The Dutch government was able to co-finance the alliance. This additional support allowed TSC staff based in the Netherlands to assist participating suppliers with responding to the KPIs and, more importantly, to develop improvement plans based on the results. Additionally, TSC prepared benchmark reports comparing the results to peer suppliers in the Netherlands and with global suppliers in the relevant product categories. Anonymized benchmark data was available for supplier review.
The collective approach at the core of the Dutch Alliance for Sustainable Food allowed for larger numbers of suppliers to create more robust benchmarking. Some of these companies supplied to multiple participating retailers. This meant that in order for a company to communicate their sustainability performance, they only had to answer their relevant KPIs once for all of their participating retail customers.
The Dutch Alliance for Sustainable Food brought suppliers together to discuss their results, share best practices, and discuss collective action and individual ways to improve their performance. TSC staff highlighted improvement opportunities associated with the hotpots. In some cases, TSC staff tailored improvement opportunities specifically for the needs of Dutch suppliers.
Because of the success of this pilot, more organizations are currently participating in the Alliance. Additional product categories including tomato soup, processed potatoes and orange juice are currently being piloted and flowers/plants and tomatoes may follow.