Sustainable farming -
Healthy food - A living countryside

Benchmarking, codes of practice

Aligning sustainable sourcing requirements

CLM has ample experience in benchmarking codes of practice
CLM has a long track record in benchmarking sustainable agriculture standards. We have performed benchmarks for SAI-Platform and for individual companies like Heineken and PepsiCo and for standard owners such as UTZ certified and Fair Trade. We compare codes of practice on content, governance and verification processes, and we benchmark codes against national legislation. The CLM benchmarking team is fluent in English and can also work in Dutch, Spanish, German, French and Portuguese. 

Why benchmarking?
The ultimate aim of benchmarking is to facilitate alignment of standards and avoid duplication of effort in the food chain. Comparing codes of practice (standards, certificates) helps identify gaps that present an opportunity to standard owners to improve their ambition level. It also enables standard owners to facilitate sourcing processes and alleviate “form fatigue” amongst farmers, as the outcome of the benchmark shows which topics are covered and hence which can be disregarded from any subsequent engagement with farmers. Others in the value chain use the outcome of benchmarking as reference point to their suppliers in order to decide whether they adhere to their sustainable sourcing standards. 


  • SAI Platform  - Industry reference for sustainable sourcing
    The Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform is a global membership association for the food and drink industry. The Farmer Sustainability Assessment (FSA) is a tool that was created to drive harmonisation and reduce duplication. The FSA serves as an industry reference point for sustainable sourcing. It is a set of 112 sustainable farming questions covering a broad range of issues. The FSA can be used on its own purely as an on-farm assessment and improvement tool, or it can be used to acknowledge existing standards and certifications already in place within the members supply chains, by providing a reference to benchmark against. CLM has performed dozens of benchmarks for SAI Platform, ranging from company owned standards and certification schemes to national legislation.

  • Heineken International – FSA bronze as minimum bar for sourcing
    Heineken is committed to source its agricultural raw materials sustainably. The FSA of SAI Platform is used as reference tool. CLM supports Heineken as an objective reviewer when suppliers use the FSA. In other cases, CLM benchmarks the supplier’s code of practice against FSA, and communicates the result to Heineken. 

  • PepsiCo  -  sustainable sourcing with SFI
    The Sustainable Farm Initiative (SFI) is PepsiCo’s program for advancing sustainable agriculture with farmers in the supply chain. CLM developed the benchmarking tool for the SFI programme and operates as approved benchmarker and final reviewer for supplying companies. The SFI benchmark assesses whether other standards have similar performance and ambition levels as the SFI and vice versa. At the same time, the tool is used as a way to facilitate ICT surveys used among growers, i.e. certain parts are already prepopulated, hence duplication is minimized.