The IFOAM Best Practice Community

Welcome to the IFOAM Best Practice Community. The world is in turmoil and needs the help of leaders who can show how to meet the challenge of a sustainable planet and human society. Organic principles and practices are the core solution to sustainability, but the organic movement also recognizes it must improve its own performance.

The private sector is more facile and agile than governments, and can act more quickly and creatively. Community members take advantage of this and exercise leadership through practice.

How the Community works:

IFOAM engages Community members in decision making regarding the requirements, development, and the communication of the Best Practice Community. The community is self-governed. Members steer its direction; IFOAM facilitates activities.

IFOAM facilitates the Community and provides a permanent secretariat, including an online exchange, learning, and information platform. It maintains the Best Practice Guideline as a living document and provides a methodology and policy for assessments against it. IFOAM has prepared a draft methodology and procedures. Community members approve and suggest improvements.

Who can join the Community?

IFOAM welcomes all interested standards owners, operators, and sustainability evaluation tools who wish to play leadership roles toward improving and mainstreaming organic principles and practices. 

People and organizations come to the Community for:

  • Demonstration – To show what they do toward manifesting the Principles of Organic Agriculture;
  • Advocacy and Promotion – To show how organic principles and practices provide benefits to themselves and others;
  • Learning, Exchange, and Collaboration – to find new ways to work together and manifest the Principles of Organic Agriculture. 



  • Networking, collaboration, coordination - Release untapped potential for synergies and create new opportunities.
  • The Community is supported by SOAAN (the Sustainable Organic Agriculture Action Network) - For learning and knowledge exchange, and to facilitate continuous improvement.
  • Positioning, Leadership, Influence - Use community communications vehicles to advantage in communications, promotions, and negotiations.
  • Branding/Exposure - Gain external recognition via IFOAM reputation and brand value. IFOAM issues a logo and certificate of participation in the IFOAM Best Practice Community and proactively communicates about its members, mentioning their leadership role in key forums (e.g. BIOFACHs, Organic World Congress, Web platforms, etc.) and towards partners and media.
  • All standards schemes that qualify for the Best Practice Community will automatically qualify for inclusion in the IFOAM Family of Standards. Full members of the Community will not pay the fees for the Family assessments and participation but will benefit from that exposure as well.


Community members:

  • Endorse and ascribe to the Best Practice Guideline.
  • Showcase their best practices.
  • Gain an objective comparison with a benchmark legitimized by the global organic movement. (Combination of Self-Assessment, IFOAM Assessment, and Peer review)
  • Commit to continuous improvement and share their progress in the community.

It is not the purpose of the Community to certify or otherwise declare how “sustainable” any given entity, operation, or program is. The Community eschews such overall “objective” evaluations, but does take interest in understanding and elaborating useful metrics and indicators of continual improvement toward sustainability.


AspirantsOne staff or board member commits to go through an internal decision process in its own institution if it wants to become a pioneer in the Best Practice Community. Status is good for 12 months. Free of charge.

Best Practice PioneersJoin the Community and undertake reporting and review. Recognition of leadership and Best Practices. Full Community benefits. Entails fees* for assessment and continuing participation.

For more information please contact David Gould, IFOAM Value Chain Facilitator, d.gould [at]

Return to the Best Practice Program landing page.