
    • Ensure that water use meets all regulations.
  4. Soil
    1. Be prepared to have assessors looking for any areas of significant soil damage from compaction.
  5. Fuel storage
    • Be prepared to show that you have legally compliant tank storage for gasoline/diesel. Be sure the area is clean and safe.
  6. Fertilizer
    • Be ready to show that:
      • Storage area is not close to water, is not at risk of contaminating water sources, and has some type of impenetrable floor
      • Application equipment is accurate (calibrated) and properly maintained
      • Application procedures are safe and do not contaminate groundwater
      • Fertilizer is only applied on absorptive soils (not on frozen or waterlogged areas)
      • Application rates are used to maintain and improve soil nutrient levels
  7. Pesticides
    • Be prepared to show that you followed instructions and regulations regarding pesticide use:
      • Only products registered in Canada
      • Safe and secure storage area
      • All products stored in their original containers
      • Safety gear and protective clothing on site, clean and maintained
      • Clear procedures for any tank washing or disposal of surplus pesticides to ensure groundwater is not contaminated
      • Safe and efficient handling procedures for any pesticides mixed on site
      • Safe procedures for loading pre-mixed herbicides and disposal of surplus product
      • Spill response kit handy, in a fixed location, with absorbent material (sand), floor brush, dustpan and plastic bags
      • Containers triple-rinsed, and procedure can be described
      • Knowledgeable about re-entry times to fields required on the pesticide label to ensure that no one is on the fields after a spray application
  8. Employment conditions
    • Be prepared to discuss that your farm is in line with the following:
      • Provides equal opportunity of employment
      • Does not have any discriminatory employment policies
      • Has no forced labour on the farm
      • Does not prevent workers from joining labour organizations or organizing one themselves to collectively bargain, as guaranteed by law
      • Does not use child labour;  if minor members of a family work on the farm, the work is legal and not taking away from school time