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Compliance to voluntary sustainability standards has grown steadily worldwide

The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) presented the first results of its survey on Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) at the second Trade for Sustainable Development Forum, 2015, at the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva on 1 and 2 October.

Presentation of the results at the Trade for Sustainable Development Forum. Photo: ITC

(12/10/2015) 

The survey was carried out in cooperation with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the International Trade Centre (ITC), organizers of the forum. The survey covered 12 VSS from the agricultural sector and two from the forestry sector. Data on area, production, operators and retail sale were collected and will be published in the upcoming months.

The first results show a steady growth in the selected commodities (bananas, cocoa, coffee, cotton, oil palm, soybeans, sugarcane and tea). It is still a challenge to communicate a global figure of a given commodity, due to the lack of data on multiple certification. FiBL noticed that the overlap of certification in certain sectors is bigger than expected.

FiBL announced a new annual publication on the latest developments and trends in the VSS sector in partnership with IISD and ITC. This new publication is expected to be released every year in October. The annual survey and publication are supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), under the framework of the Trade for Sustainable Development project.

FiBL had the opportunity to meet different VSS during the conference, such as 4C Association, Fairtrade International, GLOBAL G.A.P., Rainforest Alliance, among others. The different VSS and FiBL discussed the need for better market data and better access to existing data.

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