“We used the IMVO voucher to investigate whether our paper, which is made from agricultural waste by a trading partner in India, is biodegradable. Using the IMVO voucher is actually very simple. You have to do two things: say what you’re going to do and then do it.”


For entrepreneurs with sustainable international ambitions, there is the IMVO voucher: a voucher worth 50% cashback on research and advice costs for creating more sustainable practices in the production chain. Up to €10,000 can be reimbursed. MVO Nederland assesses and awards the IMVO vouchers with funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In recent years, over 170 entrepreneurs have successfully used the IMVO voucher. MVO Nederland will award another 100 vouchers up to 2021.

For enterprises wanting to make the world a better place

The IMVO voucher is specifically intended for enterprises with up to 250 employees that want to focus on improving trade relations and making them more sustainable throughout the chain. This includes research into themes such as impact measurement, improving working conditions, purchasing policies, and environmental innovations. Entrepreneurs can use the voucher for existing and future (direct or indirect) trading partners in Brazil, China, and developing countries.

Not just a cashback but a collaboration

MVO Nederland prefers to act as a partner rather than just a facilitator. That is why entrepreneurs are welcome to contact us throughout the process of making their production chain more sustainable. We are there to help entrepreneurs struggling to narrow down their research question or who, for example, first want a better idea of the CSR risks in their supply chain. Afterwards too, MVO Nederland acts as a sparring partner when the research results are in and the entrepreneur needs to prioritise the next steps. Collaboration is key in realising ambitious sustainability goals.


To be eligible for the IMVO voucher, a company must meet a number of conditions:

  • Trading partners in Brazil, China or one of 60 developing countries
  • Have 5 to 250 employees
  • The advice or research question is about sustainability in international chains
  • You work in accordance with the OECD guidelines for corporate scocial responsibility
  • You are (or will become) a partner of MVO Nederland


Bananas may well play an important role in the fight against the world food problem. More calories are produced with one hectare of banana than with one hectare of, say, grain. “But we do have to be careful with both plant and soil,” says Luud Clercx of Agrofair, a Dutch company that trades in fair trade bananas and researches natural ways to make the banana plant stronger. The company applied for an IMVO voucher twice and in 2016 started researching Mycorrhiza, a small fungus that is thought to cause a banana plant to produce larger bunches of bananas. “We started the research in Peru and Ecuador,” says Luud. “We set up trial plots in both countries and the first results were promising. Later, we expanded the trial with new plants and a trial in Nicaragua will follow.”


Changing climate factors threaten the availability of the chili pepper. That was reason enough for Inproba to speed up the sustainability of the sambal chain. That is quite a challenge in a highly competitive market. “We cannot ask the customer to pay for our sustainability efforts, so they initially entail more costs than profit,” says Product Manager Esther Stuivenberg. “Nevertheless, we’re convinced that sustainability is the only way to go.” To maintain a constant taste, Inproba works with a blend of peppers from around the world. A wide distribution network is essential, so Inproba used the IMVO voucher to investigate 96 parties in 30 different countries, zooming in on the conditions for sustainable pepper cultivation. Now it is time to take concrete steps towards making the entire chain more sustainable, by obtaining certification, for instance. Esther: “The research showed that the step to certification is smaller than expected. We’re looking into that now, together with the parties that were assessed positively in the study.”


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