Call for collective action in the coffee sector: Vision 2020

Situation
The Vision 2020 initiative was developed as a means to coordinate the various sustainability initiatives in the coffee sector. After signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in March 2015, the 4C Association, IDH (the Sustainable Trade Initiative) and the International Coffee Organization (ICO) further developed the Vision 2020 approach, which consists of:
• Global themes and shared outcome objectives to achieve collective impact for the resilience and livelihoods of coffee farming communities and the sector as a whole;
• A framework to translate the shared objectives into actionable agendas through public private partnership platforms;
• One common reporting framework to create transparency, measure impact and allow for learning and continuous improvement.

To show the commitment of their members to Vision 2020, 4C Association and the Sustainable Coffee Program decided to publicly unite the sector through a Call for Collective Action to be released during the World Coffee Conference in Addis Ababa in March 2016.

Assignment
NewForesight was first approached to write the Call for Collective Action for the private sector to express their commitment to the Vision 2020 framework and to invite other stakeholders to join the movement. Following the work delivered, combined with the team’s extensive knowledge of the coffee sector and earlier strategic assignments for the 4C Association, IDH’s Sustainable Coffee Program, and Vision 2020, NewForesight was requested to play an additional coordinating role in the Vision 2020 workshop in Addis Ababa on 3 March 2016. NewForesight prepared and facilitated this interactive workshop, involving a broad range of sector stakeholders in the definition of the Vision 2020 functions at global and local level, and design of the next steps. Additionally, NewForesight acted as strategic advisor in the positioning of Vision 2020 in relation to the establishment of the Global Coffee Platform and affiliated initiatives.

Work delivered
NewForesight enabled the 4C Association and IDH to leverage the momentum offered by the World Coffee Conference in Addis Ababa to present Vision 2020 as the umbrella approach to unite the sector under one sustainability vision, reporting framework and to grow public private collaboration. The Call for Collective Action was signed by over 30 leading organizations from the coffee sector. The Call for Collective Action and workshop form the basis for the further development of Vision 2020, as well as in clarifying the roles of the newly installed Global Coffee Platform and ICO in establishing Vision 2020 as the vehicle for collective impact in the coffee sector.

Assisting the Index Initiative in ranking sustainability performances of Agricultural Commodity Traders

Situation
Recognizing the potential of the private sector to contribute to the sustainable development agenda, the Index Initiative’s mission is to inspire and challenge companies to serve as agents of positive change. As a strategy to fulfil this goal, the II develops indices that rank the leading companies in specific industries, which are believed to have the greatest potential to contribute to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Their initial focus is on: Agricultural Commodity Traders, Chemicals, Mobile Telecommunications Services, Oil & Gas, and Seafood. The function of each index is two-fold; on the one end, it helps clarify societal expectations with regards to the industry’s contribution to sustainable development; on the other end, it allows to monitor and compare to what extent companies are meeting these expectations. This provides them with an incentive to have greater positive impact by encouraging a “race to the top” of the index.

Assignment
As a result of its proven track record in improving the sustainability of agro-commodity value chains, NewForesight was asked to lead the analysis in the domain of Agricultural Commodity Traders. An in-depth study was conducted across five commodities – cocoa, cotton, palm oil, rice, and soy – focusing on the trade dynamics that characterize them.
For each of these crops the Index Initiative wished to ascertain key metrics related to production, trade and overall market dynamics, the state of sustainability in the sector and existing sustainability initiatives, and finally develop an overview and analysis of the role of the main commodity traders throughout the different value chains.

Work delivered
Following a period of extensive desk research, NewForesight has prepared six reports (one per commodity) that will be used by the Index Initiative to understand how to develop the index. In addition, we delivered a high-level synthesis of findings and a conclusion highlighting the impact of commodity traders on the SDGs.

Contribution to a strategic positioning of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate’s sustainability program

Situation
Sustainability is a guiding principle for Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate. The Cargill Cocoa Promise is their commitment to improving the livelihoods of farmers, their families and their communities, and, in doing so, securing a long-term supply of cocoa. Learnings on the ground are continuously included in the approach and the projects. To that end NewForesight developed the results framework in the first half of 2015.

Assignment
To communicate the Cargill Cocoa Promise results framework and what it aims to achieve NewForesight was asked to propose a storyline and compelling central messages. The Cargill Cocoa Promise results framework represents the inclusion of learnings of years of experience, and demonstrates in a transparent manner a growing impact on the lives of cocoa farmers and their communities. Therefore the assignment centered on how this growing impact could be communicated in a clear and strategic way.

