The Supply Chain Initiative (SCI) publishes its first Annual Report on the occasion of a conference held at the European Parliament. The SCI was launched a year ago to bring together all actors of the food supply chain and work towards fairer trading practices. Participating companies subscribe on a voluntary basis to a set of commitments to ensure fair treatment of all partners in the food supply chain. The SCI is designed to ensure that once companies have signed up, they respect their commitments towards other market actors.
Progress has been significant. Today, 164 groups and companies representing over 860 national operating companies are committed to the Initiative. It is worth noting that as many SMEs register as large companies, which is an essential success criterion for the Initiative.
One of the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) set to measure the success of the Initiative is to achieve a critical mass of companies registering in each country. Good progress has been achieved on this KPI. Equivalent initiatives have also been launched in several countries and some have farmers on board. They have proven very helpful in complementing the dialogue at European level.
Registered companies participate in an annual compliance survey, designed to verify that commitments are respected and to assess the overall operation of the SCI in the market. The first annual survey shows that there is a balanced mix of participants across sectors. Over 18,000 staff have been trained and nearly 40% used the common e-learning module offered by the SCI. The survey also finds a high degree of satisfaction with the Initiative among survey participants (73%). The key findings of the survey are presented in the Annual Report.
The high satisfaction level and the increasing uptake by SMEs should encourage all stakeholders to give the SCI enough time to achieve its full potential.
The results of the annual survey offer a baseline to measure future progress and identify areas for improvement.