In 2022, SAI Platform turned 20. And we’re celebrating by recognising the power of our people – those who are developing and championing sustainable agriculture.
In this report we look over our achievements in 2022 and we reflect on how far we have come as an industry organisation. As we celebrate the success of the last twenty years, let’s keep growing our power and amplifying our impact by inspiring even more people to join us for the next twenty. This is sustainable agriculture powered by people.
2022 was SAI Platform’s 20th anniversary and we celebrated this milestone recognising the power of our people who continue to develop and champion sustainable agriculture.
Reflecting on SAI Platform’s 20-year journey that started with 3 pioneering members, Danone, Nestlé and Unilever, I want to also recognise and celebrate the commitments made to sustainability and continuous improvement by all our members.
We started as a niche member association. Concentrating on developing a common understanding and vocabulary on sustainable agriculture. Later, progressing onto sector specific working groups for crops, dairy and beef which naturally advanced into practical industry solutions that set a precedence for SAI Platform and the agri-food industry.
Moving to climate-smart, regenerative agricultural practices and the use of metrics
Today, the notion of sustainability in agriculture has moved beyond the compliance requirements of the 2000s. We find ourselves dealing with a plethora of complex challenges that are interrelated and no one solution fits all. We see the damaging impact of climate change around the world. Ongoing wars and countries with political instability are causing significant human suffering while impacting massively on global food value chains and driving up prices of major agriculture raw materials.
There is much to do, however, I am seeing stellar opportunities in climate-smart, regenerative agricultural practices and the use of metrics. Afterall, you cannot improve what you have not measured.
We stand together as an ever-growing organisation of 170 companies spanning the value chain, and this gives me hope that we can lead and support our members on this transformation towards an improved, more robust and sustainable food system.
We stand together as an ever-growing organisation of 170 companies spanning the value chain, and this gives me hope that we can lead the transformation towards a sustainable food system.
Right now, we are on the cusp of perhaps the largest agricultural transformation since the invention of the Haber-Bosch method that enabled us to create synthetic nitrogen fertiliser. Climate-smart, regenerative agriculture and metrics are essential if we accept our industry responsibility to change the world for the better.
Rethinking and reshaping an industry mindset
Currently, there are three common areas that have gained unprecedented momentum in raw materials sourcing all over the world. We can all see how sourcing agricultural raw materials comes with stronger specifications related to climate, nature and livelihoods.
While climate with GHG emission reduction and removal is the main driver, nature with biodiversity, soil and water are gaining increasing attention as decade long traditional farming practices have negatively impacted these areas. Addressing climate and nature are therefore fundamental to the future of food production and achieving global food security. Given the massive investments pledged to agriculture by the food industry, robust monitoring, reporting and verification schemes are required that address the entire supply chain.
With SAI Platform’s positioning on these three themes, we are focusing right at the centre of development needs for agricultural supply chains.
Our work on scalable industry solutions with appropriate operational processes are critical for fast uptake and widespread dissemination.
Sustainability started as a nice to have but it was never initiated with the necessary scrutiny or rigour required. Sustainable agriculture is now taking centre stage and the need for metrics is the result of a complete rethinking and reshaping of an industry mindset acknowledging that our actions have direct consequences.
We are seeing companies enforcing as robust and equal accounting and verification systems for sustainability as they have for finance. And with this significant level of maturity and seriousness in business, our co-dependency as an industry is once again highlighted.
It is here that SAI Platform has a central role to play to create industry alignment as we seek a common language to drive a metrics approach through climate-smart and regenerative agriculture.
We must therefore be ready now and, in the years to follow, for accountability and a metrics driven approach because our degree of sustainability is our license to operate.
A just transition with the farmer at the centre
Our task is to accelerate an industry transformation and I have yet to talk about the farmer. For the last 40 years and more, we have operated with a cost approach and farmers have been pushed by the industry in certain directions that defy the nature of agriculture. It is therefore integral, that as an industry we recognise the priority of a just transition with the farmer at the centre.
We must empower and support farmers as stewards of the land and agronomic experts who know their land best. Furthermore, if we want more diversity at farm level, the onus is on us to create the market demand for it. Conversely, farmers must be ready to collaborate and report on their sustainable progress.
As an industry we have come a very long way and strategically SAI Platform is well-positioned and committed to lead our industry on sustainable agriculture for the future. Our job now must be to help incentivise farmers to go through this transformation and make it a just transition. However, the real challenge is to move an aligned industry at the necessary pace because no one company is big enough to do this alone.
