The SSCI Engages European Retailers on Sustainability at EMD Member Meeting in Amsterdam

Jun 14, 2024 10:25 AM ET
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The Consumer Goods Forum's Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) is proud to announce its active participation in the European Marketing Distribution (EMD) member sustainability meeting held on Tuesday, 28 May, in Amsterdam. This engagement underscores SSCI's unwavering commitment to fostering a global dialogue on sustainability standards and practices.

EMD is the leading European retail alliance of independent retailers, boasting 14 members and partners covering 250 grocery retail chains across 21 countries. Additionally, EMD is a member of SSCI, with Elles de Jonge-Bosch, Manager Quality and Sustainability for EMD, serving as Co-Chair. This strong partnership exemplifies the commitment of EMD to advancing sustainability standards in the retail sector.

Elles de Jonge-Bosch, Manager Quality and Sustainability for EMD, said “We are excited that Luiza could brief the EMD member sustainability managers in person on the progress made so far on social schemes and about what can be expected in terms of the environmental benchmark. A better understanding of the benchmark status and involved schemes will help our members to also address SSCI in the direct conversations they have with suppliers and certification bodies. EMD already informs all suppliers through our Sourcing Code of Conduct that we prefer SSCI recognised certification. The more opportunities we seize to spread the word on SSCI, the more schemes we can motivate to get SSCI benchmarked and recognised”.

During the meeting, Luiza Reguse, Senior Manager for SSCI, delivered an insightful presentation on SSCI's goals and vision. Emphasising the initiative's value to the retail sector, she drew parallels with the success of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), showcasing the tangible benefits SSCI offers to its members.

Several points were highlighted in demonstration of how SSCI members actively contribute to and benefit from the initiative:

  • Proposing Schemes for Benchmarking: Members can submit their schemes for SSCI benchmarking.
  • Requesting SSCI Recognition for Suppliers: Members encourage their suppliers to seek SSCI recognition.
  • Advocating for SSCI Benchmarks: Members promote SSCI benchmarks in schemes where they have direct influence.
  • Participating in Public Consultations: Members share feedback, helping to shape and refine SSCI standards.

Attendees were updated on the progress of schemes in the SSCI's benchmarking journey, detailing which ones have been recognised and those currently undergoing evaluation. This transparency ensures that stakeholders are well-informed about the standards that drive sustainable practices within the supply chain.

Luiza also announced the development of a new benchmark for environmental sustainability, set to be introduced via a webinar on 20 June. This upcoming event will allow industry stakeholders to access the new criteria and apply for benchmarking against this expanded scope, furthering SSCI's mission to integrate comprehensive sustainability standards.

The meeting concluded with discussions on the next steps, as EMD members expressed keen interest in understanding how SSCI defines its criteria and engages with target schemes.

SSCI is thankful to have the opportunity to engage with EMD member retailers participating in the sustainability meeting including Dagab (Axfood), Dagrofa, Markant, Superunie, Colruyt, Euromadi, Selex, Martin & Severa (Foodservice), and Unil.

A follow-up meeting is planned to delve deeper into these topics, continuing the collaborative efforts to enhance sustainability across the supply chain.

The SSCI remains dedicated to being a cornerstone of sustainability standards, driving continuous improvement and fostering global collaboration. To find out more about the SSCI and work with us, visit our website and sign up to receive news and updates.