Implementation projects in the Netherlands include collective projects in cooperation with retailers, wholesalers, caterers, and the Dutch government.
THESIS assessments are sometimes adapted to align with advanced data available in the Dutch market. The Dutch government and WUR also use the results in their sustainable purchasing criteria. For example, catering organizations that implement THESIS get bonus points in tenders from the Dutch government.
In 2020 we worked with the two largest wholesalers (Bidfood, Sligro) and the two largest caterers (Albron, Sodexo) in the Netherlands. The wholesalers and caterers sent their 47 suppliers 59 KPI assessments measuring 24 different product categories such as snacks, sauces, fruit, vegetables, animal protein products, and tropical fruit and tropical commodities (e.g. coffee, tea, rice and chocolate). The results were discussed in 1 to 1 buyer-supplier meetings focusing on jointly agreed improvement plans. The suppliers were benchmarked. At the end of the project, suppliers received feedback on how well they scored compared to their peers.
The aim of the 2020 project in the Netherlands was to standardize implementation processes so that more products were covered (24 different product categories). For snacks and sauces, we worked with the standard THESIS assessments. For tropical fruit and commodities, we designed one set of questions that focused less on quantitative data and more on processes and policies in place. We learned from previous implementation projects in the Netherlands that quantitative data is barely available for those products. Based on our experience with tropical goods, we designed a factsheet that addresses hotpots and that can be used for buyers and suppliers to better understand where improvement opportunities exist.
In 2021, the implementation project in the Netherlands continues where wholesalers and caterers will send THESIS assessments for different product categories to their suppliers.