SAI Platform has a central role to play to create industry alignment as we seek a common language to drive a metrics approach through climate-smart and regenerative agriculture.
2022 marked a significant milestone for SAI Platform as we came together in Cambridge in the United Kingdom to celebrate our 20th anniversary and recognise the people that power sustainable agriculture.
As the new Director General this was my first annual event and an opportunity to meet and connect with our members and partners since taking up the mantle to deliver on SAI Platform’s vision, purpose and 2025 strategy.
SAI Platform’s vision looks to a sustainable, thriving and resilient agricultural sector that protects the earth’s resources, human rights and animal welfare. A vision that is critical to the agri-food industry and humanity itself and one that resonates with my own personal journey and ambition to make an impactful contribution towards a better planet.
I join SAI Platform against the backdrop of climate change, an ever-growing world population and re-emerging food security issues whereby our responsibility and business leadership require us to act now and transform our food system.
Our work must build on the knowledge and achievements from the last twenty years and to further accelerate the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices while instilling a resilience that mitigates against the upcoming challenges we face. This transition is a massive undertaking and demands the inclusion and collaboration of a united industry working side-by-side with all actors across the value chain starting with the farmer.
I hope that as members, partners and the wider agri-food community, we continue to inspire and support each other as we have over 2022.
I hope that as members, partners and the wider agri-food community, we continue to inspire and support each other as we have over 2022.
Collaborative Action, Theme Leadership and Industry Solutions
SAI Platform’s 2025 strategy includes key areas identified as Collaborative Action, Theme Leadership and Industry Solutions.
I see Collaborative Action as an essential component to how we create impact and value for our members as a network community.
2022 saw great examples of collaborative action from regional and sector specific projects as members and partners from the Dairy Working Group came together to help implement the Sustainable Dairy Partnership (SDP) in India and address issues around deforestation for embedded soy in the supply chain of animal feed in Brazil.
We also saw the conclusion of two Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) Accelerator projects for peanuts in Argentina and oranges in Florida from our regional Americas Working Group.
It is in this space that we can best catalyse widespread behavioural change by leveraging and strengthening our collective knowledge, capability and global influence.
As we look to Theme Leadership, SAI Platform places a strong focus on our central themes and priorities namely climate, nature and livelihoods.
2022 was spent further clarifying and evaluating our member needs and addressing how SAI Platform can best provide expertise on climate, nature and livelihoods in the agri-food system and be that credible and trusted industry voice on sustainable sourcing. As a start to help members better navigate these key themes, we launched a Climate Smart Agriculture workstream and GHG Learning Journey.
Over the years SAI Platform’s members have collaborated on industry-leading solutions that offer a common approach to sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices. Our industry tools and programmes are an important part of what we do to support and ensure the integration and evolution of existing and new solutions.
Growth, development and expansion were prevalent across all our tools and programmes. As the number of farmers using the FSA continues to grow, we strengthened the FSA’s user support with improved guidance for users and online training programmes for auditors. We saw the launch of a new ERBS Platform Progress Framework which addresses the beef industry’s need for a simple, measurable and credible way to consistently track progress on beef sustainability. The SDP meanwhile developed, piloted and launched a new Carbon Module.
Our newest industry solution, the Regenerative Agriculture Programme gained significant momentum over 2022, as 33 founding members worked together to enable arable, beef and dairy farmers anywhere in the world to work with supply chain partners, including food and beverage businesses, to achieve measurable regenerative agriculture outcomes. The framework and first prototype are to be released in 2023.
As we look ahead, 2023 will continue to support the development, and scaling of effective, industry-wide solutions for sustainable sourcing of agriculture raw materials and ingredients.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our members for their continued engagement and collaborative efforts. I would particularly like to thank the members on our Executive Committee, the various Steering Committees, Working Group chairs and the Advisory Council for their guidance, support and commitment to SAI Platform. And lastly, the Secretariat for their hard work and drive to making this transition a reality.
2023 will continue to support the development, and scaling of effective, industry-wide solutions for sustainable sourcing of agriculture raw materials and ingredients.
Over the last twenty years, we have worked with the food and beverage industry, farmers and other stakeholders throughout the value chain to develop and champion sustainable agriculture. We have become a powerful, collaborative space for players within the sector to share ideas, knowledge and best practises on sustainability. This has led to partnerships that are providing practical, on the ground solutions that can be used on a local, regional, and global scale.
Our global reach
Sustainable agriculture is now more relevant than ever before. As a food and beverage industry led member initiative, we must continue to find ways to work together, align and mitigate the impacts of climate change within our industry sector. This includes reshaping how we farm, preventing soil degradation and biodiversity loss, and protecting farmer livelihoods.
