2nd International Convention on Sustainable Trade and Standards

Casa Firjan
Rua Guilhermina Guinle, 211 – Botafogo
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

16-18 September 2019

The 2nd International Convention on Sustainable Trade and Standards is co-organized by the Brazilian National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology – Inmetrothe Federation of Industries of the State of Rio de Janeiro – Firjan, and the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards – UNFSS. 

UNFSS is an initiative of 5 UN agencies: UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), International Trade Centre (ITC), UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and UN Environment. UNFSS addresses the sustainable development value of Sustainability Standards by pooling resources, synchronizing efforts, and assuring policy coherence through a multi-stakeholder approach.

Sustainable Value Chains and Standards

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes international trade as an engine for inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction. Standards that uphold not just the quality of products but considers also the sustainability aspects of the production process can be the key for exporters in developing countries to unlock new markets. This is due to the immense potential these sustainability standards can achieve when addressing the many problems that plague our socio-economic realities, thus catalyzing its positive outcomes towards trade-induced economic growth, environmental conservation and protection, and social development.

However, there are many trade-related market access issues that are brought to light, one of which is associated with small producers and businesses in developing countries where their governments are not always technically, financially or institutionally capable of reaping the development benefits of voluntary sustainability standards. At the moment, almost 500 sustainability standards operate in 199 countries and 25 industrial sectors. The sustainability standards system has become the new market reality as a tool for marketing, competitiveness and supply-chain management. Thus, fostering sustainable value chains can have a huge positive impact not only on the entire operational and production process, but also ensuring the inclusivity of small producers as an important component to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

This 3-day convention aims to improve Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) dialogues among stakeholders and collectively build solutions to tackle the challenges and create opportunities these sustainability standards can bring. The first 2 days will cover key topics such as the challenges of standards in global value chains, the transparency of VSS, the role of National Platforms to foster collaborative sustainability standards framework and approaches towards mutual recognition of VSS, while the 3rd day (entirely led by INMETRO and by invitation only) will focus on the technicalities of moving the convention’s dialogue outcome into action.

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