SAI Platform has announced that its latest industry solution, the Wild Harvest Sustainability Assessment, will be released this coming Spring 2022. This new sustainability assessment on wild harvested ingredients complements SAI Platform’s Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA), a tool set already enabling food and drink businesses to assess, improve and validate on-farm sustainability in their supply chains.
While the FSA is a reference for sustainable farming across all cultivated crops anywhere in the world, the Wild Harvest Sustainability Assessment covers wild harvest ingredients collected from a wide range of environments, from roadsides and the edges of farmers’ fields to forests and mountainsides.
The Wild Harvest Sustainability Assessment will be a stand-alone sustainability standard that can be used either in isolation or alongside the FSA. The Wild Harvest Sustainability Assessment will be benchmarked to the FSA, to ensure that companies sourcing both wild harvested and conventionally farmed ingredients are able to make equivalent sustainability claims across their supply chains. The Wild Harvest Sustainability Assessment will be applicable to any land-based wild harvested ingredients and encourages buyers, suppliers, and collection points to work collaboratively to assess sustainability.
The Wild Harvest Sustainability Assessment will support value chain actors in identifying sustainability risks, building awareness of wild harvest supply chains, and increasing transparency across the industry. Companies will also have the option to demonstrate their sustainability and verify their claims through the 3rd-party audit system.
The need for a standard that covers wild harvested ingredients was identified by SAI Platform members in 2018 and a collaborative project was initiated. Since then, members have been working with SAI Platform to benchmark existing wild harvest standards, engage suppliers, and review and refine the Wild Harvest Sustainability Assessment to ensure it is applicable to the wide range of wild harvesting operations.
While wild harvested ingredients make up a smaller portion of supply chains by volume, they are often the most recognisable to consumers because of their importance to the flavouring or scent of the product. For this reason, they are often featured on product labels. Wild harvest systems generally involve minimal land management but can carry high biodiversity concerns since they typically occur in natural, unmanaged environments. In addition, many wild harvest supply chains involve few to no direct contracts with harvesters, which can lead to a lack of transparency and raise concerns for the treatment of collectors.
Like the FSA, the Wild Harvest Sustainability Assessment will be free to use for any company active in wild harvest supply chains once it launches in Spring 2022. Food and drink industry companies buying and supplying wild harvested ingredients that adopt the Wild Harvest Sustainability Assessment will benefit from an industry-aligned, entry-level approach to wild harvest sustainability.
For further information regarding SAI Platform’s Wild Harvest Sustainability Assessment and for access, please contact Project Manager, Leah Blechschmidt at email@example.com.