With 170 members powering our efforts around the world, we strongly believe that we can, and will, create a future where sustainable agriculture is the norm.
Our members are working together on
Our members are engaged across the value chain
Agricultural and farm support associations
Farm service and input providers
Assurance schemes and standard organisations
Non-food and drink companies
Our members’ headquarters span 30 countries globally
Our members are talking about SAI Platform
1,000+mentions in articles
6m+total views globally
One of our key roles is to convene activities and events which form an essential part of how we collaborate, share our knowledge, learn from each other and work as a united industry to transition to a more sustainable food system.
Over the year we organise sector specific webinars and working group meetings for our beef, crops and dairy members. In addition, we hold an annual event that brings all our members together and provides an overview of what the organisation as a whole is doing.
Annual Event 2022
Celebrating People Powered Agriculture
This year’s Annual Event celebrated our 20th anniversary with the theme – People Powered Agriculture – an acknowledgment to our members, the farmers they source from, supply chains and the entire eco-sphere embedding sustainable agriculture as a pre-requisite to do business.
Held at the iconic Cambridge Union in Cambridge, United Kingdom, this three-day event consisted of a wide-ranging programme, including field visits to the world-renowned Rothamsted Research and Groundswell Agriculture and Allerton Project, an insightful full-day conference followed by a gala dinner and General Assembly.
The International Executive Programme on Sustainable Sourcing and Trade
The annual International Executive Programme (IEP) on Sustainable Sourcing & Trade organised by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and in partnership with SAI Platform was held online and in the field between 3 May and 28 June 2022.
Built in collaboration with a network of leading academic institutions in the field of sustainable agriculture and global value chains, the IEP addressed five key themes:
The trends that are impacting supply chains globally.
Towards carbon neutral and climate resilient agri-food systems.
From theory to practice: learning from the field.
Tools & solutions
Ways to improve the sustainable management of supply chains.
As a key skill set to manage sustainable development.
The course brought together food and beverage industry professionals from around the world and from diverse backgrounds including sustainability, procurement, marketing and branding.
Participants had the opportunity to engage in peer-to-peer learning and with subject matter experts including Dr. Gabriela Álvarez, Université de Lausanne; Dr. Jason Clay, SVP Markets, WWF; Carolina Castañeda, Director Europe, Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia; Dr. Wayne Visser, Professor, Antwerp Management School and Dr. Pascal Boivin, Professor, HES Geneva among others.
Join us at our next event
Connect in person at one of our workshops, learning journeys, trainings and executive programmes, or online through our exclusive webinars.
Collaboration is at the heart of SAI Platform. Over the last twenty years, we have become a unique and galvanising space for all players within the sector to work together, share ideas, knowledge and best practises on sustainability. This has led to collaborative partnerships that are providing practical, on the ground solutions that can be used on a local, regional, and global scale.
Driving the vision of a sustainable European beef industry
SAI Platform’s beef community, the European Roundtable for Beef Sustainability (ERBS) are a unique and powerful voice in the beef industry.
With members spanning across the European beef supply chain, 2022 widened our sphere of influence and strengthened our relations with other organisations also focused on sustainable beef farming.
We also welcomed the opportunity to work and collaborate with organisations such as BovINE (The Beef Innovation Network Europe) and Copa Cogeca, the united voice of farmers and Agri-cooperatives in the EU) to share knowledge and materials.
Thanks to the collaborative approach of the ERBS, Bord Bia has fostered important relationships and gained valuable insights, which have help to support the continuous progress of the Irish beef sector.
Agri-Food Communications, Bord Bia
In 2022 we focused on growing our connection to the global beef sector through our attendance at the GRSB Annual Conference in Denver where we presented on our Platform Progress Framework and participated in a panel discussion on animal welfare.
We also strengthened and enhanced our existing connections within the European beef sector, for example we attended the Polish Beef Congress where we presented on the ERBS Outcome Target approach, with Animal Welfare being one of our priority areas.
This provided us with an opportunity to help align the European sector in the same direction enabling a strong demonstration of the progress being made towards a sustainable food system in Europe.
The ERBS connects our 23 members to align on a set of sustainable beef farming targets and drive progress at an industry level.
In 2022 The ERBS formed new relationships with 9 other beef sector organisations to identify common ground and avoid duplication of efforts.
The ERBS promotes knowledge sharing, for example in 2022 our Platforms shared with all ERBS members 40 projects they are leading on the ground.
