The new formed 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:


fruits and veg

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables

processed fruits and veg

Juice (Processed F&V)


Flowers & Plants







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.

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.

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. 

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. 

Tony Bruggink

Program Director, Fresh and Ingredients

phone+31 (0) 6 5316 5756

e-mailemail me

Jan Gilhuis

Senior Program Manager

phone+31 (0) 6 1941 4370

e-mailemail me

Kebba Colley

Senior Program Manager, Fresh and Ingredients

e-mailemail me

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Facts & Figures

Target 2020 1.5

Target 2016 1.5

Results 2016 2.5

IDH-private sector (sustainability)investments ratio

Target 2020 100.000

Target 2016 22.000

Results 2016 50.836

Number of producers/workers/community members trained

Target 2020 30.000

Results 2016 47.077

Number of producers/workers reached by service delivery

Supported initiatives in Fresh & Ingredients

Related projects

  • Sustainable Spices Initiative – India
    Visit project
  • Sustainable Cassia Production
    Visit project
  • Empowering Smallholders for Sustainable Nutmeg Production
    Visit project
  • Promotion and Guarantee of Sustainable Pepper Production Among the Farmers in Key Growing Regions of Vietnam
    Visit project
  • Public Private Platform for Pepper/Spices (Spices Taskforce under PSAV)
    Visit project
  • Sustainable Production of Muntok White Pepper in West Bangka
    Visit project
  • Improving wages for workers in the horticulture sector: Living Wage project
    Visit project
  • Saving water on flower farms: Wetland project
    Visit project
  • Addressing issues that impact flower farm female workers: Gender project
    Visit project
  • Rolling out traceability and targeted investment in farmer groups and at processor level: Cashew projects
    Visit project
  • Improving the sustainability of snow peas, sugar snaps and French beans production: Marafarming project
    Visit project
  • Improving social and environmental aspect of conventional banana production: Dole project
    Visit project
  • Vanilla Sector improvement: Vanilla projects
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  • Improving social and environmental aspect of conventional banana production: Dole Project
    Visit project
  • Mitigating the pineapple scarcity and the mango and pineapple oversupply: HPW Smallholder Project
    Visit project
  • Increasing the sustainability of grape production: Sustainable Grapes Initiative – India
    Visit project

Fresh & Ingredients: Common Issues, Targeted Investments and Shared Solutions