Press Release

SCS’ Sustainably Grown is First US-Based Sustainable Agriculture Certification Program to Complete GSCP Equivalence Process

Program Now Also Recognized by the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH)

SCS Global Services announced today that it has completed the Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP) Equivalence Process for its Sustainably Grown certification program. SCS Sustainably Grown is the first U.S.-based sustainable agriculture certification program to be benchmarked to both the GSCP Reference Code and Audit Process and Methodology Reference Tool, which represent international best practice in sustainable supply chains and social auditing. The benchmarking also means that Sustainably Grown now meets the requirements for recognition by the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH).

Sustainably Grown received an “A” grade average for all GSCP criteria, demonstrating the certification program’s high level of alignment with the GSCP requirements for labor conditions and auditing systems.

“The GSCP congratulates SCS on this successful completion of the Equivalence Process. The commitment necessary to complete the process is a clear testament to SCS’ dedication to actively promoting the harmonization and transparency in global compliance schemes,” said Sonja Schmid, GSCP Equivalence Process Manager.

“Alignment with the GSCP Reference tools is one more way in which we are demonstrating our continued commitment to providing global leadership in creating tools to verify social and environmental sustainability practices in the agricultural sector,“ said Lesley Sykes, Sustainably Grown Program Manager. According to Sykes, SCS pursued alignment with the GSCP Reference Code during its scheduled update of the Sustainably Grown Standard earlier this year to Version 2.0. “Version 2.0 lines up with the GSCP framework for fair labor conditions and fundamental labor rights, and assures stakeholders that compliance is verified according to best practice in social auditing.”

Sustainably Grown is also now among the approved responsible sourcing standards for IDH’s fruit and vegetables program, SIFAV (Sustainability Initiative Fruit & Vegetables). “We welcome SCS’ Sustainably Grown certification program as a new recognized standard for social compliance. It will now be part of the SIFAV basket of standards” said Kebba Colley, Senior Program Manager at IDH. SIFAV aims to make imports of fresh produce from Africa, Asia and South America 100 percent sustainable by 2020. In addition to field level projects, member buying companies across the EU agree to source imports from the SIFAV recognized standards, which represent a common definition and understanding of sustainability.

The Sustainably Grown Version 2.0 standard can be downloaded from the SCS website at Results of the GCSP equivalency benchmarking are available on the Equivalence “Share and compare” platform, where users can access the independently verified level of equivalence for each GSCP criteria. In order to access the full results, interested parties can register as a user at

About SCS Global Services ( SCS has been a global leader in third-party quality, environmental and sustainability verification, certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for more than three decades. Its programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in energy, manufacturing, green building, food and agriculture, forestry, and more. SCS is a chartered benefit corporation, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices, and a 2016 recipient of the Acterra Business Environmental Award for Sustainability.

About the Global Social Compliance Programme ( - [email protected]) The GSCP (Global Social Compliance Programme) brings together key actors of the consumer goods industry to collaborate on a common goal: driving positive change and business efficiency in the areas of social and environmental sustainability along the supply chain. Motivated by the conviction that the way forward in sustainability is through collaboration and convergence, these experts from various sectors and affiliations, including major retail companies, brand manufacturers, international organisations, academia and government, have joined forces within the GSCP framework to deliver a harmonised, global approach for more efficient and sustainable supply chains. This work is accomplished through a complete suite of Reference Tools, a robust Equivalence Process and regular meetings and working groups. The GSCP is housed within The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a global industry network that is driven by its members. The CGF brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers and service providers.

About the Sustainable Trade Initiative ( - [email protected]) The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) convenes public and private partnerships, balancing the interests of governments, CSOs and companies in order to create common language and understanding of issues. IDH co-designs and drives ambitious sustainable investment plans that leverage the interests and powers of companies and governments in order to deliver large scale, systemic and sustainable change. The Sustainability Initiative Fruits and Vegetables (SIFAV), a project of IDH, aims to make imports of fruits and vegetables from Africa, Asia and South America 100% sustainable in 2020. Launched in 2012 with 13 Dutch companies, today SIFAV has become a pan-European initiative with 41 partners, including retailers, brands, traders and civil society organizations from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. The IDH Headquarters are located in Utrecht, The Netherlands, with international representation across the globe. ( - [email protected])

SCS Media Contact

Linda Brown

Linda Brown

Senior Vice President