SMP 2125 Scalable sustainability insights of agri commodity imports

The Netherlands plays a central role in imports and re-exports of key agri commodities such as cocoa, palm oil, coffee, soy and many others. For many years, public and private sector organizations have worked on improving transparency of the sustainability profile for these agri commodities (e.g. using certification schemes), but still many gaps exist in terms of sustainability risk and impact insights. In short: we have a general view on the agri commodity flows and to some extent the origination of these products. However, we lack key coherent insights on the sustainability risks and impacts such as human rights violations, deforestation, water stress and other material topics that is fragmented over different sources.

At the same time, the EC is working on the implementation of the Green Deal (GD) and related GD policy documents Farm-to-Fork and Biodiversity Strategy 2030. This will increase the requirements for sustainable agri commodity production in Europe, and, could also result into more restrictions for agri commodity imports to Europe/NL (i.e. will the same measures be applied for EU and non-EU agri products?). Also, voluntary collaborations in NL have been shaped to stimulate transparency on sustainability of food imports and best practices (e.g. IMVO-convenant)[1]. At the same time, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is developing legislation to further stimulate IMVO, and support the target that 90% of all large corporates endorse OECD guidelines (i.e. currently, this is 35%).[2]


What are options to close the gap for better sustainability insights of agri imports and consolidate the information, which can serve as a starting point for due diligence, allow targeted collaboration on improvement and provide trusted transparency to all stakeholders? The Port of Amsterdam (PoA) facilitates several argri flows, such as cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soy and biomass. As part of its own strategy to stimulate and contribute to the sustainable development of supply chains, it is interested in better insights. These would support a better grasp and understanding of the risks and serve as input for dialogues on these topics, as, in some cases, these flows hold sustainability risks and generate questions by stakeholders[3]. Overall, it will allow PoA to determine how it can optimize its contribution to sustainable development.

How can PoA and other stakeholders identify and better understand these risks and impacts?