Annual event 2022
In 2022 we hosted our ERBS Annual Event in Conteville, France under the theme “Igniting Positive Impact Together”.
The event focused on recognising and reflecting on the current and future challenges facing the beef sector, and how the ERBS can support members in continuing to drive positive progress in beef sustainability.
Knowledge Share webinar series
The ERBS hosted a series of “Knowledge Share” webinars for members covering topics such as GHG emissions, Animal Welfare, Animal Medicine, and welcomed guest speakers such as Diana Rodgers author of “Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat”.
The ERBS commissioned a literature review by Wageningen University on GHG Mitigation together with SAI Platform’s Dairy Working Group and produced a user-friendly practical guidebook on GHG Mitigation Options.
The agri-food industry is facing a rapidly shifting global landscape. 2022, was therefore an opportunity to consult widely with our members to understand and realign with their needs and build a foundation for success across the Crops Working Group.
By facilitating open dialogue with our members, we identified a key gap across the sector namely, the need to navigate complexity and competing requirements to achieve a climate smart future.
Achieving a climate smart future
This is linked to new and ambitious climate goals, which companies are committing to, such as the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) . Together we identified the critical member challenges and the areas where, as a group we can have a genuine impact and from there, built consensus on the priority areas to collectively focus on.
The resulting Climate Smart Agriculture workstream aims to build an industry aligned approach for measurable GHG emission mitigation and resilience building. While a second ‘Industry Solutions Adoption’ workstream will support the implementation and scaling of our key industry solutions, namely the Farm Sustainability Assessment and the new Regenerative Agriculture Programme.
Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) workstream
The newly launched CSA workstream, iteratively designed with the input of Crops members forms the overarching framework through which our climate efforts will be channelled.
Climate Conversations series
A 7-part series of webinars charting the way for members to adopt practices towards a climate smart agricultural value chain. Collaborators include PepsiCo, Nestlé, Danone, and Ingredion, as well as external expertise from Quantis, Oxford University, the Cool Farm Alliance, Field to Market and many others.
GHG Learning Journey
A small group of members are collaborating in an open book manner to refine an aligned approach to measurable GHG emissions mitigation and resilience building across their agricultural value chains.
Climate is a critical focus for members, highlighted by the increasing number of commitments to science-based targets. Our focus now must be to drive efforts at the farm level that can help mitigate the impacts of climate change.
VICE PRESIDENT, CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY, INGREDION, CROPS WORKING GROUP CHAIR
Looking ahead to 2023, we are well positioned to deliver valuable insights and support to our members, firstly via a series of webinars called Climate Conversations. This online series will consist of 7 sessions, designed as a vibrant, open, and diverse space for dialogue, to build knowledge and catalyse the scaling of best practice.
Our second point of action is the participatory GHG Learning Journey, with 10 member organisations, covering a diverse range of key crops. The group will take an action research approach, ‘learning by doing’ and leverage the insights to develop an aligned approach to measurable agricultural GHG emissions mitigation and resilience building.
Facing the challenges together for a more sustainable dairy industry
SAI Platform’s Dairy Working Group exemplifies a culture of industry collaboration and high commitment that firmly supports the dairy industry on its sustainability journey.
Our members understand the power of collaboration and acknowledge that together we can address the challenges of the sector that cannot be addressed alone.
Together we co-develop solutions that will enable our members to meet their own goals as well common sector targets.
As an important step to align the dairy industry on a global scale, we see the recognition of the Sustainable Dairy Partnership (SDP) as the principal tool to develop a more efficient and transparent process as being key to a more sustainable industry.
global milk volume
The dairy sector is facing challenges that are resonating across the value chain. Only by working together and using the strength of our combined market share can we have impact and change the industry for the better.
Dairy WG chair
in person meetings held in the US, the Netherlands and the UK
attendance rate at those meetings
phases of our Soy in Brazil project complete
Soy in Brazil
Deforestation in the Supply Chain of Animal Feed
The Dairy Working Group has come together to find ways to address the issues around deforestation for embedded soy in the supply chain of animal feed.
Understanding the problem: role and context of each supply chain actor
Tested WWF Accountability Framework to connect Brazil Soy Farmers and EU Dairy Farmers and created a common understanding of the current situation regarding soy from Latin America coming to Europe. This phase identified gaps with existing approaches.
Breaking down the problem: understanding the problems at source
Built up knowledge of the local context for supply chain actors in Brazil and Europe. Defined and agreed on a roadmap that can address the issue while meeting the requirements of the dairy industry and its stakeholders.
