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SAN-Nestlé Spices Responsible Sourcing Partnership

India initially and other key spices sourcing locations to be defined

Responsible Sourcing Program, including assessment, verification, and best practices implementation.

SAN-Nestlé Spices Responsible Sourcing Partnership




Association for Stimulating Know-how (ASK)

Chilli, Cumin, Coriander and Turmeric in India

Crops or productive systems

Implementation dates

July 2018-December 2020


Spice farmers, families and communities and Nestle suppliers within initial focus in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka

About the project

The collaboration between SAN and Nestlé is rooted in a shared mindset of co-creation towards their common goal: creating positive sustainability outcomes in agricultural supply chains. This collaboration will identify and implement mechanisms that can build positive impact for farmers, communities and the environment, beyond a compliance-focused certification approach.

India is the largest producer and consumer of spices in the world today. Of the total volume of spices produced in India, only 10% is exported. However, this constitutes 40% of the global exports. Spices sector is one of the most vibrant sectors of the Indian agricultural trade and represents a significant part of the country’s economy and culinary heritage.

About 98% of the spices in India are produced by small-scale farmers, who typically farm less than two hectares and seasonally rotate the growing of spices alongside other crops, depending on the geographical areas.

This scenario is full of sustainability challenges that vary between crop and region and affect the health and wellbeing of farmers, their families and their local communities. Some of these include:

  • Over use of agrochemicals and use of hazardous chemicals

  • A lack of soil and nutrient management

  • Market price fluctuations for spices and other crops

  • Pest infestations and changing climatic patterns

  • Reductions in groundwater availability

  • Scarcity of labour

  • Seed quality

That’s the reason the project aims to develop tailored strategies to support resilient livelihoods, environmental sustainability of farms, safe living and working conditions, as well as human and workers’ rights. In this context, SAN will:

  • Support the traceability assessment for Nestle’s spices upstream supply chain

  • Co-design outcome and performance indicators

  • Undertake baseline assessments in India

  • Design and pilot the Responsible Sourcing system to deliver action plans

  • Train suppliers and wider implementing partners

  • Create M&E framework

  • Verify program outcomes

Nestlé and SAN believe that self-sufficient, long-lasting solutions come from a foundation of local knowledge supported by external expertise. They should be understood, accepted, and replicable by the benefiting stakeholders: the farmer communities, the suppliers. Therefore, Nestlé and SAN will adopt an “enabler” and “catalyzer” role towards the suppliers and the farmers involved and adapt the efforts needed to the challenges faced in the diverse sourcing areas. Any opportunity to enable agripreneurship, and to engage other stakeholders to create a wider shared value proposition will be identified and fully supported.


SAN is working with Nestlé to design context specific Outcomes and Performance Indicators to measure success in the 4 positive impact areas: Resilient Livelihoods, Environmental Sustainability of Farms, Safe Living and Working Conditions, and Human and Workers’ Rights.

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