Are you an entrepreneur? Do you operate internationally? Do you buy goods from abroad? It is important to have a clear insight into all aspects of your value chain relating to Responsible Business Conduct (RBC). Do you suspect there may be RBC risks or misconduct? Do you wish to boost the sustainability of your value chains in your producer countries? If so, apply for a subsidy from the Fund for Responsible Business (FVO).
FVO supports Dutch partnerships that wish to:
- conduct local or regional research into the underlying causes of RBC risks and misconduct in their value chains and implement measures to address them;
- implement RBC into their business processes in a more effective manner, including measures to end RBC risks and misconduct in their own company;
- set up a multi-stakeholder project that addresses RBC risks and misconduct, with a positive impact on manufacturing conditions in their producer countries.
FVO is a 4-year subsidy programme (2019–2022). During this period, third parties get annual opportunities to submit project applications. In 2021, a total amount of €4.86 million will be made available for FVO Pillar 1.
For each project, we can award a subsidy to reimburse a maximum of 70% of the eligible project costs, up to a maximum of €475,000.
Terms and conditions
- Your application must concern activities to stop RBC risks or misconduct in your international value chain. These activities must lead to better manufacturing conditions in producer countries;
- The sustainability measure must concern one or more issues specified in the OECD guidelines;
- Projects about animal welfare can be included in your application if the project is part of an RBC agreement that covers this issue;
- You must conduct these activities within 4 years as part of a partnership.
Extra terms and conditions for 2020/2021 partnerships
- The companies are part of the same value chain;
- Companies that, for the most part, advise you cannot be part of the partnership;
- The companies perform essential activities aimed at or in the Netherlands unless it concerns local companies;
- Activities that mainly focus on one company and its local supplier cannot get a subsidy.
For which countries
The Fund for Responsible Business is open to projects focusing on countries specified in the List of Recipients of Official Development Assistance (pdf).
How to apply for FVO
On our application page you will find required documents and information you may need for your FVO project.
To participate in the FVO scheme, follow the 3 steps. Has your company already taken action relating to RBC? If so, we will together determine whether you are eligible to skip step 2.
- Orientation and application;
- Research (Project A);
- Implementation (Project B).
See our step-by-step page for more information.
Frequently asked questions
Read the answers to FAQs here.
FVO provides support in two different ways: Pillar 1 and Pillar 2.
Pillar 1 supports partnerships between companies and civil society organisations. FVO aims to set up multi-stakeholder projects to identify and stop RBC risks or misconduct in international value chains.
Pillar 2 is available in Dutch only. For more information on Pillar 2 see the Dutch information page on FVO Partnerships Pillar 2.
Around the world, numerous RBC risks and misconducts can be found in 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 and poor working conditions in factories in producer countries.
Misconduct in 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 chains. Joint efforts such as these facilitate better implementation of due diligence (appropriate care in relation to RBC issues) into the business processes of Dutch companies. This has a positive impact on local manufacturing conditions in producer countries.
Sustainable Development Goals
The UN Social Development Goals (SDGs) were formulated to achieve 17 sustainability goals by 2025 at the very latest. By joining the FVO programme and boosting sustainability within the international value chains you help to fulfil one or more objectives within your leverage. The term 'leverage' refers to the extent to which you can influence working conditions within your supplier's companies. FVO tries to support the following objectives, among others:
- SDG 5: Gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls;
- SDG 8: Inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all;
- SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production;
- SDG 17: Strengthening global partnerships for sustainable development goals.
The Netherlands Enterprise Agency set up the Fund for Responsible Business on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.
- Decision on subsidy programme FVO 2019-2022 including changes in Dutch (wetten.overheid.nl, valid from 17 February 2021)
- Changes to subsidy programme FVO 2019-2022 in Dutch (Government Gazette, 16 February 2021)
- Third opening FVO 2019-2022 in Dutch (Government Gazette, 30 November 2020)
- Second opening FVO Administrative Rules 2019-2022 in Dutch (Government Gazette, 28 January 2020)
- Subsidy programme FVO 2019-2022 in Dutch (Government Gazette, 8 March 2019)