Designing the way forward to meet the needs of the industry
While using the SDP as a vehicle for scale and implementation.
To come in 2023
Indian pilot project
Optimum and profitable milk production is critical for farmers’ livelihoods and this project focuses on developing a continuous improvement model through the adoption of the SDP.
We are currently testing the success of various sustainability interventions and the applicability in new geographies with regionally specific contexts such as that for the Indian dairy industry.
Focusing on two rural states in India, Mahdhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, the first phase of the project defined proof of concept by gaining a clear understanding of the situation on the ground, identifying areas for improvement and setting simple and realistic targets.
The second phase looks to train farmers on feed management, breeding and fertility management, disease prevention and the importance of introducing loose housing with sufficient shaded area. Nutrition and proactive manure management, both crucial for improving profitability and decreasing the carbon footprint of dairy production in India, will also feature in the project.
Over 2022 the Americas Working Group played an active role in convening two projects in a collaborative industry-wide push to implement the Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) in two significant commodities namely citrus in Florida and peanuts in Argentina.
Members in the Americas Working Group recognised the benefits the FSA could bring to drive sustainability in the value chain and wanted to demonstrate this to both farmers who were not familiar with it and further engage with those already using it.
In September 2022, we concluded our FSA accelerator project in Argentina to introduce and onboard suppliers of peanuts to the Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA).
Representing nearly 80% of peanut production in Argentina, three of our members, Importaco, Intersnack, and Orkla, led the project and FSA implementation with their suppliers.
The project was additionally supported by ADM, Ahold Delhaize and the Cámara del Maní (Argentina Peanut Chamber), a forum for suppliers in Argentina to gather and discuss issues related to peanut production.
Implementing the FSA has created a uniform baseline for sustainability across the industry for suppliers to demonstrate the good work they are already doing, and the pathway for continuous improvement.
Challenges and opportunities
Some of the challenges identified in peanut production included the need to rotate peanuts with other crops (typically on a 4-year rotation) and the issues surrounding rented as opposed to owned land. There were further challenges arising from the need for suppliers to communicate and document communications with local communities on their farming activities to improve their measurements of GHG emissions and provide proper documentation of working hours for labourers.
However, the relatively short supply chains for peanuts in Argentina means that suppliers are also responsible for the farming activities, which helped drive the rapid engagement of the entire supply chain. Suppliers were given one-to-one training on the FSA, and underwent a pre-audit conducted by a local consultant to identify potential gaps.
A pathway for continuous improvement
Argentina is a significant exporter of peanuts to Europe, representing approximately 55% of the total peanut imports to Europe. With increasing demands from European legislation to provide transparency on sustainability across sourcing regions, European buyers have been working to meet these requirements.
Implementing the FSA has created a uniform baseline for sustainability across the industry for suppliers to demonstrate the good work they are already doing, and the pathway for continuous improvement.
farms covering 156,791 hectares verified at FSA silver level
members involved: Intersnack; Importaco and Orkla, ADM and Ahold Delhaize
December 2022 saw the conclusion of our FSA Accelerator for citrus fruits in Florida. This was a pioneering project that moved the entire industry towards a more aligned approach to sustainable production.
The FSA Accelerator for Florida Citrus was a member-led project comprising of 10 SAI Platform members along with the 4 major suppliers in the Florida juice sector. The purpose was to join forces and support the transition of the Florida orange industry to a more sustainable production as verified through SAI Platform’s Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA).
A key objective of the project was to bring together an industry that is often highly competitive. The activities of the project necessitated competitors coming together to align on a shared goal and approach to sustainability implementation. This alignment across the industry demonstrated to growers and processors in the industry the importance and value of moving towards the FSA.
Across the project, there were several opportunities for growers to learn about the FSA. A townhall panel offered growers the opportunity to discuss the FSA verification process with auditors and members who had already implemented the FSA. SAI Platform also presented at the Florida Citrus Mutual Industry Conference, one of the largest gatherings for growers in the Florida citrus industry.
acres of citrus production verified (approx), representing an estimated 80% of the area used for juice production in Florida
Supporting resources tailored specifically to citrus played an important role in reaching an aligned approach to sustainable production.
Some examples included:
A tailored version of the FSA 3.0 Self-Assessment Questionnaire
To highlight how compliance with Florida and US federal legislation demonstrates FSA alignment, and gaps that growers should be aware of to achieve FSA verification.
Guidance targeted towards Florida citrus growers
Which included contextual considerations and challenges for growers in Florida citrus.
In addition to creating awareness and capacity with growers, this project has generated interest in other regions with SAI Platform members currently discussing a similar project approach in the Brazil citrus sector.
