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The Sustainability Initiative Fruit and Vegetables (SIFAV)

The Sustainability Initiative Fruit and Vegetables (SIFAV) promotes sustainability in global fresh fruit and vegetable supply chains. The initiative, which is coordinated by the IDH, focuses on environmental, economic, and social aspects, aiming to create a sustainable and balanced agricultural sector.

SIFAV Mission and Vision

SIFAV’s mission is to foster sustainability by aligning policies, setting targets, and encouraging collaborative actions among stakeholders. The initiative addresses key issues such as reducing environmental footprints, improving working conditions and incomes, and enhancing transparency and due diligence.

Core Areas of Focus

Environmental Sustainability

  • Climate Change Mitigation: Implementing practices to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the industry’s impact on climate change.
  • Water Management: Promoting efficient water use and establishing water standards.
  • Biodiversity and Soil Health: Encouraging sustainable farming practices like reduced pesticide use and biodiversity preservation.
  • Food Loss and Waste Reduction: Reducing food waste in the supply chain.

Economic Sustainability

  • Fair Trade Practices: Promoting fair trade practices to ensure stable prices and market sustainability for producers and consumers.
  • Market Access: Connecting farmers to sustainable markets to boost the economic viability of agricultural businesses.
  • Increased Incomes: Supporting initiatives that lead to higher incomes for farmers and economic stability within the agricultural sector.

Social Sustainability

  • Working Conditions: Ensuring fair and safe working environments for agricultural workers.
  • Fair Wages: Promoting decent wages and improving living incomes for workers.
  • Community Development: Supporting programs that enhance the quality of life for individuals and families in the industry.
  • Social Verification: Adopting third-party verification to monitor and improve social conditions.

The Sustainability Initiative Fruit and Vegetables (SIFAV) Programs

To maximize their impact, SIFAV has developed three programs correlating to their core sustainability goals:

The Environmental Program aims to measure and reduce the environmental footprint of priority products. It focuses on climate change, water usage, and food loss, with key initiatives including reducing carbon emissions, implementing water standards, and minimizing food waste in the supply chain.

The Social Program is designed to generate positive impacts on working conditions and living wages. This program targets decent wages, safe working environments, and community development. Its key initiatives are ensuring fair wages, improving working conditions, and supporting community programs.

The Due Diligence Program seeks to enhance transparency and continuous improvement in the supply chain. It concentrates on risk reporting, human rights, and environmental policies. Key initiatives include annual risk reporting, implementing robust due diligence policies, and conducting third-party social verification.


SIFAV has made substantial progress in advancing sustainable practices, affecting environmental, economic, and social aspects. Environmentally, sustainable farming practices have led to improved soil health, reduced pesticide use, and preserved biodiversity, ensuring the long-term sustainability of agricultural production. Economically, promoting fair trade and connecting farmers to sustainable markets has boosted the economic viability of agricultural businesses, increased farmer incomes, and stabilized prices for consumers. Socially, SIFAV has enhanced working conditions, ensured fair wages, and supported community development programs, thereby improving the overall quality of life for those involved in the fruit and vegetable industry.

How SIFAV Operates

SIFAV operates through collaborative action, uniting retailers, traders, civil society organizations, and partners to work towards common sustainability goals. It supports smallholder farmers by helping them integrate into global supply chains and adopt sustainable practices. Practical support is provided through sustainability tools, policies, and approaches developed with expert input. By joining forces, SIFAV partners drive significant progress towards a sustainable fresh produce sector.

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