The Sustainability Initiative Fruit and Vegetables (SIFAV) aims to drive 100% sustainable imports of fruits and vegetables from Africa, Asia and South America by 2020.

Why do we need more sustainable supply chains?

The global fruit and vegetables sector faces a number of key sustainability challenges – poor farmer livelihoods and working conditions, gender inequality, low productivity, insufficient knowledge of good social, environmental and agricultural practices, limited access to affordable finance, and poor knowledge of local, regional and international market requirements.

For European traders and retailers that source fruit and vegetables from the developing regions of Africa, Asia and South America, these challenges can present significant reputational risks amongst an increasingly discerning European consumer base, and can jeopardize the ‘license to operate’ within these producer regions.

There is an urgent need for collaboration within the fruit and vegetables sector to address these challenges, and to work towards more sustainable supply chains.

 

How does SIFAV drive impact?

SIFAV aims to leverage market demand for sustainably produced fruits and vegetables. SIFAV convenes key sector players in the fruit and vegetables sector by securing commitments to source 100% sustainable produce by 2020.

Sustainable production is defined as meeting the requirements of one social and one environmental compliance standard included in the SIFAV ‘Basket of Standards’. Through the benchmarking of standards, the Basket of Standards helps to drive the harmonization of compliance standards and reduce audit duplication for farmers.

Private partner members of SIFAV report on their progress towards 100% sustainably sourced produce; this is monitored annually by a third party.

Addressing cross-cutting supply chain challenges is of crucial importance: smallholder farmer inclusion, health and safety, food safety, and the sustainable use of water resources. The IDH Fresh and Ingredients Program co-funds projects to drive the inclusion of smallholder farmers into global supply chains, and that promote good agricultural practices and best social practices in sustainable production. The aim is to drive impact and build shared solutions to common challenges.

Launched in 2012 with 13 Dutch companies, SIFAV has become a pan-European initiative with over 40 partners, including retailers, brands, traders, and civil society organizations from the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.

 

What do existing members think of SIFAV?

 

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