Work delivered
The final story, visual and messages that were delivered to Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate were the result of a thorough analysis that assessed sustainability needs of particular Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate client segments, the communication of some of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate’s competitors and the information flow coming from Cargill Cocoa Promise work on the ground.

Future steps
Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate will use the delivered story, visual and messaging in their external and internal communication to clearly explain what the Cargill Cocoa Promise commitment entails, and how it impacts the live of cocoa farmers and their communities, resulting in a thriving cocoa sector.

Development of Cargill Cocoa Promise Results Framework

Situation
In 2012, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate rolled out an ambitious sustainability program called the Cargill Cocoa Promise, with well-defined high-level objectives and supported by strong programs on the ground. To support the development of its program, the company wanted to strengthen the connection between its strategy and its activities on the ground, as well as advance its reporting beyond mainly outputs e.g. the number of farmers trained.

Assignment
We worked with Cargill on the development of a results framework, to connect actions on the ground to the overall impact objectives; allow for better planning, monitoring and reporting; strengthen the connection and flow of information between the central business team and those on the ground; improve identification of best practices and learnings within the organization; and support external communications.

Work delivered
Cargill Cocoa Promise now has a results framework in place whereby each activity in local projects can be traced back to Cargill Cocoa Promise outcomes. This supports a harmonized and standardized Cargill Cocoa Promise message to which all projects on the ground can align, and which can then more effectively be monitored, evaluated (and improved) and reported. NewForesight also conducted a high-level assessment of the sustainability programs of Cargill’s competitors and customers to identify gaps, and addressed these in our recommendations. Furthermore, we developed a list of Cargill differentiators and the key principles of the Cargill way of working.

Future steps
Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate used the work delivered by NewForesight to inform the M&E work taking place in the organization, including the definition of standardized project design documents and indicators to be captured and reported on the ground, leading up to clear sets of outcomes and impacts. In addition, NewForesight supported the company with a follow-up assignment to help formulate the Cargill Cocoa Promise Results Framework into clear communications material for external audiences, including customers.

A dynamic cost model to measure the costs of a sustainable cocoa production

Situation
In 2016 the Pricing Unit of Fairtrade International will carry out a review of the Fairtrade prices for cocoa to be able to determine the Fairtrade Minimum Price (FMP) and/or Fairtrade Premium (FP). As part of this price review for cocoa, Fairtrade International wished to look into the sustainable costs of production of Fairtrade cocoa (COSP).

Assignment
Fairtrade International asked NewForesight to help prepare the COSP-study and provide a detailed insight into the cost items related to Fairtrade production of cocoa. Part of the assignment is to provide advice on the data collection approach for each of these cost items.

Work delivered
To enhance understanding of the different cost items, and contribute to insight in the relevance of those cost items under different circumstances NewForesight is developing a dynamic cost model. The model can be described as a comprehensive and flexible cost framework that enables data collection under different scenarios. An extensive list of fixed and variable cost items is included in the model, as well as different conditions under which cocoa production takes place.

Using this model Fairtrade International can collect data on costs of sustainable cocoa production in different Fairtrade regions. This input will help determine the Fairtrade Minimum Price (FMP) and/or Fairtrade Premium (FP).

Building blocks for the creation of an enabling environment for natural capital

Situation
The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs is looking to create an enabling environment that stimulates private and public organizations to include natural capital in their decision-making procedures. The Ministry believes that a system lens and transitional thinking should be included to strengthen the discussion and find opportunities for implementation.

Assignment
To include NewForesight thinking and to build upon the work done in an earlier project for RVO, NewForesight was asked to assist the Ministry in defining the building blocks for an enabling environment for natural capital, and communicate this among relevant stakeholders. These building blocks took the form of a non-paper intended as a contribution to a joint paper on natural capital through a system lens of The Natural Capital Coalition.

Work delivered
The Natural Capital Coalition and ICAEW organized two workshops directed towards finding solutions on how to include natural capital in private sector decision-making. On request of the Dutch Ministry NewForesight consultant Sharon Hesp participated in the July workshop in London, and NewForesight CEO Lucas Simons went to the October workshop in Rotterdam. In the workshops they contributed with NewForesight thinking on systems and sustainable sector transformations.

In November the final building blocks were delivered to the Ministry, which provided input for the World Forum on Natural Capital on 23-24 November in Edinburgh. At the World Forum on Natural Capital, leaders from businesses, governments and NGOs assembled to discuss integration of natural capital in their respective fields. NewForesight’s thinking on sustainable market transformations in agriculture served as an example for how natural capital accounting in the private sector can be given a boost.

