SMS Code description for GCP Compliance

16/01/23

The SMS Code is a management tool for the diagnosis of sustainability in farms in an integrated way and to provide farmers with comprehensive technical assistance focusing on productivity increase, operative efficiency, production cost reduction and better access to markets. The SMS Code Program is the backbone of ECOM’s Sustainable Management Services strategy. Starting 10 years ago, the Program is today assisting more than 600 000 farmers worldwide and has been used in more than 300 sustainability-related projects. Its effective design goes beyond traditional certification systems, as it incorporates notions of production and quality centered around the continued betterment of farmers’ production through high value-added technical feedback. Moreover, the SMS Code enables roasters to reach new levels of impact at the farmer-level through the portfolio of SMS services and our big data platform SMS Integrity. The latter grant roasters access to near-live field-data to monitor program progress and pilot their own supply chain impact. SMS Code adapts itself to both roasters’ requirements and to the challenges at farm-level to secure coffee quality, empower farmers and to monitor roasters’ supply chain. SMS Code adapts itself to both roasters’ requirements and to the challenges at farm-level to secure coffee quality, empower farmers and to monitor roasters’ supply chain.

 

SMS Code Status

The SMS Code is built around three-level approach, with each level referring to a different compliance status: 

  • - SMS Provisional: A farm is considered to have Provisional status if it does not comply with all SMS Basic Criteria. A farm cannot have the provisional status for longer than a year. 
  • SMS Verified: focuses on improving a farm or a cluster of farms' essential value drivers, that is productivity and quality. 
  • SMS Diamond Verified: focuses on delivering a holistic improvement system dedicated to further improving farms' essential value drivers as well as strengthening their environmental responsibility. 

 

SMS Code Main Standards

The SMS Code contains 4 compliance categories which covers the following topics: Management and Transparency (detailing the sourcing of coffee from origins, assessing and ensuring quality and quantities), Productivity and Quality (evaluating production and
agronomic indicators to ensure that farmer can increase productivity and quality on the long run), Environmental Responsibility (environmental indicators (wastewater treatment, river
contamination, flora and fauna protection…) to ensure the coffee we purchase has a positive/neutral impact on the environment) and Social and Work liability (indicators developed to ensure that the coffee we purchase does not undermine farmer’s rights).

 

Among the categories are found the SMS Basic Criteria, covering items such as:

  • - Internal audits 
  • - No child labor 
  • - Minimum wage 
  • - Freedom of association
  • - Housing condition
  • - No discrimination
  • - Potable water 
  • - Land rights
  • - Working hours 
  • - Waste management
  • - Water protection
  • - Ecosystem protection
  • - No hunting 
  • - Traceability 

Moreover, SMS Drivers are found in these categories which specifically focus on productivity and the continuous improvement of farming practices. SMS Drivers may be related to:

  • - Renovation
  • - Pruning practices 
  • - Farm management plan 
  • - Herbicide reduction
  • - Fertilization plan 
  • - Amendments use 
  • - Soil analysis

SMS Code includes these dimensions by leveraging on the extensive field experience SMS has built through the years. SMS field staff can offer a broad range of ‘state of the art’ agronomic services to farmers – yield estimate, soil analysis, farm mapping and many more -  enabling a full customization of the program built in cooperation with roasters.

These criteria are developed by the Global SMS team and are reviewed annually. All stakeholders are free to suggest or request the addition of specific standards that comply with their business plan or with another certification program, as it has already been done in the past. Stakeholders’ contribution strengthens our certification scheme and is a core value ECOM business model.

 

SMS Code equivalence

SMS Verified in coffee has been recognised by the Global Coffee Platform as equivalent to the GCP Baseline Coffee Code. This recognition provides a third-party review of our SMS Code, ensuring claims and responsible sourcing are accurate and sound.

More news

Sustainability Coffee
News
Click to read this article

Deep diving into traceability with the Vietnam SMS team

Chronicles of Michaela’s travels" 2024 edition is now live! After Latin America Last year, she now headed to Vietnam where she travelled with the SMS operations. She will be narrating her trip and experiences through a mini-series which will be shared throughout the rest of the calendar year.

Cocoa
News
Click to read this article

Strengthening the knowledge of cacao producers in Peru

In an effort to promote sustainable improvement in cocoa production, ECOM Peru brought together 70 associated producers in an enriching field event on January 30 and 31 in the Huánuco region.

Sustainability
Stories
Click to read this article

Clean Water Access for Smallholder Farmers in Uganda

In 2021 Kawacom initiated a three-year project in partnership with Taylors of Harrogate with a focus on water, sanitation, and hygiene aimed to support 13,500 farmers and their families in the coffee-growing communities around the Sipi region.

Coffee Cocoa
Stories
Click to read this article

A Transformative Project for Sustainable Farmers

In November 2023, our “Coffee, Cocoa and Climate Change '' project in collaboration with the German Agency for International Cooperation GIZ in Nicaragua was concluded. Read more about it here.

People
Stories
Click to read this article

Gulfood Dubai 2024

It's a wrap! The ECOM Village reopened its doors at the Gulfood in Dubai from the 19th to 23rd February and for the first time as a cross commodity show! Read more about it here.

Innovation
News
Click to read this article

NetZero e EISA anunciam parceria pioneira para construção de uma fábrica de biochar em Machado (MG)

NetZero, green tech francesa pioneira na valorização de resíduos agrícolas em biochar, e EISA café, Empresa Interagrícola S.A. do Grupo ECOM, anunciam a construção de uma fábrica de biochar em Machado (MG).

Coffee Innovation
News
Click to read this article

NetZero and ECOM announce pioneering partnership for large-scale biochar deployment in coffee farming

NetZero, a French start-up pioneering the industrial production of biochar in the tropics, and ECOM Agroindustrial Corp. Ltd., one of the world’s leading traders of agricultural commodities, announce a pioneering partnership to accelerate the large-scale deployment of biochar in coffee farming.

Technology
News
Click to read this article

Future proofing our supply chain

As we celebrate our 175th anniversary, and look to the future, ECOM is delighted to announce our partnership with BanQu, a leading supply chain traceability platform that provides end-to-end auditable and verifiable data collection and reporting.

People Sustainability
Stories
Click to read this article

A day at the Satellite schools in El Salvador

Our team in El Salvador, with help from the ECOM Foundation established a pilot for the Satellite School Program in 2011, for children and adults in rural coffee and cocoa farming communities. Read more about it here.