The State of Sustainable Markets 2017

The State of Sustainable Markets 2017

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27 July 2017
9789213618615 (PDF)

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The report shows significant growth in sustainability markets. The data is extensive and reliable. It shows how ITC is supporting “good trade” that contributes to environmental and social sustainability for producers and consumers. Each product (bananas, cotton, etc.) also features serious sustainability challenges: child labour, water scarcity, workers’ rights, use of chemicals, etc.. Thus, this report is potentially of interest to journalists. It provides transparency by summarizing those challenges, and by showing which standards initiatives are gaining traction – thus helping to address major societal problems.

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  • Foreword from ITC

    A growing world population, with its accompanying increase in the demand for food, is only heightened by climate change challenges. As environmental awareness grows, so too does the need to ensure the sustainability of what we consume.

  • Acknowledgements

    The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) are very grateful to the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) for its financial support for the global data collection on voluntary sustainability standards and the production of this publication. Further acknowledgements are due to all the standards that collaborated on this publication: 4C, Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), Bonsucro, Cotton Made in Africa (CmiA), GLOBALG.A.P., Fairtrade International, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), IFOAM – Organics International, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), ProTerra Foundation, Rainforest Alliance/Sustainable Agriculture Network (RA/SAN), the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) and UTZ.

  • Project partners

    The International Trade Centre (ITC), founded in 1964, is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. Our aim is for businesses in developing countries to become more competitive in global markets, to speed up economic development and to contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Acronyms, units and measures
  • Executive summary

    This year’s report shows how certified agriculture and forestry continue to expand rapidly, in line with a growing global population and increasing consumption.

  • Sustainability standards: In the mainstream

    With a growing global population and increasing consumption, improving and maintaining access to resources (e.g. water, food, energy) will continue to be a major sustainable development challenge far into the future (Stigson, 2013). Fortunately, many opportunities exist along international supply chains to meet resource shortfalls, ranging from improving yields to reducing inputs and waste. Adopting more sustainable production practices will be fundamental to achieving long-term resource security, and voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) provide a means to adopt production and trade practices that enable social, environmental and economic sustainability.

  • Getting to know standard-setters
  • Fast growth in agriculture and forestry

    In the following section, the latest market and statistical data on the selected agricultural products – bananas, cocoa, coffee, cotton, oil palm, soybeans, sugarcane and tea – are presented by standard. The data cover the area, production volume, producers, and area and production volume shares of the overall total for each product.

  • Methodology and data sources

    Building on IISD’s experience in producing The State of Sustainability Initiatives Review in 2014 (Potts et al., 2014) and 2010 (Potts et al., 2010), FiBL, IISD and ITC conducted a second market data survey on voluntary sustainability standards.

  • Geographic overview by product and standard
  • References and further reading
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