As a sustainability professional, it probably did not escape your attention that the phrase ‘beyond certification’ has become quite common. It is more and more assumed that sustainability standards and certification by themselves have not delivered on promises to tackle structural challenges. It is important to realize that certification, as with any tool, should be used as part of a comprehensive approach. This discussion raises questions like: What is the desired end-state we are trying to reach, and how to make use of tools such as certification in realizing it?
In this dedicated webinar series, we reflect on two crucial trends that shape this discussion and that could contribute to solutions. At NewForesight we want to keep driving this conversation, and would like to hear your views and in what way these approaches can create opportunities for you and your stakeholders. We thus invite you to join the discussion in our dedicated webinar series by registering below.
1. Data-driven approaches that consider farmers as entrepreneurs
NewForesight is convinced that any sustainable agricultural sector should be driven by entrepreneurial and professional farmers in a system that rewards responsible practices. Key to farmer professionalism is measuring and evaluating performance, as well as the effectiveness of the interventions and services, to support evidence-based decision making. At NewForesight we have been working at the forefront of such developments for years.
Recently, data-fanatic and Senior Consultant Will Saab presented one such data-driven approach at the Chocoa conference ‘Sustainability beyond cocoa production’. In his recent article he outlines this and three other crucial elements necessary for farmers to become autonomous and thriving entrepreneurs.
2. Landscape, jurisdictional and regional approaches
The complex challenges that face agricultural production landscapes are often the result of a failing system, and generally lie beyond the capacity of single organizations to tackle. They require an approach that looks not just at producers or supply chains in isolation, but regards the landscapes they are positioned in, at a scale that allows broad stakeholder action.
These high-level efforts (landscape, jurisdictional, or regional) are similar in their desired end-goal—structural, positive change at scale—and we see this as the next evolution in approaching sustainability in an integrated way. Nonetheless, barriers remain: effective stakeholder involvement, root cause identification, division of roles and responsibilities, the list goes on. We help our clients tackle these barriers whilst realizing the collective business case.
Interested in how we could help you bring your sustainability efforts to scale? Contact our Landscape lead Guus ter Haar.
At NewForesight we see both approaches as critical next steps in integrated sustainability thinking. We also recognize that questions remain on how organizations can effectively tailor and adopt such strategies to their own agenda. We invite you to our webinar series ‘Beyond Certification’: two approaches that shape the agenda that will dive further into the topic.