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Muntons has, for a number of years, been a member of this international consortium that aims to standardise definitions and benchmarking of sustainability in a wide spectrum of food supply chains. In this article you can learn how our role has developed and the advantages of our membership
What is sustainable agriculture?
Sustainable agriculture is the efficient production of safe, high quality agricultural products, in a way that protects and improves the natural environment, the social and economic conditions of farmers, their employees and local communities, and safeguards the health and welfare of all farmed species
This is the agreed definition of SAI Platform which clearly shows the three dimensions of a 21st century sustainability program – it addresses People, Profit, Planet
What is SAI Platform?
What benefits have we found?
Ability to influence the establishment of a harmonised definition of sustainability through the Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA)
Implement secure and thriving agricultural supply chains and protect the earth’s resources through widespread adoption of sustainable practices that deliver value to our members, farmers, farming communities, and consumers.
How does SAI work?
SAI is a pre-competitive group and commercial discussions during the sessions are strictly not allowed. Of course setting out our credentials in front of the numerous customers in food and beverages around the table never does any harm for future opportunities. The group freely collects and exchanges data on sustainability practices, assessment, issues and opportunities and through collaboration seeks to find harmonised approaches to engage the supply chain.
How will SAI help improve our business?
SAI through the Farm Sustainability Assessment should address the proliferation of sustainability schemes and allow a universal method of assessing the competency of those systems by geographical area and crop type. It allows for example a higher level of sustainability to be set for developed countries growing well established crops whilst recognizing that in some developing countries it can be counter-productive to set the standard too high too early. Some of our customers have already used the FSA to set targets for the percentage of certain raw materials that will be sustainably sourced within defined timescales. By us adopting the same approach we align with their strategies and continue to be viewed as reputable suppliers.
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In the case of Heineken this year our company was singled out in their supply chain sustainability conference and in their annual report (see excerpt, right) for our credible approach to sustainability which is largely driven through our collaboration on SAI and establishing farmer sustainability groups.
One of my drives as chair of the Arable sub-group is to facilitate new and easier methods of communication across a very large number of participants. It is likely that we will start a brewing supply chain sub-group hosted either through LinkedIn or directly on the SAI website. Whilst it is clear that we are gaining benefit amongst our supply chain by our participation we will continue to use this forum as a means to protect our raw material sourcing and develop stronger customer buy-in.
Dr Nigel Davies – Manufacturing & Sustainability Director