As a pre-competitive collaboration platform the Sustainable Nut Initiative (SNI) brings together all nut supply chain actors, who show commitment to work on a more sustainable nut sector. Participants are working on improvement of the circumstances in nut producing countries towards sustainable supply chains and finding sustainable solutions for the future of the sector.
Since the start of SNI, participants have been working on a risk based approach and created accompanying tools towards sustainability in the nuts sector and critical sector transition. This approach has been developed in practice under the flag of ComCashew; some projects have been implemented in Africa and other parts of the world to improve cashew production and processing and in this way contribute to regional development and job creation. The number of improvements are still small in the sector and SNI now wants to accelerate this process by implementing the tools on a larger scale.
Setting the ambition for the future
Participants are now taking next steps with the development of risk mitigation plans and setting the ambition for the future. With funding from ComCashew, an independent risk assessment in the cashew sector was carried out by BSR™, an organisation of sustainable business experts that works with its global network of the world’s leading companies to build a just and sustainable world. Their report with the findings of the assessment highlights the sustainability risks and ranks them in order of priority, thereby serving as a robust starting point for the development of risk mitigation plans by SNI participants.
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The risk mitigation plans will act as a guide for participants to take practical action steps towards making their supply chains transparent, traceable, and sustainable. It urges companies to start thinking about what they want their supply chains to look like in the future and what targets are feasible over the coming years – both in the short-term and in the long-term. Participants will have to decide which identified risks are relevant for their company and develop a strategy on how to tackle these risks. Each year, SNI participants have to report progress and results to the secretariat.
In the BSR report, four sustainability pillars have been defined and each pillar comes with recommendations of how to mitigate risk and create sustainability in the cashew supply chain:
- Livelihood development of farmers
2. Value creation in key producing countries
3. Decent employment for cashew processing workers
4. Environmental footprint
The way forward
SNI has created a guidance document for participants to use as a guideline in navigating the road towards a sustainable and transparent supply chain. The guidance document was created jointly with SNI participants who provided feedback on the document through working groups.
SNI participants have started mapping their own supply chains and putting steps in place for their supply chains to become more traceable. Participants have until December 1, to put their ambition plans in place which will be put into effect starting January 2022.