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Introducing Our Work on Benchmarking and Recognition

The Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) is an independent benchmarking process, exclusively designed for third-party auditing and certification schemes. The SSCI recognises sustainability standards that complete the process and align with all benchmarking criteria. The criteria were created by members of our industry and represent the expectations that our industry has for third-party social compliance programs. SSCI aims to provide transparency and build trust in sustainability standards worldwide.

In order to be recognised by the CGF’s Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative, programs need to undergo benchmarking according to the SSCI methodology and provide evidence that all the expected social and scheme management benchmark criteria are met.

The SSCI benchmark will initially be applicable to social compliance schemes. The first set of the SSCI Benchmark Criteria focuses on the Manufacturing/Processing Scope. Primary Production scope will be the next scope to be developed alongside one on at-sea operations/seafood. Additional scopes are planned based on industry needs. Please click here to know more about the SSCI Scopes.

SSCI will be streamlined with the benchmark methodology of the CGF Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) to ensure a consistent approach to benchmarking across the CGF. The process will include a Self-Assessment followed by an independent expert review. Further details on the benchmark methodology are available further down on this page.

All essential SSCI benchmark criteria will have to be met to achieve CGF SSCI recognition. Please consult our FAQs for further information.

Scheme Management Criteria


The SSCI scheme management criteria sets forth the industry expectations towards third party auditing and certification programmes. They establish the foundational elements of what the industry expects and asks the programmes to demonstrate that they have the policies, procedures, and performance in place to effectively implement their standards.

These criteria are based on the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) scheme management criteria, the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) governance and operational management criteria and ISEAL criteria. The criteria will include the following elements:



  • Scheme Governance
  • Scope and Objectives
  • Integrity Programme
  • Logo Use and Claims
  • Standard Setting and Maintenance

Operational Management / System

  • Accreditation
  • Relationship with Audit Firms
  • Auditor Competence
  • Audit Protocol
  • Audit Reporting
  • Follow-up Action
  • Data Management

Social Criteria


SSCI’s social criteria identifies the key elements that form the basis of any effective social sustainability standard. Paired with strong management criteria, the SSCI social criteria provide assurances that programmes meet basic commitments and allow them to focus on improving social standards in global supply chains. 

The SSCI Social Criteria are informed by international reference frameworks such as principles from relevant 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 criteria will include the following elements:


  • Management Systems
  • Compliance with National Legislation
  • No Forced, Bonded and Prison Labour
  • No Child Labour
  • Freedom of Association and Effective Recognition of the Right to Collective Bargaining
  • No Discrimination, Harassment or Abuse
  • Health and Safety
  • Building and Fire Safety
  • Wages, Benefits and Terms of Employment
  • Working Hours
  • Grievance Mechanisms

In order to achieve SSCI recognition, schemes have to undergo benchmarking according to the SSCI methodology and meet all essential social and scheme management criteria. Please consult our FAQs for further information

Working Together to Build Trust

“The SSCI recognises that collaboration will be crucial in tackling social and, as the project develops, environmental sustainability problems. The challenges we face are so complex that they require the private sector, governments, NGOs and the investor community to come together and drive positive outcomes”.

Chris Tyas, Global Head Supply Chain, Nestlé SA