(CLIVE, Iowa) – Peoples Company, a national firm specializing in land brokerage, land management, land investment and appraisal services, today announced it has achieved sustainability certification for its entire managed lands portfolio through Leading Harvest’s Farmland Management Standard. The certification of managed acres in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri, and Oregon was conducted by an independent auditor and completed in July. Peoples Company intends to bring all future managed acres into Leading Harvest certification.
The certification and audit examined farm practices and land management techniques across 13 sustainability metrics, which include soil health, protecting water quality, conservation of biodiversity, air quality and climate change, compliance with all farm labor regulations, legal compliance, and continual improvement of farming practices. To be certified, Peoples Company was required to demonstrate compliance with each metric. The full Standard in which Peoples Company is certified can be found here.
“Today’s consumer is demanding the supply chain to reduce the environmental impact of the food we eat. At the same time, socially responsible investment is pushing the agriculture industry to address broader environmental, social, and governance factors in the business model,” said Mollie Aronowitz, Peoples Company’s Director of Sustainability. “Together with our clients and their tenant farmers, Peoples Company has honed our management system to focus critical sustainability metrics that we know improve environmental outcomes. On each farm, Peoples Company land managers work to maximize yields on the most productive acres while protecting the environmentally sensitive areas. Importantly, experience has taught us that we can often solve economic problems through an environmental solution.”
In achieving certification, Peoples Company becomes the first private farm management firm in the country to enroll its entire portfolio of managed lands in Leading Harvest and achieve certification. The accomplishment has not been lost on investors and landowners who recognize the increasing importance of a commitment to ESG (environmental, social and governance) principles on the farm and within the food production supply chain.
“Savvy investors, landowners and farmers that Peoples Company works with are seeing that sustainable practices and positive environmental outcomes go hand-in-hand with land productivity,” said Peoples Company President Steve Bruere. “Peoples Company is honored to be the first private asset manager to achieve Leading Harvest certification across our entire managed land portfolio and, true to the Leading Harvest standard, we intend to seek opportunities to continually improve land management techniques to be effective stewards of the land.”
Peoples Company is licensed to manage farms in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.