FVO Partnerships (Pillar 1)

Entrepreneurs who operate internationally or purchase goods from abroad do not always have clear insight into all aspects of their value chain relating to Responsible Business Conduct (RBC). Do you suspect there may be RBC risks or misconduct within your value chain or chains and do you wish to boost the sustainability of your value chains in one or more of your producer countries? Then, you can apply for a subsidy from the Fund for Responsible Business (FVO).

The FVO supports Dutch partnerships that:

  • wish to conduct local or regional research into the underlying causes of RBC risks and misconduct in their value chain or chains and implement measures to address them;
  • wish to implement RBC into their business processes in a more effective manner, including measures to combat RBC risks and misconduct within their own company;
  • wish to set up a multi-stakeholder project that addresses RBC risks and misconduct and has a positive impact on manufacturing conditions in their producer countries.

To find out more about the FVO or request advice, feel free to contact one of our advisers.


The FVO is a 4-year subsidy programme (2019–2022), during which third parties will be given annual opportunities to submit project applications. In 2019, funds totalling €5.7 million will be made available for FVO Pillar 1.

For each project, a subsidy can be awarded to reimburse a maximum of 70% of the eligible project costs, up to a maximum of €475,000.

Terms and conditions

  • Your application must relate to activities that will help tackle RBC risks or misconduct within your international value chain. These activities must have a positive impact on manufacturing conditions in producer countries.
  • The sustainability measure must relate to one or more issues specified in the OECD guidelines. Projects involving the issue of animal welfare can be included in your application if the project in question is part of an RBC agreement that covers this issue.
  • You must conduct these activities within four years as part of a partnership.

The FVO policy regulations and the assessment criteria for the projects have been published in the Government Gazette (8 March 2019).

Eligible countries

The Fund for Responsible Business  is open to projects focusing on countries specified in the List of Recipients of Official Development Assistance (pdf).


Both steps require digital authentication (eHerkenning, “eRecognition”) using an eHerkenning token (level 2 or 2+). If you do not have access to eHerkenning yet, you can apply for eHerkenning via this link. Please note that processing your request for an eHerkenning token will take at least three working days.

  • You can request an orientation interview with no obligations via email (fvo@rvo.nl) or by phone (+31 (0)88 042 42 42).
  • You can also request an advisory procedure by filling in the quick scan form and sending it to fvo@rvo.nl.
  • You may apply for a subsidy from 13 March until 12 noon on 5 September 2019 (Dutch time) via the following application page.

FVO works on a first come, first served basis, which means that assessment will be conducted based on the order in which the completed applications are received.

Step-by-step plan

To participate in the FVO scheme, you will have to go through three successive steps. Has your company already taken action relating to RBC? If so, we will determine – in consultation with you – whether you are eligible to skip step 2.

  1. Orientation and application – Request an interview and submit your idea for a project (quick scan). An RVO.nl adviser will then provide you with advice on your project idea. Thereafter, you should submit your project proposal (subsidy application) and we will assess it.
  2. Research (Project A) – Your subsidy application has received a positive assessment. You will begin your research.
  3. Implementation (Project B) – You have completed your research, after which you will start the activities.


You may apply for a subsidy for the following types of project:

  • (A) Local or regional impact anallysis: in-depth research into the causes of RBC risks or misconduct on site or within the company or companies.
  • (B) Activities to address RBC risks and misconduct within the international value chain or chains, in conjunction with due diligence measures within your own company or companies.

You may apply for a subsidy for both Projects A and Project B, or solely for Project B, if Project A has already been implemented. In the latter case, we will assess the research results according to the criteria set out in the Government Gazette.

Frequently asked questions regarding FVO Pillar 1

View the FAQs here.


Around the world, numerous RBC risks and misconduct can be found within the value chains of Dutch companies, such as harm to the natural environment through pollution or reduction of biodiversity, human rights violations during land acquisitions, poor working conditions in factories in producer countries, etc.

Misconduct in the international value chains cannot be tackled by individual companies or civil society organisations working alone. Collaboration is required to amplify the impact on and leverage in the value chain or value chains. Collaborative efforts such as these facilitate better implementation of due diligence (appropriate care in relation to RBC issues) into the business processes of Dutch companies, which has a positive impact on local manufacturing conditions in producer countries.

Sustainable development goals

The UN Social Development Goals (SDGs) were formulated in order to achieve 17 sustainability goals by 2025 at the very latest. By participating in the FVO and boosting sustainability within the international value chain or chains, you are helping to fulfil one or more objectives that are within your leverage. The term 'leverage' refers to the extent to which you are able to influence working conditions within your suppliers' companies. The FVO strives to support the following objectives, among others:

  • Gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls (SDG 5);
  • Inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all (SDG 8);
  • Responsible consumption and production (SDG 12);
  • strengthening global partnerships for sustainable development goals (SDG 17).

The Fund for Responsible Business (FVO) was set up by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

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