Trace & Save provides the opportunity for agricultural consultants to partner with us. You can use the Trace & Save system (including the SWAN system) to measure sustainability on the farms you consult with.

The Trace & Save system uses a comprehensive set of indicators which allows farmers and consultants to track sustainability on their farms over time. The first time a farm is measured is in order to establish a baseline. Future improvements in results can then be compared to this initial baseline.

Trace & Save uses both the online platform, from which farmers can directly access their farm’s data, as well as a computer application which is designed for the consultant to use.

The Trace & Save consultant application is a dynamic data recording, storage and reporting tool. Consultants upload farm data onto a secure central database, from which visual reports can be run, and data compared between years and indicators, all of which provide farmers with comprehensive feedback on their sustainability situation. This data also feeds in the farmer’s online based research platform. This helps farmers to identify opportunities for improving the sustainability of their farm management.

The Trace & Save consultants application interface

Farm data is uploaded to the Trace & Save database using the application

An example of a farms product water use efficiency, showing the total water use relative to milk production over a year period, and irrigation water use efficiency, showing water irrigated and rainfall relative to pasture growth per month


A carbon footprint analysis is carried out on farms and displayed on the website and application using charts and tables. The carbon footprint is standardised for comparison across farms according to global standards. For example on dairy farms it is measured in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents emitted per kilogram of fat-protein corrected milk produced.

An example of a farm carbon footprint showing the sources and extent of greenhouse gas emissions, and an intensity report in the table at the bottom


The nutrients aspect of the SWAN system is measured through a mineral balance (also known as a whole farm nutrient budget or farm-gate nutrient balance). This measures the efficiency with which nutrients are used on the farm and gives an indication of excess. These excesses lead to pollution.

An example of a farm mineral balance, showing the imported and removed minerals per hectare, and the overall utilisation of each mineral on the farm over a year period

2. Biodiversity conservation

Biodiversity conservation is an important aspect of sustainable agriculture. Trace & Save has compiled a biodiversity conservation checklist for farmers to identify practices they are already implementing, and where opportunities for conservation exist. This checklist can then also be used to compile a comprehensive farm biodiversity management plan, which includes a land-use map identifying important biodiversity conservation areas.

3. People well-being

The well-being of the people who work on farms is imperative to meet sustainability goals. Trace & Save uses a basic questionnaire examining whether the welfare of people working on farms is being addressed.

4. Animal welfare

Where applicable, the Trace & Save system uses the five freedoms to assess whether animals are being well cared for on farms.


Any consultants who are interested in partnering with Trace & Save should contact us in order to gain access to an example farm which shows the full extent of the indicators, and the display thereof online, used in the Trace & Save system.

The Trace & Save system is a continuous research platform, so based on your situation and requirements, Trace & Save is able to adapt accordingly. The aim is to grow the system to be able to be applied to most agricultural production systems.