Over the last three decades, a growing number of voluntary sustainability standards (VSSs) have emerged to enhance environmental conservation and improve the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers across different sectors, including agriculture, forestry, mining and fisheries.
There are now over 400 VSSs operating across the planet. These include Organic Certification, Fairtrade International and Forest Stewardship Council to name a few.
VSSs are guidelines for producing, selling and purchasing products in a sustainable manner. They provide manufacturers and retailers with information about the reliability of and safety conditions behind a product. They also provide consumers with information about the sustainability efforts taken for the production and manufacturing of these produces, with the aim of positively affecting communities, the environment and the economy.
We examine the market performance of commodities that comply with voluntary sustainability standards to understand the forces and barriers influencing their potential expansion or contraction.
We analyze commodities to learn about sustainable production and consumption patterns and their market performance.
The Sustainable Commodities Marketplace Series provides a market performance overview and outlook for key agricultural commodities that comply with VSSs, focusing on global sustainable consumption and production. Each year, the series focuses on a different overarching theme, with individual reports for that year devoted to providing a market update for a chosen commodity.
Voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) emerged in the coffee sector over 30 years ago, with non-governmental organizations, private sector actors and other industry stakeholders looking to provide roasters, retailers and consumers with the ability to distinguish between conventionally produced coffee and its more sustainable coffee equivalent.