Dutch Government

A public partner for sustainability

The Client

The Dutch Government has been an influential global actor in areas concerning sustainability for many decades. It was responsible for setting up our partnership with a major player in international sustainable trade and one of our long-time clients, the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH). It has also pursued an exemplary environmental policy which has resulted in cleaner rivers, reductions in carbon emissions, reductions in waste streams, and the cleanup of contaminated soil.

Tough Challenge

The Dutch Government admits that various challenges remain for these sustainability issues. There are also serious concerns regarding climate change and the depletion of natural resources and biodiversity, both within the Netherlands and in producing countries.

Shared Opportunity

We are proud to have been working with a number of Ministries on a variety of topics for several years, which have helped to establish the Netherlands’ position as a global driver in sustainability.


Global Coffee Platform

A new era in sustainability for the coffee sector

The client

The Global Coffee Platform is an inclusive multi-stakeholder sustainability platform aligning the activities of a diverse network of stakeholders to set into action the global commitments made through Vision2020 and create a thriving and sustainable coffee sector.

Tough challenge

Today’s coffee sector faces several significant challenges, such as the migration of younger generations out of coffee farming, and threats related to climate change, pest and disease outbreak and ageing trees. A lack of sector coordination means that there is no means of comparing data on the effectiveness of interventions, which creates barriers to identifying best and worst practices.

Shared opportunity

NewForesight has supported the coffee sector in organizing itself and driving sustainability forward to tackle the sector’s main issues. For example, we played an important role in setting up the Global Coffee Platform as an inclusive multi-stakeholder sustainability platform. The Global Coffee Platform (GCP) is the result of a merger between the Sustainable Coffee Program (SCP) and the 4C Association (4CA). The merger followed the separation between the 4CA and the 4C Standard, and the outsourcing of the Standard’s operations to a new company, Coffee Assurance Services (CAS).

We have been working with GCP since its official launch in 2016, but our partnership predates that launch. We developed the Sustainable Coffee Program with IDH in 2011, and managed the program during its merger with the 4C Association. Our work with the 4C Association also dates back to 2011, when we worked with them on the design of a new business model. In 2015, we helped the organization redefine itself, which lay the foundations for the merger with the SCP, and the separation of the 4C Standard and the 4CA. There is now a growing recognition that further steps in collaborative efforts are required for systemic change, and we see sector stakeholders acting upon that recognition.


Landscape restoration for sustainable economic development

The client

Commonland’s goal is to realize large-scale landscape restoration with local farmers, land-users and experts, based on sustainable business cases. To achieve this goal, Commonland advocates a holistic restoration approach that combines 3 different landscape zones for a period of 20 years, delivering 4 returns. At the moment, Commonland’s 4 returns approach is being practiced by development companies in multiple countries – such as South Africa, Spain, Australia, and the Netherlands – and it holds great potential to be scaled to other regions.

 Tough challenge

As the social, environmental and economic impacts of landscape degradation, global biodiversity loss and natural resource depletion become more apparent, the need for landscape level restoration is becoming increasingly pressing (Read our “From Challenge to Opportunity” report for clear insights into these challenges). Commonland actively involves investors, companies and entrepreneurs in long-term restoration partnerships in different countries with farmers and land-users. All projects share their approach of “4 returns/3 zones/20 years approach”. Yet, the understanding of Commonland’s 4 returns impact, and the organization’s ability to communicate, improve, and scale their approach, was hindered by the lack of a comprehensive framework. This made it difficult to assess the success and impact of projects.

 Shared opportunity

NewForesight has been assisting Commonland on technical and strategic topics related to their landscape restoration projects and businesses since 2015. We have supported with an investment strategy to identify potentially impactful businesses, and we have also contributed to continuous improvement of their intervention strategy by designing an M&E framework. We are proud to support a young organization with an innovative view and strategy that can change the lives of many people today, as well as securing a green future for all.

