Super Supermarket Certification Mark

Sustainable and distinctive Supermarket Certification Mark

“People, Planet and Profit. These are the three cornerstones of a socially responsible business. Likely, you already do a great deal of what is involved in this area. But do your customers know it? The Vakcentrum has developed a responsible business certification mark for food retailers: the Super Supermarket Certification Mark. By means of this mark, your customers will immediately recognise that you are a responsible local business operator. This certification gives your store a distinctive profile, and customers will remain sustainably loyal to you. The customers that make purchases from you will know that they are making a responsible purchasing decisions. That feels good. And pays off.”
Patricia E.H. Hoogstraaten, Managing Director of the Vakcentrum

The power of local commitment

An independent business operator completely involved in the community is, by definition, sustainable. After all, sustainability has everything to with the social involvement, and involvement in the local community is something that independent business operators are good at. For instance, they regularly sponsor local football clubs or act as employers with a social conscience. In addition, many independent business operators are actively concerned with sustainability. They include sustainably produced items in their product range or implement energy-saving measures in their businesses, such as LED lighting and energy-efficient cooling systems. And do not independent business operators often play a leading role in supply chains by making environmentally-friendly agreements with suppliers and logistics partners?

How do you qualify for the Certification Mark?

The Super Supermarket Certification Mark is a label for independent supermarket business operators. This Certification Mark clearly indicates that you are committed to responsible business practices, and it therefore distinguishes you from other supermarkets. The basis for the Certification Mark is provided by the things that you already do. The Vakcentrum would be pleased to advise you on points where you do not (yet) satisfy the criteria. See the section entitled “Application Procedure” for instructions on how you can apply for the Certification Mark.

The 7 criteria

After thorough investigation, the Vakcentrum has developed seven sector-specific criteria based on the ISO 26000 guidelines:
  • Local involvement: good relations with the surrounding community, local sponsorship;
  • Stimulating personnel policy: sustainable, productive scheduling, social employment practices;
  • Distinctive product selection: fair trade and sustainably produced items;
  • Energy: lighting and cooling systems, environmental footprint, sustainable construction, recyclable energy;
  • Safety and prevention: healthy employees, safe work and retail environment;
  • Waste collection and reduction; re-use of waste, sustainable packaging;
  • Transport and logistics: noise nuisance / reduction.

TNO knowledge and expertise

A thoroughly reliable certification mark requires knowledge. Knowledge about the various factors involved in responsible business practices, knowledge of certification marks, knowledge of a sustainable community and knowledge of the sector. Sector expertise is abundantly available from the Vakcentrum. Nationally renowned research institute TNO possesses the expertise in its organisation as well. Over the next two years, the Vakcentrum will work together with TNO to further develop the Certification Mark. TNO also advises the Vakcentrum on the ways in which the Certification Mark can be kept up to date and the innovations that contribute to the increase sustainability of the sector.

Independent and objective

Besides the administrative organisation lodged in Stichting Super Supermarkt Keurmerk (SSK), the Vakcentrum is supported by two bodies:

The Certificeringsraad (Certification Board) issues the Certification Mark on the basis of submitted reports. This board also includes one member of the TNO SSK project team.

The Raad van Advies (Advisory Board) supports the Certification Mark in terms of its content. This Board consists of the following members:
  • Prof. Dr Kitty Koelemeiher, Professor of Marketing at Nyenrode Business University and Director of the Market and Supply Chain Management cluster.
  • Jan-Peter Müller, Managing Director of Müller Fresh Food Logistics (MFFL);
  • Peter Vogelzang, KNVB Supervisory Board, former police chief for the Utrecht Region;
  • Ruud Koornstra, Director of Tendris Holding, sustainable business operator and inventor of the Pharox LED lamp;
  • Henk Gianotten, Director of Panteia / EIM
  • Rob Benjamens, Director / Partner of Conclusion Communication Architects, communications expert.

The benefits of the SSK Certification Mark in brief:

• As a local responsible business operator, you distinctively position yourself and strengthen the loyalty of your customers to your retail business;
• You are a fully-involved and valued contact for local authorities;
• You structurally and profitably incorporate responsible business practices in your business;
• You benefit from the expertise of the Vakcentrum and TNO, and are informed about the newest social and technical innovations in the area of sustainability;
• The Vakcentrum supports the Certification Mark with local, innovative communications.

Apply today for the Super Supermarket Certification Mark!

The application procedure is as follows:
Step 1:  Apply for the Certification Mark from Stichting Super Supermarkt Keurmerk (SSK);
Step 2:  Complete the application form in indicating the state of affairs with regard to each one of the criteria; based on this application, Stichting SSK shall determine if you qualify for a certification audit;
Step 3:  One of the auditors shall visit your premises to qualify and verify your data;
Step 4:  The auditor will draw up a report to be submitted to the certification board, providing your scores on the key elements are sufficient;
Step 5:  Official certification; after a positive evaluation, you will receive the Super Supermarkt Keurmerk certificate for a period of two years; after two year, you will have to re-apply.

National and regional publicity

The Super Supermarket Certification Mark gives the opportunity to distinctively position yourself in relation to your customers and local authorities, but this positioning must of course be well known. The Vakcentrum shall take care of the communications with regional and local media and assist business operators with their local and in-store publicity. The Vakcentrum shall seek national publicity for the award of the initial Certification Mark. In brief, the Netherlands will hear about the certification!

With the Vakcentrum, you never stand alone!

The Vakcentrum is the sector organisation for independent business operators in retail sales. As a centre of expertise for independent retailers, the Vakcentrum supports its members in several ways, including the development and implementation of socially responsible business policies. With the development of the Certification Mark, the Vakcentrum offers business operators the opportunity to distinctively position themselves with regard to customers and local authorities. The centre also wishes to raise the level of socially responsible business practices in the sector, this by sharing knowledge and encouraging innovative sustainability initiatives. To guarantee objectivity, the Vakcentrum has housed the Certification Mark in Stichting SSK, which works with an independent Advisory Board and Certification Board.

Would you like to know more?

Click www.supersupermarkt.nl
Further information about the Vakcentrum can be found at: www.vakcentrum.nl

Vakcentrum

Blekerijlaan 1
3447 GR Woerden
The Netherlands
T(0348) 41 97 71
F (0348) 42 18 01
E info@vakcentrum.nl I www.vakcentrum.nl