Enhancing Assurance Schemes

The role of assurance in enhancing social licence to operate

Project Details Ngā taipitopito

Project Status:
Challenge funding:
Research duration:
July 2022 - March 2023

Collaborators Ngā haumi

Synlait | The AgriBusiness Group | University Of Canterbury

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What are we doing?E aha ana mātou?

Farm certification schemes are an important way to build social licence to operate, address market and regulatory concerns, provide greater transparency, and incorporate cultural values into practices.

Many of these assurance systems and other monitoring mechanisms are well established – but are being challenged by increasing demands of urban communities for transparency in farming and rapid development of technology driven monitoring and reporting mechanisms.

This project will develop recommendations to enhance assurance programmes, including how they can be used more effectively to build trust between farmers and communities. The work will also consider the need for continuous improvement, and how Māori perspectives, insights and cultural attributes could be incorporated into assurance processes.

How can the research be used? Ka pēhea e whai take ai te rangahau?

  • This project will produce a white paper outlining a pathway to enhance assurance systems to increase their potential to build and maintain social licence to operate in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Tailored recommendations will be developed for the enhancement of the Synlait Lead with Pride assurance programme, and MFE/MPI Freshwater Farm Plans, providing direct benefits to the operation and impact of these programmes.
  • The research will also provide tailored recommendations for Māori enterprises and assurance providers that are guided by tauutuutu ethics in terms of transparent monitoring reporting, across taiao, oranga, and whai rawa dimensions.
  • Insights from the research will support the building of trust between farmers and communities, and clarify possible complementary strategies to build social licence to operate, such as farm open days and community-supported agriculture.

Research team Te hunga i whai wāhi mai

Project Co-Lead
Pavel Castka
University of Canterbury
Project Co-Lead
Jon Manhire
The Agribusiness Group
Te Ao Māori Lead
John Reid
University of Canterbury / Earth Quotient
Corey Ruha
Te Arawa, Tūwharetoa, Raukawa
Independent researcher

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