The Sustainable Juice Covenant (SJC) was founded in 2017 by a couple of front-runners in the juice sector and has since then grown into a sector-wide initiative representing the whole juice supply chain and more or less half of the European consumption volumes. SJC’s members are looking to drive sustainable change and to improve juice supply chains across the globe.
The SJC is coordinated by IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative which offers support and expertise. The Covenant presents a platform for members to engage, exchange knowledge, share learnings on critical sustainability topics and to work together on solutions that support the sustainable transition towards a future-proof juice sector.
The members united under the SJC have committed to a target of 100% sustainable sourcing of juices, purees, and concentrates by 2030. SJC’s progress is evaluated against step-wise targets (more information on the reporting and applicable standards can be found below).
Why join the Sustainable Juice Covenant?
Across global juice supply chains, many social and environmental challenges need addressing – from labour issues to farming practices and traceability.
Collaboration is key to realize improvements and drive sustainable transformation.
To maximize the benefits of a cooperative approach, the Sustainable Juice Covenant provides the opportunity for producers, processors, traders, brands and retailers to join forces.
SJC is an international platform aimed at exploiting synergies and managing available resources as well as initiating and coordinating its members’ work on relevant projects.
An important part of SJC’s work is to monitor progress on the sustainability targets and achievements – to ensure continuous and measurable improvement and to show the efforts of SJC members to the outside world.
The benefits of joint target setting
Peter Spaargaren, Head of Group Sustainability at Döhler, explains why it is important to set joint targets under the SJC and how a sector-wide approach benefits Döhler as an individual company. “We cannot do this by ourselves”, he says.
An important element of the sustainability engagement within the SJC is the work on on-the-ground projects. These projects are often collaborative projects driven by SJC members and aimed at addressing important sustainability issues within global juice supply chains. These project partnerships allow for scaling up the impact as well as for optimizing the use of available resources.
When these on-the ground projects are aligned with IDH’s key sustainability topics and fulfil IDH’s project requirements, IDH offers co-financing as well as support in terms of knowledge, insights and coordination. The key focus areas for sustainability are:
- – Living Wage and Working Conditions
- – Gender Equality
- – Smallholder Farmer Inclusion
- – Responsible Agrochemicals Management
What do we count as sustainable? Sustainability is defined according to certification schemes at the farm, processing, and bottling levels of the supply chain:
- At farm level, we work with the Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) Tool, developed by SAI Platform. Production needs to at least meet the requirements of FSA Bronze (or standards that have been benchmarked against FSA Bronze level or higher).
- At the processing and bottling levels, we work with either ETI/SMETA 4-Pillar or SA8000.
Standards that have gone through a benchmarking process and that are found to be equivalent are accepted by SJC members. By using a benchmark and therefore accepting a range of equivalent standards, the SJC is aiming to drive harmonization on an international level, to support alignment of market requirements to best practices and to promote transparency and comparability.
Progress on the target of 100% sustainable sourcing by 2030 is monitored on an annual basis by the independent third-party assurance auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). SJC’s progress is evaluated against step-wise targets (see visual on top of the page).
In 2020, the juice volume sustainably sourced by the SJC members even surpassed the target of 30%: The consecutive progress reports show a continuous increase over the course of 4 years, from 7% in 2017 to 33% in 2020. Looking at the absolute numbers, the growth accomplished over the past year becomes even more obvious: the sustainable juice volume increased by +109%, growing from 1 million tonnes in 2019 to 2,1 million tonnes in 2020.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Accountants N.V. (“PwC”) has written a summary report on the responsible sourcing performance of the Sustainable Juice Covenant. This report is addressed to Stichting IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative (“IDH”) and is prepared solely for their benefit. This report does not contain an audit opinion or other form of assurance in relation to the services provided by PwC or the information on which PwC’s services are provided. In that respect, PwC has provided the limited reconciliation activity but does not provide assurance over the outcomes and results.
Membership of the Sustainable Juice Covenant is open to all companies along the entire juice supply chain – from producers and processors to bottlers, traders, brands and retailers.
The SJC provides members with a clear framework for building sustainability targets and ambitions, and the opportunity to benefit from strategic support and guidance from IDH. Members share knowledge, insights, tools and lessons learnt on addressing critical sustainability issues. The common objective is to build momentum towards sustainable sector transformation.
Ready to commit to 100% Sustainable Juice?