The joint efforts of the companies united in the Sustainable Juice Covenant (SJC) are bearing fruit: the latest progress report for the SJC 2030 program indicates that the juice volume sustainably sourced by the SJC members has reached 33% in 2020. The growth in sustainable volume means not only that the SJC has more than achieved its target for 2020, but also indicates that the members are right on track to deliver on their commitment of 100% sustainable juice by 2030.
The latest progress report on the development of juice volume sustainably sourced by the SJC members shows an increase of 11 percentage points compared to 2019, illustrating that the collaborative efforts across global juice supply chains are paying off. Since its foundation in 2017 under the umbrella of IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative, the SJC has grown into a pan-European platform consisting of 16 members, including producers, processors, traders, bottlers, brands, retailers and civil society organizations. In 2020, the SJC welcomed 3 new companies, the growth in membership further boosting sustainable juice volumes. Together the members are pursuing the joint objective of 100% sustainable juice sourcing by 2030.
Juice volumes are considered sustainable if they meet the requirements of one by the SJC recognized environmental and/or social standards such as the FSA Bronze for farm-level and the SA8000 and ETI/SMETA 4-Pillar norms for any level of processing.
Continuous sustainable growth on a year-on-year basis
The overall results of SJC’s 2020 sustainable sourcing performance were presented to the members of the Covenant on September 28th. The consecutive progress reports show a continuous increase in sustainable juice volume 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. The 2020 reporting results make it clear that the SJC members are well underway to deliver on their joint commitment of reaching 100% sustainable sourcing by 2030.
We have seen our sustainable sourcing volumes increase since we joined the covenant. Setting a common target and approach is essential to scale impact within the sector. For us as Eckes-Granini, the covenant has helped us to put sustainability on the agenda and to drive improvements in our internal processes and data management system as well as creating much stronger relationships with our supply chain partners.
The two largest traded commodities under the SJC have been and continue to be orange juice and apple juice. In terms of sustainability, the top 3 commodities are carrot, orange and lemon with around half of the volumes sourced under the SJC being sustainable. In 2020, the biggest accomplishment has been achieved with regards to lemon sourcing, with sustainable volumes reaching 48%, up from only 12% in 2019. This is partly thanks to the sustainability efforts of some new members active in the lemon sector.
The report also highlighted some important challenges that the SJC members will focus on in the coming years. These include for example the difficulty to source certified apples in Poland and the inclusion and certification of smallholders. The Covenant will continue to focus on addressing these challenges, knowledge sharing, setting up and co-funding of collaborative projects on the ground.
The progress in sustainable volumes is measured on an annual basis against a series of stepwise sustainable sourcing targets by assurance provider PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers).