SF hits sustainable milestone

SF hits sustainable milestone

The Sustainability Initiative Fruit and Vegetables (SIFAV) has achieved an important milestone on its sustainability journey: the sustainable volume of fresh fruit and vegetables sourced by the SIFAV-partners reached 85%, marking a strong increase since the start of reporting in 2015. 
Since its foundation under the umbrella of IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative, SIFAV, has grown substantially, both in terms of partners and with regards to sustainably sourced volumes. At the closure of the 2020 program, SIFAV counted over 40 partners (up from 29 in 2015 ) – among them retailers, brands, traders, civil society organizations and other supporting parties – that have committed to 100% sustainable sourcing of fresh fruit and vegetables. Their joint efforts across global fruit and vegetable supply chains have led to a significant increase in the percentage of sustainably sourced produce for the European market – from 50% in 2015 to 85% in 2020. 

Strong performance: sustainable volumes increased steadily 

After 8 years of jointly working on improving working conditions, the SIFAV-partners have achieved a continuously positive result, with sustainable volumes increasing steadily every year and the final result showing only a 15% difference compared to the initial ambitious aspiration of reaching 100% sustainable volumes by 2020.
The evolution of the absolute numbers of sustainable volumes highlights the strong performance even more visibly, showing a total increase of 163%, from 1 234 326 tonnes in 2015 to 3 240 842 tonnes in 2020. Under SIFAV, procurement is defined as sustainable when suppliers meet the requirements of one (benchmarked) social and one environmental compliance standard.

Koen Maes, leader of the project within Special Fruit, is a satisfied man. "Special Fruit is proud to be one of the launching partners since 2013 and is now working towards the 2025 goals. The SIFAV initiative has triggered us to work even closer with our growers and to focus on the following values: trust, transparency & teamwork. By acting on these values every day, we improve the sustainable impact at grower level, but also on the entire supply chain. We look forward to the 2025 agenda.

Further scaling up sustainable impact under SIFAV 2025

The evolution of the sustainable volumes and the positive developments in sustainability verification also further strengthen the foundation for the new SIFAV 2025 program. The ambitions for the future cover a lot of different supply chain aspects, ranging from the environmental footprint to wages and working conditions as well as to reporting and transparency.