Agricultural sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable agriculture is important to make sure that we have and will continue to have, the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment.
In view of this, long-term stewardship of both natural and human resources is of equal importance to short-term economic gain. Care of human resources includes consideration of social responsibilities such as working and living conditions of labourers, the needs of rural communities, and consumer health and safety both in the present and the future.
Taking care of land and natural resources involves maintaining or enhancing the quality of these resources and using them in ways that allow them to be regenerated for the future. Sustainability considerations must also address concerns about animal welfare in farm enterprises that include livestock.