General Documentation

Flagship Reports

Voluntary Sustainability Standards And The Role Of The Government
2nd Flagship report of the UNFSS



The UNFSS has prepared an initial flagship document to set the stage for the discussions around Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS). It is in two parts, with the first presenting the key issues related to VSS and the second an inventory of some of the leading initiatives working on VSS for reference.

Please note: These documents have not yet been registered as official UN documents yet, so please do not cite or copy. 

UNFSS-Report-Issues-1-FINAL_lores_web UNFSS Flagship Report 1 draft







UNFSS-Report-Initiatives-2-FINAL_lores-1_web UNFSS Flagship Report 2 draft







A summary of impacts related to Voluntary Sustainability Standards, prepared by the ITC


Briefing research standards related to VSS

A draft decision-making tool for policy-makers on VSSs, 
prepared by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) under the auspices of the Trade Standards Practitioners Network.


Trade Standards Practitioners Network Guide on VSS

UNDP Discussion Note – This paper looks at the contextualization of VSSs as tools within a broader development perspective, and stresses the need to identify and address the root causes limiting development, arguing that both private and public sector must proactively address those causes.


UNDP Discussion Note

UNFSS Discussion Papers are prepared under the private responsibility of the author on subjects of analytical interest to UNFSS members and stakeholders. Discussion Paper manuscripts are cleared by the Steering Group of UNFSS in consultation with the UNFSS Advisory Panel. Substantive editorial clearance is done by the Editorial Board of UNFSS.

Reproduction of UNFSS Discussion Papers is allowed, however, requires the prior authorization by the UNFSS Editorial Board. Manuscripts for the UNFSS Discussion Paper series should be submitted to the UNFSS Editorial Board (c/o Ulrich HOFFMANN, UNCTAD secretariat, sent to with “UNFSS Discussion Paper series” as subject line).

Discussion Paper #1

Meta‐governance in the Realm of Voluntary Sustainability Standards: Early Experiences and Their Implications, by Boudewijn Derkx


UNFSS Discussion Paper #1

Discussion Paper #2

Review of Key Systemic Issues and Findings Resulting from Activities of the International Task Force on Harmonization and Equivalence in Organic Agriculture (ITF) and the Global Organic Market Access (GOMA) Project, by Diane Bowen, in collaboration with Ulrich Hoffmann


UNFSS Discussion Paper #2

Discussion Paper #3

Competition and Cooperation in the Market of Voluntary Sustainability Standards, by Dr. Axel Marx and Prof. Dr. Jan WoutersLeuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, KU Leuven


UNFSS Discussion Paper #3

Discussion Paper #4

Public-Private Collaboration on Policy, Standards, Regulations and Trade Facilitation for Organic Agriculture, by Diane Bowen, in collaboration with Ulrich Hoffmann


UNFSS Discussion Paper #4

Discussion Paper #5

Plurilateral Regulatory Cooperation on Organic Agriculture and Trade, by Diane Bowen, in collaboration with Ulrich Hoffmann


UNFSS Discussion Paper #5

Discussion Paper #6

Assuring Coherence between the Market-access and Livelihood Impact of Private Sustainability Standards, by Ulrich Hoffmann and Frank Grothaus


UNFSS Discussion Paper #6



UNFSS Flyer 2013


For further documentation, see:

Launch Documentation and Presentations

Briefing Sessions Documentation

One response to “General Documentation

  1. Pingback: New UNFSS Discussion Papers | UNFSS·

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