unfss

About UNFSS

The United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS) is a joint initiative of 5 UN Agencies (FAO, ITC, UNCTAD, UN Environment and UNIDO) that seeks to address these challenges. It is a demand-driven forum for intergovernmental actors to communicate among each other and engage with key target groups (producers, traders, consumers, standard-setters, certification-bodies, trade diplomats, relevant NGOs and researchers) to address their information needs and influence concerned stakeholders. It aims to provide impartial information, analysis, and discussions on VSS and their potential contribution to facilitate market access, strengthen public goods and achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most importantly, the UNFSS focuses on potential trade or development obstacles VSS may create, with particular emphasis on their impact on SMEs and less developed countries.

Revitalizing the principal role of smallholder farmers as economic contributors

On 17 June 2021, the UNFSS and Evidensia co-organized the 3rd and last Academic Advisory Roundtable Series on Sustainability Standards and Economic concerns to highlight the role of trade in economic growth and development. According to Mr. Santiago Fernandez de Cordoba, UNFSS coordinator and UNCTAD senior economist, in order to respond to the environmental and socio-economic challenges brought by globalization, there is a need for powerful tools and instruments to ensure that the benefits brought by trade must become more inclusive

Sustainability Standards and Economic Concerns: An Academic Roundtable Discussion

When Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) emerged in the late 20th century, they were heralded as innovative new instruments to help meet some of the most pressing sustainability challenges. Disappointment in the lack of meaningful government policy commitments and/or ineffective implementation of traditional ´command-and-control´ regulatory systems spurred the emergence of these market-based instruments. The question is whether VSS have been able to deliver on their promise to bring about fundamental, lasting changes in sustainability practice. Putting focus on the economic benefits, SDGs

Harnessing the strategic use of trade instrument like VSS to address Social Concerns

Global supply chains have been an engine of growth and a significant driver of job creation, especially in developing countries. However, questions have been raised as to whether participation in global supply chains will continue to be a viable development strategy for inclusive growth and poverty reduction. Despite a wide range of interventions set at international level to ensure economic development and decent work in global supply chains go hand-in-hand, decent work deficits and governance gaps continue to exist, undermining

Sustainability Standards and Social Concerns: An Academic Roundtable Discussion

Economic growth alone is not enough to ensure equity, social progress and to eradicate poverty. Up till today, hazardous workplaces continue to exist, and discrimination remains a challenge. According to the latest global estimates, 152 million children are in child labor and 25 million adults and children are in forced labor. Improving workplace practices beyond legal compliance fosters sustainability. It can as well result in higher morale and job satisfaction, and foster creativity

Podcast Feature: Trade Policy and Voluntary Sustainability Standards

The integration of Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) into trade policies is a potential powerful means to upscale its adoption as trade policies today are increasingly being used to pursue non-trade objectives, including those related to sustainability. In the last few decades, complemented with the exponential growth in international trade, VSS have increasingly been incorporated into some trade policy instruments, although it may be too early to detect clear trends as of today. Nevertheless, such inclusion reflects the commitment of trade