Synonym(s) : HVE
High Environmental Value (HEV) Agriculture is a French certification created and supervised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Agri-Food and Forestry in order to promote production from farms which voluntary commit themselves to environmental-friendly practices. Initiated in 2011, it is a global approach to preserve the environment: it does not certify the quality of a product but the environmental quality of a farm. The High Environmental Value certification of a farm is a famers’ initiative supported by all stakeholders of the agricultural and agri-food sectors.
This initiative has 3 levels of progression:
- Level 1: it is the conditionality of aids from the Common Agricultural Policy for the environment. An independent body which has been authorized under the farm advisory system carries out a diagnosis of the exploitation.
- Level 2: The farmer will have to reach a minimum level on the four following themes: biodiversity conservation, phytosanitary strategy, nutrient management & water resource management. A farm which is already committed to an approach which is recognized as having an equal environmental quality by the Ministry (e.g. Area, Terra Vitis) can directly access this second level.
- Level 3: Two alternatives are possible in order to reach this level of certification. Option A consists of achieving certain results for the four previous themes. Option B assesses environmental performance through two composite indicators: the amount of inputs must be less than 30% of the turnover, and the percentage of agricultural land with agro-ecological infrastructures must be more than 10%.
Only the third level allows the use of the term “high environmental value” on products from the farm, thus promoting these products to the consumers. The High Environmental Value certification for farms is a response of the agricultural world to the expectations of society for a more environmental-friendly agriculture based on agroecological levers.
Ministère de l’Agriculture, de l’Agroalimentaire et de la Foret. 2017. HEV certification: recognition of the environmental performance of farmers. Consulted on the 29th of november 2018.
Ministère de l’Agriculture, de l’Agroalimentaire et de la Foret. 2017. Official recognition of the environmental performance of farmers and Winegrowers. 2p. Consulted on the 29th of november 2018.
Noble route. 2014. France’s “High Environmental Value” Certification : What does it mean and where could it take us ? Consulted on the 29th of november 2018.