Projects Newforesight

Transition model for scaling up sustainability in agro-commodities

IFC wanted to understand whether voluntary standards systems (VSS) are creating the environmental and social benefits and impacts as anticipated. At present the exact impact delivered by VSS is unclear, and there is broad consensus on the limitations of VSS to deliver sector sustainability single-handedly.

NewForesight, together with Aidenvironment and IIED, undertook a study that reviewed the current state of sustainability in agriculture, with a focus on standards. Extensive desk and field research led to a model that lays out a variety of sustainability tools that enable a transition towards sustainable agriculture. The transition model includes VSS as being one of the potential tools.

Future steps
Phase two of the study is currently taking place in which the model is refined after extensive case studies on location. The study will take into consideration alignment, reorganization, new and improved business models, partnerships and other options available to maximize the effectiveness and scaling of sustainability instruments.


International Finance Corporation (IFC)
IDH The Sustainable Trade Initiative
DGIS (Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
SECO (Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs)


International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

Would you like to know more about

The resulting report from phase 1 of the study:  Building a roadmap to sustainability in agro-commodity production.

IFC roadmap to sust







Our theory of change


This project started in 2013 and is still taking place. Are you looking for pioneering strategies that bring your sustainability goals to the next level?
Contact Laure Heilbron