SAI Platform Australia driving collaboration within the Australasian region
SAI Platform Australia prides itself as an organisation committed to providing value to members by driving collaboration within the region.
We highly value working with SAI Platform to maximise the opportunities to leverage from each other, in terms of sharing both knowledge and best practices. This has been beneficial as we work on regenerative agriculture and the reduction of carbon emissions, in particular for food, fibre and fisheries. Issues that are topical for both the Australian Chapter and SAI Platform and our joint efforts have enabled us to consider measures in the Australian context and most importantly how to evaluate, measure and scale up.
Working together for global impact
Our Vice-President, Michael Anderson, Head of Sustainability at GrainCorp, represented the Australian Chapter at SAI Platform’s Annual Event in the UK in October which was an insightful opportunity to learn more about the projects and initiatives that are occurring globally under the SAI Platform banner.
Coming together and peer-to-peer learning are important to our members and field trips are great enablers for this. Over the course of the year, we organised two field trips and heard from subject matter experts and leaders by connecting with farmer networks to understand more about what is really happening at farm level.
We looked at methodologies for increasing and measuring carbon in soils and gained some key insights on how participants from across the food and agriculture supply chain can achieve net zero targets.
Building on our established partnership with the University of Melbourne, we developed a short online course on Sustainable Sourcing of Food and Fibre. This six-week self-paced course included analysing international trends and the key drivers in sustainable sourcing.
SAI Platform Australia membership fulfils a unique role in bringing together stakeholders from across Australia’s agriculture sectors and value chains, supporting organisations, research institutions and companies across agriculture.
MANAGER, SUSTAINABILITY FRAMEWORKS AND STAKEHOLDERS, MEAT & LIVESTOCK AUSTRALIA
Growing a better planet by prioritising sustainable agriculture
Our journey in China began in 2017 with our Beijing SAI Platform Annual Event and since then we have been steadily growing our community on the ground and more recently online.
A growing priority in China is around sustainability, addressing climate change, biodiversity and increasing agricultural efficiency. As part of a drive set out in China’s national strategy for low-carbon development, rural revitalisation and ecological civilisation, the Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) is increasingly being seen as a valuable tool to deliver on those goals.
A growing interest and commitment
Interest in the implementation of the FSA in China has grown significantly over recent years, so much so that the FSA was translated into Chinese in 2022.
We also launched the FSA corn work stream for the sustainable sourcing of corn starch in China in 2022. With a growing commitment and demand for sustainable sourcing of raw materials, we witnessed a collective interest from our members and their suppliers in China to source FSA-verified corn a more sustainable agricultural sector in China.
active SAI Platform members across eight provinces
FSA verifications currently issued in China
FSA verifications issued in 2022
Launch of FSA corn workstream
A shared work stream for the local implementation of the FSA in corn production, enabling the sustainable sourcing of FSA-verified corn starch
Farm Sustainability Assessment translated into Chinese
Undertaken with an extensive peer review and consultation and supported with a series of general online training sessions on FSA 3.0 in Chinese.
3x China-specific webinars
Topics included climate-agriculture, green finance and biodiversity with speakers from Nestlé, Yara, IFC and CDP as well as the China Academy of Sciences and Kunming Institute of Botany.
SAI Platform is the perfect convener to accelerate our ambitious targets in complex supply chains and regions, such as corn products sourced in China.
We recognise the value of industry alignment and a common approach to sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices. That is why our industry-leading solutions enable users to learn, capture and demonstrate their sustainability progress.
Through collaborative action our members and partners have built credible and globally recognised tools and programmes, that deliver measurable impacts, monitor continuous improvements and address the key issues of climate, nature, farmer livelihoods and animal welfare.
European Roundtable on Beef Sustainability (ERBS)
Sustainability is a major focus for humanity in the 21st century. The European beef sector is actively striving to be at the forefront of positive change and environmental stewardship. We recognise the need for industry alignment when reporting and delivering positive impact in beef sustainability.
This is why the ERBS has aligned on a set of 8 Outcome Targets in the priority areas of animal welfare, animal medicine, environment, and farm management.
A new ERBS framework aligns the European Beef industry
An important development for the ERBS in 2022, was the launch of the new ERBS Platform Progress Framework.
The ERBS Platform Progress Framework takes each Platform through six key sustainability stages, enabling recognition of national and local programmes, avoiding duplication of effort and maximising on the great work that is already underway in each country. It enables Platforms to transparently support, track and communicate progress on their individual journeys towards achieving the 8 ERBS Outcome Targets.
