Millions of smallholders are involved in the production of spices, herbs, seeds and vegetables which all are an important cash crop. These farmers often face poverty and food insecurity. Depending on the produce and country, the production itself faces labor issues (women, migrant and/or child labor) and environmental issues, particularly excessive agrochemical use.

Increased need

There is an increased need for sustainable spice production.

Poor agricultural practices, lack of adequate processing facilities and growers switching to high-value crops or jobs, have caused an increase in the number of concerns around spices production especially over long-term supply, food safety and traceability. Additionally, the sector also deals with sustainability issues such as uncontrolled pesticide use, poor wastewater management and indecent labor conditions.


Sustainable sourcing

The demand for sustainable spices is only starting to grow.

Food manufacturers have difficulty promoting sustainable spices to consumers, because spices are an important ingredient, but not the main substance in the end-products. The organization of the value chains for all different products and origins remains a challenge for the industry to meet this demand. Nevertheless, interest in sustainable spices is growing. For many front-runners, sustainable sourcing has shown important, increasing a company's credibility and position in the supply chain and markets.



We consider ourselves as frontrunners in sustainability.

Enabling our buyers to source their products directly in the land of origin at audited and selected processors allows spice industries to reduce their ecological footprint. We feel sustainability should be driven by the key processors in countries of origin and to be supported and encouraged by the major spice importing industries.

Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance was the first to certify sustainable spices due to a good track record in adapting the SAN standard to new sectors. 

The SAN is dedicated to establishing global respect and recognition for its sustainable agricultural standards by all actors along the value chain. It would be more efficient and effective to adapt the SAN standard than it would be to develop an entirely new standard for spices. The sustainability standard will address such issues as the loss of biodiversity, the use of chemicals and pesticides, and poor labor conditions. It will eventually be applicable to the production and trade of 34 different types of culinary spices.

Van der Does Spice Brokers can help you source RA spices directly from the country of origin. Please contact us for more information.