• Announcement
02. December 2022

An article by Carla-Marie Wiemer 

On December 2, representatives from politics, business and civil society met under the umbrella of the G7 Sustainable Supply Chains Initiative (SSCI) at the invitation of the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze. The participants - on site at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in Berlin as well as online - discussed the challenges of a sustainable transformation of agricultural and food systems.

The G7 "Sustainable Supply Chains Initiative" (SSCI) brings together stakeholders from the public and private sectors to transform agricultural and food systems in a sustainable way that also contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. In light of this, 22 of the world's leading food and agribusiness companies from the G7 countries have joined forces and announced measures to improve their environmental, social and nutritional performance. The World Benchmarking Alliance's (WBA) "Food and Agriculture Benchmark" provides an objective and internationally recognized measure of sustainability progress. The G7 SSCI was founded in December 2021 under the British G7 Presidency and further developed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development during the German G7 Presidency. In the process, the OECD's Centre for Responsible Business Conduct took over coordination of the initiative.

In her opening speech, the German Federal Minister for Economic Development and Cooperation Svenja Schulze reiterated the importance of sustainable and fair supply chains. However, she said that achieving this goal was only possible in close cooperation between politics and business. In this context, she said, the G7 SSCI represents an important platform for continuous exchange. In their introductory remarks, the EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen and Yoshiki Takeuchi, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD, also highlighted the relevance of the public-private dialogue and expressed their appreciation for the initiative, whose expansion beyond the G7 countries needed to be discussed.

At the beginning of the event, the German Minister for Economic Development and Cooperation Svenja Schulze was presented with a declaration of intent from member companies, in which they expressed their support for deepening sustainability efforts in their global supply chains and for continuing the cross-sector dialogue.

Representatives of civil society and international organizations also took part in the second part of the event to critically reflect on developments to date and point out potential for improvement. Dr. Rolf Sommer from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) pointed out that the issue of biodiversity was not sufficiently covered by the benchmark and that there was still a lot to do on the part of companies.