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.

Integrating small-scale producers into sustainable value chains is a collective effort

  Linking small-scale producers in developing countries to larger lucrative markets via integrating them into global value chains are widely recognized as valuable ways to boost the economy hence, poverty reduction. Small-scale producers are by far the majority of farmers in the world, in some estimates producing 70% of the world’s food[1]. Thus, promoting exports of products in compliance with sustainability measures accounting the inclusivity of small-scale producers, became a major policy goal in many emerging economies due to

Registration is now open | 2nd ICSTS, Rio de Janeiro, 16-18 September 2019

Convention Registration Now Open!  The Brazilian Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (Inmetro), the Federation of Industries of the State of Rio de Janeiro (Firjan) and the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS) will be hosting the 2nd International Convention on Sustainable Trade and Standards Date: 16-18th of September 2019, Venue: Casa Firjan, Rua Guilhermina Guinle, 211 City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil   The 2nd ICSTS aims to advance multi-stakeholder dialogues on Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) as an avenue to improve the transparency of

Save-the-Date: 2nd International Convention on Sustainable Trade and Standards (ICSTS), 16 -18 September 2019, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Brazil has historically played an important role in the international sustainability discussions. In 2018, the Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea), a public Brazilian think tank, presented the adaptation of the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to the Brazilian reality. This is part of the national effort towards internalizing and implementing the Agenda. The 2nd ICSTS aims to

Assessing the Perception and Willingness towards VSS

The considerable diversity of priorities associated with the uptake of Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) have captured significant interests for researchers to analyze the drivers that stimulated stakeholders to be certified (or not). Given the unclear distribution of benefits resulting from these sustainability certifications, smallholder farmers are striking economic actors in the value chains that have expressed unprecedented concerns. This is not to say that they do not see the value of adapting sustainability measures into their operations, but rather concerns

FiBL report: Group Certification. Internal Control Systems in Organic Agriculture: Significance, Opportunities and Challenges

About 80% of the world’s organic producers are smallholders in low and middle income countries, for whom individual certification would be unaffordable and administratively too complex to manage. These producers are recognised as organic due to group certification, a system in which groups of farmers implement an Internal Control System (ICS) and are certified by a third party certification body, which assesses the performance of the ICS and performs a representative number of spot-check inspections of group members. The approach