The ERBS framework has been used to inspire and help shape the framework that will be used at a global level by the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB).
The ERBS Platform Progress Framework is a positive step forward in identifying the European beef industry’s need for a simple, measurable and credible way to consistently track progress on the journey towards the eight ERBS outcome targets that are addressing these key priority areas.
of European beef production represented by the countries involved in the ERBS
projects happening on the ground driving sustainable beef farming
ERBS Platform Progress Framework
The new Framework will be practically applied, as a way of simply communicating the 2023 progress reports. To enhance our reporting process, the ERBS have reviewed and evolved all our guidance documentation to provide increased clarity and ensure a smooth reporting process for our Platforms in 2023.
The progress reports represent an important milestone for us, being the second time, we have reported against our 8 Outcome Targets. To ensure that we remain ambitious and relevant, at the end of 2022, a workstream was initiated to start reviewing the 8 ERBS Outcome Targets.
The first part was to undertake fresh landscape research which reviewed the latest science, policy, and marketplace developments, within each ERBS Outcome Area. The outputs of this report will be used in conjunction with the results of the latest materiality analysis to deliver a new set of ERBS Outcome Targets for the period to 2030.
of the largest beef producing countries in Europe have an ERBS Platform
Through membership of the ERBS, the European livestock sector is demonstrating what can be achieved, when we act collaboratively to drive progress in beef sustainability.
SAI Platform’s Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) supports committed businesses throughout the value chain to come together, agree on sustainability priorities and give support where farmers need it.
A year of continued growth
With the launch of several innovative features in 2022, using the FSA became even easier and more impactful. We strengthened and grew our Benchmarking Programme, launched the SAI Platform Academy for online FSA auditor training and published a new version of our FSA User Guide.
We also brought our members together to focus on the future implementation of an FSA outcome measurement that will offer guidance on how to measure continuous improvement plans and select the right tools to do so.
The backdrop to this is the continued growth of the FSA, which is being used by over 280,000 farmers, in almost 60 countries for more than 160 unique crops. Amongst them are some truly inspiring examples of supply chain collaboration and on-farm sustainability achievements.
Expanding benchmarking programme
The Benchmarking Programme provides a common reference point for farm sustainability schemes, as well as a consistent approach to determine alignment.
Launching the SAI Platform Academy for online FSA auditor training
A new online training platform to better equip the growing number of individuals managing FSA implementation with farmers. An online auditor training course aims to ensure that all FSA 3.0 audits are carried out by trained, confident auditors.
New FSA User Guide
An introduction to the FSA as well as practical support to help navigate the sustainable agriculture landscape.
While the key strengths of the FSA are the ability to respond to all crops and farming approaches globally, what makes it special is the level of input and collaboration from all corners of the farming and food sectors.
Head of Sustainability, Nordzucker, FSA Steering Committee chair
Regenerative agriculture is a dynamic paradigm that helps to protect and improve soil health, biodiversity, and water resources. Drawing on our knowledge and experience, we’re convening some of the world’s largest food, beverage and agriculture brands, farmers and industry experts to co-develop an aligned industry programme. One that will enable arable, beef and dairy farmers to work with supply chain partners, including food and beverage businesses, to achieve measurable regenerative agriculture outcomes.
The potential for long-term systemic change
The Regenerative Agriculture Programme consists of a framework, assessment and reporting tool, supported by implementation guidance designed to become a trusted and cost-effective way to assess, measure and report on regenerative agriculture impacts on farms and supply chains worldwide. It builds on scientific and empirical evidence, with the flexibility to continuously evolve and adapt.
We recognise there is no one-size-fits-all, and thus offer a flexible and adaptable approach to measuring and reporting. Being outcome-based, our programme allows farmers to select from applicable practices that lead to regenerative outcomes. Doing so, the Regenerative Agriculture Programme has the potential to bring large-scale, long-term systemic change that will have positive impacts on the environment and ensure viable farming communities globally.
33 members across the global food and beverage sector have committed to contribute to the development of this programme demonstrating a united industry approach. They range from smaller-sized farm cooperatives to some of the world’s largest multinationals.
In creating a unified framework for regenerative agriculture, we reduce the burden on growers, enhance credibility and can optimise impact through a harmonised, yet context-specific and farmer-centric approach at a landscape level.
Director Regenerative Agriculture, Kraft Heinz and SAI Platform’s Regenerative Agriculture Steering Committee co-chair 2022
Agreement on the working definition and main impact areas
Together with our founding members and subject matter experts, we aligned on a sector-wide definition of regenerative agriculture, which encompasses the four main impact areas.
