Staff Post - Community Organizations Urban Agriculture Exception

The Institute has created the following new exception to acknowledge contributions that certain community organizations make to local agriculture:

(12/2019) I02-E3 Community Organizations with a Local Agriculture-based Mission
Non-profit organizations or community cooperative markets whose primary mission includes the protection and expansion of local and sustainable agriculture and fostering access to its products, may comply by any of the following paths:

  • demonstration that within the two years prior to initiation of the project audit, the organization’s efforts resulted in the protection in perpetuity by conservation easement for purposes of agricultural production, an area of local land at least twice the size of the area of Urban Agriculture required for the Project.
  • demonstration that within the five years prior to initiation of the project audit, the organization’s efforts resulted in the protection in perpetuity by conservation easement for purposes of agricultural production, an area of local land at least three times the size of the area of Urban Agriculture required for the Project
  • demonstration of sales during the project performance period of locally sourced products that have been grown without the use of petrochemicals input at a quantity at least equal to what would be expected to be produced on a plot three times the area required for the Project.

To be eligible, conservation easements must be held by an organization that meets the requirements for Land Trusts under I03 Habitat Exchange, including by use of the Accreditation Equivalency Exception, and production must not employ the use of petrochemical inputs. For purposes of this exception, local means within 500 km of the project site, as measured in a straight line. The nature of the non-profit or community cooperative market’s contribution may include funding or other direct involvement without which, the land conservation would not have occurred.

In all cases, the benefits of these efforts must be communicated to the building occupants.

The following documentation is required to show compliance with this Exception:

All Projects

Narrative with example of how building occupants have been made aware of the conservation or local sourcing of agriculture.

Technical documents demonstrating the organization’s status as a non-profit or community cooperative market and that its primary mission encompasses the protection and expansion of local and sustainable agriculture and fostering access to its products

If using an Agricultural Conservation Easement Path, also include:

An official letter or document from the land trust holding the agricultural conservation easement:

  • stating the terms, size, and date of the agricultural conservation easement(s)
  • documenting that any easement meets eligible land trust requirements
  • explaining the essential involvement of the non-profit or community cooperative market in protection of the land.

If using the Locally Produced Organic Sales Path, also include:

  • Calculation, based on industry accepted methods, of the yield per square foot of products that would be expected in an average year from production on local agricultural land, and
  • Receipts or accounting documentation of sales of locally produced organic products equal to the required amount.

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