PARIS, 21 November 2023 — The Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) is pleased to announce it has received an application from Rainforest Alliance submitting its Sustainable Agriculture Standard for the SSCI Benchmarking in both the Processing and Manufacturing scope as well as the Primary Production scope. The application marks the Rainforest Alliance’s first step in earning SSCI Recognition by demonstrating it meets industry expectations for how sustainability standards should operate and what topics they should cover. As the industry’s benchmark of choice, the SSCI is committed to helping organisations with their supply chain due diligence by building trust in these standards by driving alignment and continuous improvement among them.

The Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard, is designed to deliver more value to the more than four million farmers and workers and thousands of businesses that use Rainforest Alliance certification to drive more sustainable agricultural production and responsible supply chains. The Sustainable Agriculture Standard is used in more than 70 countries around the globe. Their program focuses on coffee, cocoa, tea, bananas, and many other important commodity sectors facing urgent environmental and social challenges.

Santiago Gowland, Chief Executive Officer with Rainforest Alliance, said, “The Rainforest Alliance is happy to participate in efforts towards transparency and aligning industry expectations when it comes to sustainability topics. Initiatives such as SSCI signal our commitment to continuous improvement with a view to fulfilling our mission of creating a more sustainable world by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities.”

The SSCI Benchmark is a comprehensive process recognising third-party monitoring, auditing, and certification standards that cover key sustainability criteria and apply relevant verification practices. The benchmark process commences with a self-assessment undertaken by the applicant scheme, followed by a review by an independent expert, office visits, and a public consultation. The methodology also includes opportunities for the applicant to take corrective actions if and when needed. 

The SSCI Benchmark evaluates applicants against the SSCI Social and Scheme Management Criteria, which define the industry’s expectations for the sustainability topics schemes should cover as well as how they should operate. Developed for the industry, by the industry, the SSCI Benchmark Criteria were defined by the SSCI Coalition member companies, industry experts, and other stakeholders.

At the SSCI, we welcome this positive step from Rainforest Alliance and look forward to reviewing its alignment towards industry values on transparency, social responsibility, and sustainability. To monitor the process of its benchmarking, and that of other applicant schemes, visit

Learn More and Apply

Third-party auditing and monitoring schemes and programmes are invited to apply for SSCI Recognition and demonstrate their commitment to industry-defined expectations for supply chain sustainability. The SSCI currently benchmarks social sustainability standards under three sectoral scopes (Manufacturing and Processing; At-Sea Operations; and Primary Production, including land-based aquaculture) and is currently working to expand the scope to include environmental standards. Learn more about the SSCI Benchmark, download the application kits, and apply at

For more information about the SSCI, please visit or contact the SSCI team.

About the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative 

The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) builds trust in sustainability standards worldwide by benchmarking third-party auditing and certification programmes and recognising schemes that meet industry expectations. By providing an open-source list of recognised programmes, the SSCI delivers clear guidance on which schemes cover key sustainability criteria and apply relevant verification practices. The SSCI improves transparency in the market, facilitates decision-making on schemes at both buyer and supplier level and sets the responsible sourcing expectations for the industry. The Initiative initially focuses on social compliance with the potential to expand the scope to environmental compliance. For more information, visit

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Didier Bergeret
Director, Sustainability
The Consumer Goods Forum

About The Consumer Goods Forum

The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises more than 55 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit:

Learn More about Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative

SSCI Benchmark
SSCI Recognition
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