First iteration of the Regenerative Agriculture Framework
The framework consists of a common set of outcomes and indicators, based on founding member input, current scientific and empirical evidence, and farm applicability to maximise positive impact on the ground. The framework will evolve as the programme continues to develop, is tested around the world, and as new scientific findings merge.
Development of a Tool Prototype to assess and track progress over time
The aim of the tool is to assess and report on regenerative agriculture outcomes. A key feature of the prototype will be its materiality prioritisation, which will allow for flexible reporting as the prototype is implemented across a diverse range of farming systems and geographies.
The Sustainable Dairy Partnership (SDP) is an industry tool developed by SAI Platform that provides a consistent global approach to dairy sustainability in commercial relationships between dairy buyers and processors. This ultimately ensures stronger and longer lasting relationships.
As the dairy industry at large undergoes a transformational change towards a more sustainable and accountable supply chain, the SDP aligns the industry behind a common approach avoiding duplication of efforts.
Measuring carbon across the value chain
One of our key achievements in 2022 was bringing dairy buyer and processor members together to tackle the reporting challenges around carbon accounting. This resulted in the creation of a Carbon Module that is now integrated into the SDP and marks the first step towards harmonisation of tools and methodologies to provide transparency in the calculation of carbon footprint for the sector.
The Carbon Module is based on the International Dairy Federation’s LCA methodology. It allows buyers to measure and aggregate scope 3 emissions across their value chains. With the goal towards Net Zero the dairy industry is collaborating and aligning on how to quantify and mitigate GHG emissions.
The new carbon module is a great example of the collaborative power of SAI Platform’s Dairy Working Group members in driving transparency in sustainability reporting.
The SDP continues to enable the alignment of the global dairy industry through a single, standardised solution. In 2022 we developed the new carbon module, showing how the system can evolve to meet the growing needs of the industry. We look forward to the further adoption of the SDP across multiple organisations.
Global Sustainable Sourcing Lead, Nestlé and SDP chair
users (28 processors / 16 buyers)
reports in progress of dairy processors
reports shared with dairy buyers
Integrating national programmes
As we drive the widespread adoption of the SDP, a key focus is the integration of national programmes into the SDP Reporting Hub. By following the principles of the SDP, this benchmark process eliminates the duplication of efforts for dairy processors who already meet the requirements of their national programmes. When filling their SDP report processors that have a certificate of compliance with their national programme, no longer need to fill in the boxes on the SDP report that have been approved as equivalent.
national programmes in Ireland, Australia and the US integrated, with a german programme underway to be completed 2023
SAI Platform ended 2022 in a healthy financial position with income exceeding expenditure. We had an increase in revenue arising from membership growth and an increase in expenditure arsing from team growth and an increase in general operating costs for example, service providers.
Year on year comparison of income vs expenditure (2021 / 2022).
New membership growth was strong, generating revenue of circa €355k which exceeded the target by €100k.
This organic growth is encouraging as it demonstrates the recognition, relevance and value of SAI Platform to food and beverage companies to address the challenges that they face collectively.
SAI Platform is financed for the most part by members’ annual membership fees and participation fees for some projects and programmes. We have an annual budget allocation meeting where our Executive Committee prioritises and allocates budget based on detailed plans to ensure that the planned activities meet the needs of a broad membership and are aligned with the strategic priorities of SAI Platform.
Whilst we show a large operating reserve for 2022 of €774K it is important to note that €555K is ringfenced for special projects that members have financed in addition to the annual membership fee.
It also includes €100K for the restructuring reserve, leaving a relatively small reserve of €119K*
*Note: The operating reserve is not the delta between income and expenditure as it reflects the cumulative surplus from previous years.
Over the years SAI Platform has built a restructuring reserve to cover costs in the unlikely event of the organisation ceasing operations. The reserve is reviewed annually to ensure that it is in line with the growth of the organisation. Given the growth of the Secretariat team and the increase in programmes and industry solutions, it is proposed to increase the reserve by €100 000 subject to approval by the General Assembly.
Our objective for 2023/2024 is to maintain a healthy balance between revenue and expenditure leaving a small surplus at year end for both our operating reserve and restructuring reserves. This has been achievable while our projects and industry solutions were under development. As these solutions reach a higher level of maturity and are increasingly recognised, scaling becomes a priority and will require additional funding.
The financial statements for SAI Platform for the year ended 31 December 2022 were audited by Fiducaire TECAFIN SA, Geneva, Switzerland.