The Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI), a Coalition of Action from The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), has published version 1.1 of Part II of the SSCI Benchmark Requirements (“Requirement for the Management of Schemes,” or “Scheme Management Criteria”) which define the governance requirements for sustainability standards.

The Scheme Management Criteria were updated after the SSCI noticed opportunities to drive further alignment in its work by combining the Part II Benchmark Requirements for each of its sectoral scopes – Manufacturing & Processing, At-Sea Operations, and Primary Production – into one single, cross-sectoral set of criteria. An internal analysis of each scope’s Part II Benchmark Requirements concluded 58% of the criteria were shared across all three sectoral scopes, and therefore it would be possible to create a single set of base criteria regarding scheme governance.

Additionally, in September 2022 the SSCI opened a stakeholder consultation to gather industry feedback on this task and after receiving comments from stakeholders, the SSCI has been able to produce version 1.1 of the Benchmark Criteria, available here.

The new cross-sectoral version of the Scheme Management Criteria follows the same structure as previous versions and includes internal elements (Chapter A) and elements pertaining to audit firms used by schemes (Chapter B), all of which must be met by SSCI Benchmark applicants under each sectoral scope.

The new version also includes specific elements that only apply to schemes applying for SSCI Recognition under the SSCI’s Primary Production scope: smallholders (Chapter C) and group certifications (Chapter D).

With the new version of these Benchmark Requirements, in order to achieve SSCI Recognition, SSCI Benchmark applicants will have to meet all requirements listed in Part II – Requirements for the Management of Schemes and Part III – Social Criteria for the relevant sectoral scope(s). 

Third-party social certification, monitoring, and audit schemes and programmes are invited to review the updated Social Management Criteria in conjunction with the relevant Social Criteria for their sector(s) and apply to the SSCI for benchmarking. Application kits are available here and can be sent to the SSCI team at

To view current SSCI Benchmark applicants and follow their progress, visit

Learn More about Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative

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