Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI)

Organisation
Consumer Goods Forum
Location
Type
Sector
Providing buyers and suppliers with clear guidance on which third-party auditing and certification schemes cover key sustainability requirements.

By undergoing benchmarking and achieving SSCI recognition, scheme owners signal a strong commitment to raising the bar while driving harmonisation. The SSCI will: support companies in their supply chain due diligence by recognising robust schemes that drive positive change and address sustainability compliance issues; increase efficiency for suppliers and buyers by reducing audit duplication through recognition of robust sustainability schemes; and contribute to continuous improvement of sustainability auditing and certification schemes and encourage them to reflect Consumer Goods Forum resolutions in those schemes worldwide. Following a public consultation, the official launch is expected to be in autumn 2018.

In May 2018 the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF)’s Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) and the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) announced their collaboration to provide a benchmark and recognition tool for social compliance schemes in the seafood sector. The CGF Social Sustainability Committee selected the seafood sector as one of the priority supply chains for their social sustainability workstream. Correspondingly, the GSSI Steering Board identified social compliance as a key priority area for the seafood sector. Similar to GSSI’s Global Benchmark Tool, the SSCI Benchmark will allow the industry to have access to a list of credible, robust auditing and certification programmes. In close collaboration, the two organisations will develop a social compliance benchmark that takes into account the specificities of the seafood sector and the special nature of work in food harvesting, and will be underpinned by ILO Conventions and Recommendations and UN Guiding Principles, and is aligned with the CGF’s Priority Industry Principles on Forced Labour. This cross-industry collaboration will bring together a broad representation of members of the aquaculture and wild harvest sectors, primary processors, retailers, manufacturers and relevant stakeholders to provide a unique opportunity for market alignment and harmonisation of efforts. Stakeholder engagement with the seafood sector will be crucial throughout the process.

In July 2018 the SSCI opened its global public consultation of its first set of benchmarking criteria. The initial call for input covers the benchmark for social compliance schemes that audit processing / manufacturing facilities in the food and non-food sector. The consultation closes on 23 September 2018.  The benchmark consists of two parts, the Social Criteria and the Scheme Management Criteria:

  • Social Criteria: Criteria that are typically found in codes of conduct (e.g. child labour, forced labour, working hours, discrimination, etc.). The criteria are based on international reference frameworks, notably ILO Conventions and Recommendations and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as the CGF Priority Industry Principles.
  • Scheme Management Criteria: Criteria that ensure the robust performance of schemes and the effective implementation of the schemes’ procedures and policies (e.g. governance, standard-setting mechanism, relationship with audit firms, etc.). The criteria are mainly based on the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Scheme Management Criteria and the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) Governance and Operational Management criteria.

Significance for seafood businesses: 

This is a scheme to benchmark the various standards that apply to the seafood sector to help stakeholders understand the differences between them. Sourcing seafood that is accredited to a standard provides reassurance that the seafood you are purchasing has been independently verified concerning social issues.


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