3rd UNFSS Flagship Report: Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS), Trade and Sustainable Development The relationship between Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS), trade and sustainable development are among the most pronounced concepts sought-after the realm of green global value chains. We typically see the benefits of imposing sustainability standards as a positive advantage contributing to the environment, social and the economy. The VSS system has in fact influence the export landscape to either facilitate market access or become an obstacle to trade, especially for importing countries that have turned to
UNCTAD is implementing a project “Fostering Green Exports through Voluntary Sustainability Standards in Developing Countries” that aims to strengthen capacities of developing countries to make the best use out of voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) as a tool to foster green exports which can also contribute to the SDGs.
FAO has published a document on Impact of international voluntary standards on smallholder market participation in developing countries. This publication presents the results of a literature review conducted by FAO in 2012 on the impact of voluntary standards on smallholders’ ability to participate in markets. Please follow the link to download the report.
The UNFSS Working Group on Enhancing Interoperability of Sustainability Standards takes special interest in scaling up equivalence among sustainability schemes. Equivalence is especially crucial in the organic sector, where governments regulate organic standards and trade, and can erect barriers to trade when applying these regulations to imports. Currently there are 13 bilateral equivalence arrangements among regulating countries. UNFSS took the opportunity at BioFach, the world’s largest international organic trade fair and Congress, to facilitate presentation and discussion
The UNFSS was present at the following events in India in the last quarter of 2014: 29-30 October 2014 – Conference on Trade, Transport and Transit Facilitation in South Asia: Imperative of Bridging Macro-Meso-Micro Gaps between India and Bangladesh. The conference was held at the Hotel Lalit Great Eastern in Kolkata, India, and organised by CUTS International. Mr. Bhutani was a panellist in the session on Standards and Transport related Barriers to Trade Facilitation between Bangladesh and India.