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