Supply chains’ priorities and needs


Between December 2017 and February 2018, SAN conducted a survey among companies to find out the priorities of business leaders regarding sustainability.

Representatives from Unilever, Dole, Sainsbury, Olam, SEA and others responded to our questions. This is a brief summary of our findings.

Companies are interested in sustainability actions related to their supply of palm oil, vegetables, cocoa, coffee and fruits (tropical and temperate), mainly.

The geographical focus for raw material sourcing is primarily in first place Southeast Asia, followed by South America, and the reminder have a global scope.

The highest priority issues reported relate to productivity and quality, water and soil conservation and management, and farm management. Nevertheless, the greatest reputational risks perceived are related to social issues (human rights and modern slavery), deforestation and pesticide use.

When looking for an implementation partner, companies are more interested in “cost-effectiveness”, “expertise and capacity in the field”, and “flexibility” than in reputation. 

63% of the companies say there are “too many standards / codes to meet.” 78% require certification at this moment, but only 44% are likely to do it in the future.

100% of the companies surveyed recognize SAN as an expert in sustainable agriculture and as a trustworthy and credible organization. On the other hand, 22% don’t see SAN as a business partner (yet).

Download the results