The Fresh & Ingredients (F&I) program aims to mobilize demand from retailers and manufacturers to accelerate responsible production practices at large scale. The Fresh & Ingredients program combines a number of agro-commodities, and provides cross-sector solutions on critical issues. The program builds on existing sector platforms that have been established by IDH over the last five years around these agro-commodities.

The Fresh & Ingredients program aims to increase imports of sustainably produced F&I agro-commodities with 25% by 2020 (against the 2016 baseline).

The program enables IDH to harmonize approaches across a number of sectors to address key sustainability issues, and expects to deliver higher field impact and address end-buyer needs to work on smaller commodity chains, particularly on social issues.

Download our Fresh & Ingredients brochure here to find out more.


The Fresh & Ingredients program will focus on the following issues:

F&I Focus green site

Publicity surrounding environmental impact, deplorable working conditions, food safety, health and safety issues, and low wages in many producer countries have increased consumers’ interest in knowing where their products originate from and under what conditions they are produced.

The F&I program brings together more than 100 suppliers – securing future supply – and will mobilize demand from retailers, manufacturers and traders to increase responsible sourcing and stimulate practices in their supply chains.

Partner companies benefit from synergies in sustainability strategies, investments, and learning from the different categories. By participating in the program, partners boost their sustainability efforts and strengthen their company’s sustainable position. Other reasons why companies participate are:

Why particpate - site

The Fresh & Ingredients program drives sustainability through pre-competitive collaborations.

Focus topics

The Fresh & Ingredients Program prioritizes four focus topics for intervention for the coming years (2016-2020):

  1. Smallholder inclusion; including increase in productivity and quality, smallholders in international supply chains, access to finance
  2. Working conditions; including living wage, gender and labour issues at both farm and processor level
  3. Agrochemical use; including food safety, high residues, health and safety, and environmental issues
  4. Climate change; including waste reduction, reduction of CO2 emissions, water use reduction and adaptation of production systems to climate change 

Harmonized approach

F&I approach site

Together with our Fresh & Ingredients partners we will develop a common approach on existing but also new issues. With our targeted investments we co-fund projects on the ground. By sharing our learnings and creating shared solutions we can for instance improve impact on farmers livelihood. 

Global covenants and coalitions

Over the last 5 years, IDH developed sector covenants and platforms with defined sustainable sourcing targets by 2020/2025. The covenants are based on individual company commitment, and each covenant includes a step-wise approach to source and import sustainable products over the coming years.

The Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI) is a international public private sector initiative aiming to create mainstream sustainability in the floriculture sector by building on existing initiatives and activities.

The Sustainability Initiative Fruits and Vegetables (SIFAV) is a pan-European initiative with retailers, brands, traders and civil society organizations in seven European countries. SIFAV partners aim to make imports of fruits and vegetables from Africa, Asia and South America 100% sustainable in 2020.

Sustainable Nut Initiative (SNI) is a foundation open for all organizations working within the Nuts supply chain, with the objective to stimulate traceability and sustainability in the nut sector.

The Sustainable Spices Initiative (SSI) brings together leading multinational companies and NGOs with the aim of sustainably transforming the mainstream spices sector, thereby securing future sourcing and boosting economic growth in producing countries.

In India, through the Sustainable Spices Initiative India (SSI-I), which is part of the global Sustainable Spices Initiative program, we aim to drive sustainable sourcing in the Indian spice industry while improving the livelihoods of producers, and giving consumers – both locally and globally – increased access to sustainable, food-safe spices. Click here for more information about the SSI-I.

The Sustainability Initiative Fruits and Vegetables Processed (SIFAV-Processed) covenant has been formulated, and the first general assembly took place in November 2015. Seven companies have so far become signatories, while other ten companies have demonstrated interest to join.

The Sustainable Vanilla Initiative (SVI) aims to build a collaboration with local stakeholders, create and support ownership to maintain the quality of vanilla, increase livelihood of vanilla producers, support the professionalization of the sector and increase the supply of sustainably produced vanilla.

More on these initiatives can be found below.

In this video, four private sector members of the SIFAV share how the initiative has helped them to integrate sustainability agendas into their businesses.

Benchmarking standards

The proliferation of sustainability standards, codes, audit methodologies and different approaches generates confusion and inefficiency along supply chains. By promoting transparency and comparability among relevant standards, we support the alignment of existing efforts and promote an international reference for best practices in the areas of social and environmental sustainable supply chain management.

The International Trade Centre,  GLOBALG.A.P. and the Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP) are our key partners in this respect.

