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Sainsbury's launches new partnership scheme with suppliers of 35 key crops

Staff Writer |
Sainsbury’s supermarket has announced a new pilot scheme on some of its lines of goods that come from the Global South.

Launched on Tuesday, the new ‘Sainsbury’s Sustainability Standards’ project will see Sainsbury’s developing long-term relationships, and offering advanced data and individually-tailored practical advice to its suppliers.

The project “will be underpinned by a new set of world-class Sustainability Standards and overseen by a new expert advisory board,” according to the supermarket.

The project will involve suppliers of 35 key crops and ingredients including tea, coffee and bananas, and aims to help boost the resilience of suppliers’ farms in the face of ‘21st Century challenges’ including climate change, price volatility and political instability.

According to Sainsbury’s, the retailer’s farmer suppliers will, for the first time, be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses via robust data collection across the breadth of social, economic and environmental metrics and have visibility of best practice amongst peers.

The insight will enable farmers to develop strategic action plans to improve their business performance and the well-being of their workers.

Sainsbury’s has made other high profile sourcing decisions in recent years, including dumping the Red Tractor logo from its products in 2012, arguing that the industry-wide assurance scheme, which has been criticised for making overblown claims about its welfare standards, was confusing to customers, and maintaining that Sainsbury’s own standards are just as stringent.