World Cocoa Foundation

Towards a thriving cocoa sector for generations to come

The client

The World Cocoa Foundation is an international membership organization that promotes sustainability in the cocoa sector.

Tough challenge

Despite significant investments made by the public, private, and non-profit sectors in initiatives aimed at sustainability in the cocoa sector, cocoa farms continue to face significant challenges. Ageing trees, depleted soils, and lack of good agricultural practices are leading to suboptimal production, while community welfare is being undermined by child labor, gender inequality and a lack of proper education. Too many farmers are trapped in a cycle of economic and social decline, and cocoa farming is losing its appeal as a viable livelihood among younger generations. Predictions for the future suggest that there will not be enough cocoa supply by 2020 to attend to consumer demand.

Shared opportunity

Through WCF, the industry is committed to collaborating to create a rejuvenated and economically viable cocoa sector. CocoaAction is WCF’s voluntary industry-wide strategy that aligns the world’s leading cocoa and chocolate companies, origin governments, and key stakeholders on a cocoa sustainability strategy.

NewForesight has been working with WCF since the inception of CocoaAction in 2013. We supported WCF on both strategic and technical levels in the design and implementation of the strategy: we defined the sector wide strategy; set-up the workstream structure and defined which parties would lead the implementation of specific strategic topics; and designed the roadmap towards future goals. We also led the way in promoting good quality planting material, coordinating industry input on the upcoming ISO standard on sustainable and traceable cocoa, and developing a farmer economic model to predict impact. Since the start of CocoaAction, we have seen trust growing between industry stakeholders. At present, this trust is extending to other sector stakeholders. This is already creating opportunities for many smallholder farmers in Ghana and Ivory Coast, and is also contributing to CocoaAction companies’ competitive edge in the market, as well as to a stable supply chain.

IDH – Sustainable Trade Initiative

Driving sustainability from niche to norm in mainstream markets

The client

IDH convenes companies, CSOs, governments and others in public-private partnerships. Together, they drive the joint design, co-funding and prototyping of new economically viable approaches to bring about green and inclusive growth at scale in commodity sectors and sourcing areas.

Tough challenge

Tackling the mounting problems in agricultural sectors is one of the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges. Over 75% of farmers globally are in poverty, while the impacts of negative environmental effects on agriculture are rapidly accelerating. To move towards more inclusive development, encourage more responsible consumption, and safeguard our planet, sector transformations in multiple commodity sectors are crucial.

Shared opportunity

We have been working with IDH in a variety of international agricultural sectors on a range of topics since 2011, and we continue to leverage our partnership to help drive global sustainability and opportunities for the environment and people. With our service delivery model, we provided IDH with insights into the impact of services provided to farmers in a variety of sectors, which offered opportunities to improve services and achieve greater social and economic impact. In cotton, coffee, cocoa, floriculture and agro-forestry, we supported IDH with customized solutions that incentivized the next step up in sustainability, both for the sector and for its stakeholders.

Organic Cotton Accelerator

Accelerating change towards a prosperous organic cotton sector

Our client

The Organic Cotton Accelerator is a multi-stakeholder initiative focused on creating a prosperous organic cotton sector which benefits everyone—from farmer to consumer.

Tough challenge

Organic cotton can bring significant environmental and social value, but at present it does not make (business) sense to produce or buy organic cotton raw materials and garments. Farmers are withdrawing from organic cotton production because it is not currently profitable, while retailers worry about the integrity of their organic raw material, and are switching to other sustainable alternatives. Instead of reaping the benefits of organic cotton production, the outlook for the sector is a cause for concern.

Shared opportunity

NewForesight has convened key sector stakeholders around a shared mission and pre-competitive strategy that is bringing structural change. With targeted interventions that have the potential to be scaled up, we are improving the business case for all value chain actors, and driving a sector-wide collaborative partnership that will accelerate the transition towards an organic cotton sector that benefits not just our clients, but the whole supply chain.