The past decade has seen a rapid expansion in the development of voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) to address key sustainability issues for commodity supply chains. Major growth in the production and sales of certified/verified agricultural products have been fuelled by ground-breaking private sector sourcing commitments, particularly among blue chip companies.
This Review provides a bird’s eye view of the global market trends of 10 commodities and the 16 most prevalent standards initiatives paving the way for more sustainable production and trade. The review looks at the governance, criteria coverage and implementation practices of standards initiatives that are active in the agriculture, forestry and biofuels sectors. The standards initiatives examined certify/verify production with an estimated trade value of US$31.6 billion (2012).
This Review is a strategic planning tool for businesses, policy makers and stakeholders seeking to build more sustainable supply chains.
The theme of the SSI Review 2010 looks at the relationship between transparency andsustainable development across ten voluntary sustainability initiatives in the forestry, coffee, cocoa, banana and tea sectors. Access to information about how goods and services are produced and how initiatives set and implement rules is a key step in efforts to improve participatory governance in international commercial relations and supply chains. As voluntary sustainability initiatives become more important players in international supply chains, they are facing increasing demands to provide information on impacts, market trends and other system characteristics. The SSI provides a window into key aspects that can distinguish systems from each other.