Fruit & Vegetable Products Standards

Carbon Footprint

The increasing discussions on climate change and carbon emissions and the increasing demand from customers for products that are produced and transported with lower emissions of carbon, has put EU companies under pressure to calculate and report the use/emission of greenhouse gasses. Market opportunity is developing for suppliers reporting on a smaller carbon foot print than their competitors.

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Fair Trade Label

Consumers around the world are becoming increasingly aware of social working conditions under which products are made. The Fair trade label is committed to the payment of minimum guaranteed prices and price premiums to southern producers, directs long term trading relationships and ensures environmental and social responsibility of the production process. Fair Trade products have a fast growing market share.

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ILO Fundamental Labour Standards

Social issues have become increasingly important in international trade. Critical stakeholders in the EU, such as consumers, NGOs and the media, forced EU governments and the EU private sector to develop and implement strategies promoting the improvement of working conditions. As a result:

  • a)Many countries supplying to the EU ratified most of the ILO Conventions, obligating themselves to implement the established standards into their national policies;
  • b)Many companies include the ILO Working Standards in their CSR policies in the form of a code of conduct or through sustainability certification that may often include (several of) the ILO Labour Standards.

Compliance with the ILO Labour Standards is in many cases a buyer requirement for importing into the EU. Adopting (part of) the ILO Labour Standards can therefore offer you as a supplier competitive advantage when exporting into the EU.

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ISO 26000

If you are an exporter of products or services to the EU, you have to take into account that you can be requested to meet certain social responsibility requirements. ISO 26000 is a framework of guidelines that can help you to map out and address sustainability issues regarding your organisation. Although ISO 26000 is not certifiable, references to the guidelines in various ways are increasingly common.

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Sustainability Reporting GRI

In a sustainability report, an organization publicly communicates its economic, environmental, and social performance. Sustainability reporting is relevant for companies that want to disclose and measure their social, environmental and governance performance besides their economic performance. For Sri Lankan suppliers of products and services to EU customers, sustainability reporting can be used to show the sustainability of your objectives and operations.

More and more organizations consider a sustainability report as a serious management tool contributing to the dialogue with internal and external stakeholders, shareholders and investors. As sustainability reporting is not mandatory, the quality and format of the reports vary greatly.The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) offers a standard framework to follow that is widely used for sustainability reporting.

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Traceability of food

For Sri Lankan companies or organizations that produce, process or handle food products destined for being exported into the EU, they have to take into account that they can be requested to meet certain traceability requirements. Several well-published food safety scandals related to imported food have put EU food retailers under increased pressure to assure their customers of the origin and authenticity of food products. As a consequence, EU food companies and retailers have systems or strategies on place that allow them to trade imported products and ingredients, and in the event of unsafeness, recall them from the market. How does this traceability issue influence Sri Lankan companies?

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Water Footprint

The Water Footprint is an indicator that allows consumers, companies or countries to measure their freshwater use and can as such be used as a starting point for the development of water strategies, as well as to communicate about the individual, country’s or company’s performance.

Water issues translating into potential business risks has been the main incentive for EU companies to look more closely to their supply chains. Potential business risks relate to supply risks, corporate image, anticipation to regulatory control and Corporate Social Responsibility policy.

At present, the Water Footprint as a whole, is only actively practiced by the larger EU companies. Smaller companies, especially those who actively live by their CSR policies, already demand from their suppliers to pay more attention to your water use. They may also ask for information regarding water use from all his suppliers to calculate his own water footprint. This means Sri Lankan suppliers will have to make the necessary data available upon demand. Due to increasing global concerns about water scarcity, it is expected that more focus will be put on the concept of the Water Footprint in the future.

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