With our platforms, covenants and partners we formulate a common definition and understanding of sustainability based on the benchmarking of relevant standards. By using a selection (basket) of responsible sourcing standards to ‘safely’ choose from, we encourage standards to align with international references, and we favour efficiencies in auditing and training. 

Collective Monitoring & Measuring

In order to be successful and effective we carefully monitor and evaluate our instruments and mechanisms. We monitor and measure volume of responsible products (against covenant commitments), and will create one method of monitoring leading to economies of scale for the industry.

The percentage of sustainable produced and traded products will be measured based on the quantity of kg/tonnage that complies with the defined sustainability criteria as agreed by the participating parties of the covenants. The participating private sector parties will annually report about their uptake of sustainable products to IDH. 


  • Sustainable Spices Initiative – India

    The Sustainable Spices Initiative India (SSI-I), part of the global SSI program, is an industry-led voluntary multi-stakeholder platform established as a section 8, not-for-profit to drive sustainable sourcing in the…

    Read more
    Sustainable Spices Initiative – India
  • Sustainable Juice Covenant

    The Sustainable Juice Covenant is a global initiative to make the sourcing, production and trade of fruit- and vegetable-derived juices, purees and their concentrates 100% sustainable by 2030.

    Read more
    Sustainable Juice Covenant
  • Sustainable Vanilla Initiative

    The goal of SVI is to contribute to improved livelihoods of farmers, stabilizing / improving quality, and building a transparent and stable supply and market of sustainable vanilla.

    Read more
    Sustainable Vanilla Initiative
  • Sustainable Nuts Initiative

    The Sustainable Nut Initiative aims to stimulate traceability and sustainability in the nut sector.

    Read more
    Sustainable Nuts Initiative
  • Floriculture Sustainability Initiative

    The floriculture Sustainability Initiative is working together towards a healthy, vital and sustainable floricultural sector.

    Read more
    Floriculture Sustainability Initiative
  • Sustainable Spices Initiative

    The Sustainable Spices Initiative pushes for interventions that create more farm level impact and cater to specific issues and geographies.

    Read more
    Sustainable Spices Initiative
  • Sustainability Initiative Fruit and Vegetables

    SIFAV aims to make imports of fruits and vegetables 100% sustainable in 2020.

    Read more
    Sustainability Initiative Fruit and Vegetables


  • 6 Dec 2018

    IDH for Gender

    Since the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, until 10 December, Human Rights Day, IDH is proud to be joining this year’s global 16 Days of Activism…

    Read more
    IDH for Gender
  • 4 Dec 2018

    Living wages in practice, in the avocado supply chain from Kenya

    In collaboration with IDH and Hivos, Eosta conducted a living wage research pilot, with a Kenyan avocado supplier, to research whether living waged could be used to improve social sustainability…

    Read more
    Living wages in practice, in the avocado supply chain from Kenya
  • 4 Dec 2018

    Why a gender approach is good for workers, business and the sector

    At global level there is ample and growing evidence that investing in the female workforce aligns well with business priorities. Since 2014 we have with the Ethiopian Horticulture Producers and Exporters Association,…

    Read more
    Why a gender approach is good for workers, business and the sector

Facts & Figures

  • Private-sector (sustainability) investments in the program (in million euro)

    Target 2020 25.9
    Target 2017 5.3
    Results 2017 3.75
  • Number of producers/workers/community members trained

    Target 2020 100.000
    Target 2017 35.000
    Results 2017 65.256
  • Area where trained practices are applied

    Target 2020 30.000
    Target 2017 10.000
    Results 2017 66.452

Related Projects

Living Wage project
Improving wages for workers in the horticulture sector
Wetland project
Saving water on flower farms
Gender project
Addressing issues that impact flower farm female workers
Cashew projects
Rolling out traceability and targeted investment in farmer groups and at processor level
Marafarming project
Improving the sustainability of snow peas, sugar snaps and French beans production
Dole project
Improving social and environmental aspect of conventional banana production
Vanilla projects
Vanilla Sector improvement
Dole Project
Improving social and environmental aspect of conventional banana production
HPW Smallholder Project
Mitigating the pineapple scarcity and the mango and pineapple oversupply
Sustainable Grapes Initiative – India
Increasing the sustainability of grape production


Title Type Year
The Sustainable Juice Covenant Factsheet 2018
Business Case for Spices Production & Processing Report 2018
Why the Indian Spice Industry Needs Sustainability as the Driving Factor Brochure 2018
Bridging the sustainability gap in the Indian spice industry Case Study 2018
Sustainable Spices Initiative – India (SSI-I) Brochure Brochure 2018

Contact us for more information


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