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We are pleased to announce that Sustainably Grown, a sustainable agriculture certification programme administered by SCS Global Services (SCS), has finalised the GSCP Equivalence Process (EP), becoming the first US-based sustainable agriculture certification programme to do so. The standard has been benchmarked against both the Reference Code for social requirements and the Social Audit Process and Methodology tool, two vital elements in determining the robustness of a standard when it comes to social criteria, including labour conditions. The results of the benchmark are now available in the “Share & Compare” section of the Equivalence Process platform, where users can access the independently verified level of equivalence for each GSCP criterion. 
Sustainably Grown joins an ever-increasing list of standards that has undergone the Equivalence Process, which are benchmarked against international best practice of existing compliance systems and standards as set out in the GSCP Reference Tools. Furthermore, SCS integrated the EP expert’s feedback into its audit policies and tools for Sustainably Grown, permitting for further alignment to the GSCP. We welcome this type of proactive approach from an EP user, allowing Sustainably Grown to actively contribute to the hamonisation of social supply chain requirements. 
“Alignment with the GSCP Reference tools is one more way in which we are demonstrating our continued commitment to providing global leadership in creating tools to verify social and environmental sustainability practices in the agricultural sector,“ said Lesley Sykes, Sustainably Grown Program Manager. “The feedback we received from the EP experts was invaluable for ensuring alignment across all aspects of the certification program.”
“The GSCP congratulates SCS on this successful completion of the Equivalence Process. The commitment necessary to complete the process is a clear testament to SCS’ dedication to actively promoting the harmonization and transparency in global compliance schemes,” said Sonja Schmid, GSCP Equivalence Process Manager.
About the Equivalence Process
The GSCP Equivalence Process (EP) is a sustainability standards ‘check-up’: an in-depth benchmarking service for social and environmental requirements in supply chains. The EP determines where your organisations stands against the international reference set out by the Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP). Companies, auditing bodies and voluntary sustainability standards benefit from a review of their sustainability policies and procedures conducted by an independent expert panel. The aim of the process is to highlight areas for continuous improvement and drive harmonisation of standards. The results of benchmarked organisations provide a clear understanding of their sustainability requirements and enable the easy comparison of different approaches. The Equivalence Process provides users with much needed clarity and transparency, paving the way for collaboration and efficiency in sustainable supply chain management.
About SCS Global Services
SCS has been a global leader in third-party quality, environmental and sustainability verification, certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for more than three decades. Its programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in energy, manufacturing, green building, food and agriculture, forestry, and more. SCS is a chartered benefit corporation, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices, and a 2016 recipient of the Acterra Business Environmental Award for Sustainability.

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