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Methdological guides

Joanna Litt (ITAVI), Guillaume Coutelet (ITAVI), Laurence Fortun-Lamothe (INRAE)

These guides were designed to explain the DIAMOND method to potential users, especially producers, so that they can adopt it and assess themselves.

DIAMOND is a tool for multicriteria assessment of the sustainability of foie gras and rabbit production units. It is based on a list of sustainability objectives and a set of indicators that assess the degrees to which these objectives are met. These objectives and indicators were defined by experts, sector representatives, citizen representatives and consumers in a participative approach.

Indicators

The indicators, measured at the scale of a production unit, assess the unit’s economic, social and environemental performances.

Its utility for producers consists of the following, among others:

  • better understand issues and dimensions of sustainable development and principles of sustainability assessment
  • place their units relative to those of other similar units and compare their results to those of their reference group
  • put their production units in perspective
  • identify, for their particular cases, potential room for improvement and objectives for realising these improvements (without presuming what actions to take)
  • communicate

Application of the tool to networks of reference farms validated the method and also defined initial estimates of average sustainability performances at the national scale for these two sectors. These estimates are used to reveal room for improvement of these production systems in light of sustainability issues and to identify technical choices and/or combinations of practices that best address these issues.

Advantages and limits

DIAMOND is an assessment method based on a list of objectives for livestock production units that are potentially applicable to all animal sectors. The indicators selected, however, remain specific to each sector.

Its strong points include the variety of criteria considered, which allows it to have a global vision of the unit’s situation, without forgetting the method’s key points: the ability for producers to assess their own units and the lack of cost (i.e. free download).

DIAMOND is not a certification tool, nor does it intend to become on. It allows users, however, to assess sustainability, identify a unit’s strong and weak points, and to regularly monitor changes in its performances.