The SCI’s approach revolves around providing key support to the mainstreaming of sustainable commodity production by improving the efficiency and impact of existing voluntary sustainability initiatives.
Drawing from a number of sector specific research activities and multi-stakeholder strategy workshops, the SCI identified five cross-cutting areas of priority for the promotion of sustainable production practices across global supply chains:
- Strengthening Technical Assistance for sustainable production
- Supporting access to Market Information on sustainable products
- Improving Access to Finance for sustainable production
- Strengthening the Evidence Base on Impacts of sustainable products and supply chains
- Facilitating the development of Supportive Policy for sustainable products and markets
In order to meet these needs the SCI focuses on:
Core research provides a basis for network, policy and initiative development activities. The SCI has developed leading edge methodologies, such as the Global Commodity Chain Sustainability Analysis and the Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA), to understand the value of initiatives that cut across commodities and regions. Topics include:
- The analysis of market and supply chain structures to identify where production and trade face the greatest sustainability challenges.
- What are the field level, supply chain and market impacts of voluntary initiatives?
- What are the costs and benefits of public or private initiatives in any given case?
- Examples of best practice
The SCI is built on the premise that the strongest advice comes from experience and that the greatest gains are available from collaboration. As such, the SCI promotes multi-stakeholder dialogue and collaboration across the project, initiative and policy development processes. For the SCI, these networks have a value well beyond the specific activities they spawn, due to their ability to generate longer term relationships and cooperation across sustainability initiatives and other stakeholders.
Initiative and Policy Development:
Although the SCI builds on a foundation of science-based research, it is fundamentally action oriented. Supply chain stakeholders are principally concerned with ‘getting down to business’ and the SCI believes in facilitating stakeholders in this effort. This spirit feeds the development of new initiatives to fill gaps in existing supply chain efforts, more targeted projects and informative recommendations to policy makers.