The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) was pleased to see the European Marketing Distribution (EMD) announce a new Sourcing Code of Conduct based on the SSCI’s Social Criteria as part of its efforts to ensure supply chain sustainability. Founded in 1989 and based in Pfäffikon, Switzerland, EMD is the world’s largest retail alliance, representing 13% market share in Europe and serving a network of around 250 food and non-food retailers in 20 countries in Europe, Oceania and Asia.

EMD’s new Sourcing Code of Conduct defines 12 sustainability criteria that private label suppliers must meet to cooperate with EMD, which will be monitored alongside food safety standards as defined by the CGF’s other industry benchmark, the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

As EMD has been an active member of the SSCI Coalition of Action since its inception, the SSCI welcomes this development and the application of the SSCI Social Criteria within an SSCI member company’s own procurement policy.

The SSCI Social Criteria identify the key foundational elements of any effective and credible social sustainability standard. They were developed by leading industry sustainability experts at CGF member companies as the framework for the SSCI’s benchmark for third-party social sustainability auditing, certification and monitoring schemes. Informed by international reference frameworks such as principles from relevant International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions, the 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the CGF Priority Industry Principles on Forced Labour, the SSCI Social Criteria
set the bar for the consumer goods industry’s expectations for social sustainability.

Thomas van Haaren, Senior Manager of the SSCI, said, “We are pleased to see EMD, a key member of the SSCI Coalition, enhance its commitment to social sustainability by adopting the SSCI Criteria as part of their new Sourcing Code of Conduct. As the consumer goods industry’s benchmark of choice, the SSCI helps define what sustainability standards should look like and we welcome EMD’s actions to help raise awareness of our efforts.”

Phillipe Gruyters, Managing Director of EMD, said, “For all our joint international tenders, EMD and its members in Europe and beyond are committed to working only with suppliers complying with our binding EMD Sourcing Code of Conduct, which is based on the SSCI Criteria. This way, we are not only committed to the SSCI’s work and initiatives but also actively promote and implement the Criteria as defined by the SSCI.”

For more information about the SSCI, visit its website and learn more about the SSCI Criteria here.