A report on land governance in the global South for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Situation
Acting on the recommendations of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (2012), Minister Ploumen of Foreign Affairs initiated the Land Governance Multi Stakeholder Dialogue (LG MSD) in August 2014. The goal of this dialogue between financial institutions, pension funds, multinational companies, NGOs, knowledge institutions and the government, is to determine how to contribute effectively to the improvement of land governance in countries of the global South where the Netherlands is active.

Assignment
As an independent consultant, NewForesight was asked to collect and provide insights into the experiences of Dutch companies on land governance issues in the global south. Twelve companies operating in the agro-commodity, floriculture, palm oil and infrastructure sector were identified and interviewed. The companies’ representatives were asked about the nature and seriousness of the land governance issues, what the possible solutions are and how they see their own role and the role of the Dutch government in working towards these solutions.

Work delivered
The findings were aggregated and presented in a report informing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other participants of the LG MSD on the experience and opinion of the Dutch companies. The report provided valuable new insights and presented an unbiased overview of private sector’s perspective on land governance issues. NewForesight also made recommendations to the ministry on how to work together with companies to improve land related issues in the countries in question.

A study into standards and accreditation development for inclusive business

Situation
Over the past 10 years various European intermediary organisations have developed Inclusive Business (IB) strategies towards Asian, African and Latin American markets. It has become evident that the availability and quality of specialized IB advisory services in these regions is vital. The Inclusive Business Accelerator (IBA) facilitates the acceleration of impactful entrepreneurship in base of the pyramid (BoP) markets by building a structure that supports delivery of substantial numbers of investment-ready inclusive business plans to improve the well-being of people at the BoP. At the same time, many advisors at local, national and international levels as well as NGOs offer business development services for companies wanting to include the BoP into their business models. Demand from companies for specialized IB advisory is growing, but they are easily lost among the range of offers. Similarly, donors face the challenge of whom to engage with in-country to support inclusive business directly.

Assignment
A study into existing service standard frameworks, as a first step towards co-developing a strategy for building an accreditation system and global standard for efficient, good-quality and locally embedded inclusive business advisory services, or IBAS. The advisory services are to be recognized and supported by key stakeholders and donors at global and local levels. Ultimately, the advisory standard will support the development of stronger market linkages and improve the access to finance for inclusive business.

Work delivered
NewForesight gave a workshop to the Steering Committee and presented a clear overview of the major strategic questions that need to be answered in order to build an accreditation system or standards, including the content of the standard, the accreditation process, the revenue model, the focus and scaling governance.

Future steps
The Steering Committee will use our input to develop the standard and accreditation system for inclusive business advisory services.

Sharing experiences in cocoa supply chains with SECO

Situation
As part of the external project evaluation of “Colombia Exports Cacao” (COEXCA), the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) requested a comparative study of its Latin America projects in terms of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability. The comparative approach will allow SECO to distill general lessons learned and recommendations with regard to SECO’s future engagement in the cocoa sector in Colombia and other relevant regions. SECO also desired to include lessons learned from the perspective of the cocoa development programs in West Africa and Indonesia.

Assignment
As an independent consultant with international experience in the cocoa supply chain, NewForesight was asked to provide strategic insights and lessons learned. Based on our experience in and knowledge of the cocoa sectors in Ghana, Ivory Coast and Indonesia, enriched with additional expert interviews and desk research, NewForesight was able to gather insights and information that were highly relevant for the client.

Work delivered
NewForesight facilitated part of a workshop with decision makers of SECO, where the insights and information was presented and discussed. Subsequently, we delivered a report which synthesized all the gathered insights and information, highlighting the general lessons learned from the perspective of the West African and Indonesian cocoa sustainability.

Facilitating the development of a strategy for sustainable development and trade

Situation
In 2016 the Dutch government will take on the presidency of the Council of EU. Among other things, during its presidency, the Dutch government intends to take the lead in focusing the EU countries on sustainable economic development and trade. To that end, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs needed a neutral external facilitator with expertise in trade and development to facilitate dialogues among the various departments within the ministry. The dialogues were to help create a unified vision and strategy on sustainable trade and bring coherence to the ministry’s wide range of initiatives.

Assignment
NewForesight consultants facilitated dialogues among the various departments and working groups within the ministry responsible for connecting the Netherlands’ trade strategy with its sustainable development strategy. This was done through a series of workshops and group work, where NewForesight guided the teams towards a unified vision. The facilitated workshops brought coherence to the ministry’s wide range of initiatives. The internal strategy document that resulted from these efforts was adopted by the minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in June 2015.

Work delivered
Workshops aligning various initiatives and an internal strategy document adopted by the minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

Future steps
The ministry of Foreign Affairs will use this strategy when determining the EU Council’s agenda on sustainable development and trade during the Dutch presidency.