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.

Sustainability Standards and Environmental Concerns: An academic roundtable discussion

Human’s impact on the environment led to changes that triggered environmental crisis, including climate change, biodiversity loss, and deforestation, among others. Climate change is one of the most concerning issues of our day; it interrupts national economies and affects lives. Its impacts such as severe storms, heatwaves and the melting of glaciers and ice sheet are accelerating. Biodiversity loss is another significant concern, a 2019 report that assessed a total of 28,000 plant species concluded that close to half of

Build-back-better from COVID-19 with sustainable agri-food supply chain in developing countries

The novel COVID-19 pandemic has been detrimental not just as a health crisis but also an economic and a humanitarian crisis. The nationwide lockdowns due to the spread of COVID-19 has forced developed and developing countries to halt their economies. With respect to its impact on the global food system which also considers the pre-and post-production of food as well as its distribution and consumption interrelationship with political, social and environmental dimensions, this economic slowdown has greatly affected the progress

Reflecting on current and future trends affecting standards and similar systems

There are hundreds of standards and certification schemes on the market – but some are more credible than others. The ISEAL Credibility Principles aim to represent the core values on which effective sustainability systems are built. ISEAL developed the Credibility Principles through a global consultation with a diverse group of more than 400 stakeholders with the guidance of an international multi-stakeholder Steering Committee. Their goal was to pinpoint the fundamental qualities that make sustainability systems most likely to achieve positive