Agro-forestry forum support (took place in 2016)

A good understanding of the impact on the target groups is needed for informed decision-making. The Initiative for Sustainable Landscapes (ISLA) organized an Agroforestry Forum in Côte d’Ivoire in October 2016. The purpose of this was to develop a Learning Brief that discussed the current state of agroforestry in the world, with a focus on the business case for the farmer. We supported IDH in building this business case by developing a robust model that was able to show multiple agro-forestry scenarios and the implications of these scenarios on both practical and strategic levels.

Service Delivery Models (ongoing since 2014)

If organized well, learning together can benefit all in a sector. Service Delivery Models (SDMs) aim to achieve or further develop either economic, social or environmental sustainability in a supply chain. However, IDH identified that competition between supply chain actors often prevents best practices from being broadly shared – particularly in the delivery of inputs and other support services to upstream actors such as smallholder farmers. The lack of knowledge about the cost effectiveness and return on investment of service delivery in the supply chain compounds this issue.

Since 2015, we have been supporting IDH in analyzing different SDMs in order to develop a methodology that determines the economic viability of different SDMs. This model, the SDM Tool, laid the foundation for the review of SDMs by identifying key performance ratios and crucial levers for improvement. We have conducted on-site evaluations and analyses of various SDMs, the list of which is still growing. Several case studies are described below. The first report on SDMs was published by IDH in 2016, and can be found here to benefit all those who offer services to farmers.

Sustainable Coffee Platform (ongoing since 2014)

Sector collaboration is the way forward for sustainable sector strategies. The Dutch coffee sector collectively expressed the intent to increase the share of sustainably produced coffee and to further increase sustainable coffee production in a pre-competitive manner. This led to the foundation of the IDH Sustainable Coffee Platform. We supported IDH in facilitating the development of a shared vision for a sustainable coffee sector and translating it into national strategies for key coffee producing countries.  This allowed IDH to align major competing producers on coffee sustainability for the first time, which has helped to open the door to a sustainable future for the sector.

Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (took place in 2013)

Moving from fragmentation to collaboration is a great step for sustainability. In 2015, over fifty industry leaders in the floriculture sector pledged to have 90% of their flowers and pot plants responsibly sourced by 2020 through their commitment to the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI), an initiative of IDH. We supported IDH in facilitating the development and implementation of a sustainability initiative in the floriculture sector. At that point, the sector had various initiatives, but sustainability was far from mainstream. The challenge of aligning thirteen different standards was ultimately turned into an opportunity to develop a global vision and uniform standard on sustainable production for and by the industry, and led to great improvements in alignment and trust in the sector.

Better Cotton Initiative (took place in 2011)

A strong business case must always lay at the base of any successful market strategy. The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in, and better for the sector’s future. Setting a standard for better cotton production requires tracing cotton back to its origins in order for improvements in the value chain to be implemented and managed more easily. We supported IDH – who were involved in the development of BCI through the Better Cotton Fast Track Program – to identify different credible and cost-efficient strategies to link better cotton production at farm level to the claim of better cotton in end markets.  This allowed BCI to better cater to the wish of retailers and brands that want to show they are on a journey towards the use of 100% Better Cotton, and are turning sustainability progress into business value.