Continuous improvement of sustainability of all agro-products

In this project, Wageningen Economic Research will develop a solid, fact-based and standardised system to monitor progress on sustainability performance of all agro-products (mainly food and ornamentals) sold in the Netherlands. This system will be based on the globally applicable tools developed by The Sustainability Consortium (TSC). The system will be developed and tested in cooperation with a large group of participating companies under the umbrella of the Alliantie Verduurzaming Voedsel (AVV), GroentenFruit Huis and FloraHolland.

Participating companies will gain insight in the current sustainability performance of their products. Furthermore, the system enables the prioritisation of the sustainability issues and improvement opportunities most relevant to the companies. By sharing these insights with supply chain partners, companies will have a sound basis for discussing the development towards products created in a more sustainable way.

The goal of project partners is both start a dialogue, and to stimulate continuous improvement of sustainability in the coming years and beyond. Improving the sustainability of agro-products is one of the major global challenges of this era. Demand for these products is increasing due to global population growth and shifting consumption patterns. However, current production methods still have negative impacts, in both environmental and social aspects (including fair trade and animal welfare issues). To reduce these impacts, innovations in sustainability are required for agricultural production.

Innovations will be encouraged when organisations at the end of the supply chain, such as the retail, catering and hospitality sector organisations as well as food processors, are able to create a strong demand for sustainably produced products. To do so, these organisations must integrate sustainability into their purchasing policies. Those responsible for purchasing policies generally face many questions on the topic of sustainability.

Download the options for chain improvements (Dutch):