For your products to be considered sustainable, you must be able to map the upstream supply chain up to farm level. If the product is not segregated, you will be required to provide an explanation of your mass balance system (with a declaration assuring the sustainability status through mass balance). Most importantly, products must be certified/verified at farm level and processing level. Here we will give an overview of the required assurance for products to be considered as sustainable for both levels:
At farm level, any standard that has been benchmarked by the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) and is considered “bronze equivalent” in relation to the SAI Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) will be accepted as sustainable. For a complete and up-to-date list of all benchmarked standards please consult the SAI-FSA website or download the full list here. The most common accepted standards in the juice industry are:
SAI FSA bronze (3rd party audited)
Rainforest Alliance / SAN
Global GAP with FSA add-on
Fair for Life
Unilever Sustainable Agriculture Code
Rural Horizons Citrus Brasil
Processing level: All steps in the supply chain in which a physical transformation of the product takes place (e.g. processing, bottling, blending) need to have a sustainability certification or verification that is at least equivalent to ETI/SMETA 4-Pillar or SA8000. Equivalent standards will be added later, but for the time being those two standards can be used. For the ETI/SMETA 4-Pillar the status on the ETI/SMETA web portal is leading. If non-conformities are not followed up within the timeframe of the auditor (red status in web portal), the certificate is not valid. The certificate will be considered valid for three years after the audit.
There are two kinds of companies: those that sell sustainable products... and those that will...