Sustainability in agricultural supply chains in focus: apps and studies

Newsletter archive

Monthly Newsletter

Newsletter August 2021

Dear Friends of the Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains,  ­


climate change has been progressing faster in recent decades than before, according to a finding of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. Scientists are observing changes throughout the Earth's climate system – in the atmosphere, in the oceans, on ice floes and on land. A human influence can now be clearly demonstrated. Concrete impacts such as weather and climate extremes are occurring in all regions of the world. How the climate might change in the coming decades depends above all on consumer behavior and the reduction of emissions. 
Hear how experts assess the findings on climate change and extreme events and how companies in the cosmetic industry try to tackle these issues in our podcast. Also read what news and events the late summer brings.
We wish you a few last rays of summer sunshine, a successful September and, last but not least, much pleasure reading!
The Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains (INA)

Newsletter July 2021

Dear Friends of the Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains,  ­


Products labelled organic, fair and sustainable are everywhere – but the differences are still massive. Consumers’ purchasing choices are only the last in a long chain of decisions. Companies and the retailers themselves must also meet their responsibility to ensure that fair trade is given more space on supermarket shelves.

Listen to our podcast to find out whom experts consider responsible for sustainable consumption. Meanwhile, our newsletter brings you the latest news and events for the summer months.

We wish you all a relaxing, sunny summer. Enjoy the read!
The Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains (INA)

Newsletter June 2021

Dear Friends of the Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chain Initiative,­


The summer brings us an abundance of fruit and vegetables. Anyone who has a garden, a balcony or even just a herb planter will know how long it takes from sowing a seed to harvesting a crop. How much time and effort you must put in until you are rewarded with your first handful of home-grown strawberries or your first head of lettuce. A lot of work goes into agricultural products that come to us from abroad, too. And for smallholders, that work is not a horticultural hobby, but intended to secure their family’s livelihood. To ensure that their efforts – and some other endeavors – are somewhat more successful in future, the German parliament passed the supply chain law in mid-June that initially places obligations on large companies. Surely it is only a first step on the way to fair and sustainable global agricultural supply chains. The fact that a kilo of apples from northern Germany costs more than a kilo of bananas from Ecuador should provide food for thought as we work in our own gardens, and especially when we purchase agricultural products.
We wish you a bountiful, horticultural, happy and sunny summer!
The Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chain Initiative (INA)

Newsletter May 2021

­Dear Friends of the Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chain Initiative,­


Have you ever eaten chocolate you accompanied all the way from the cocoa bean to your snack drawer at home? That’s what we’re doing right now, and we couldn’t be more pleased. You see, the chocolate from our “Living income in tree crops” project hit supermarket shelves in mid-May! Our newsletter tells you more about the reason we’re eating all this chocolate, and also brings you the latest news about our podcast and from the world of agricultural supply chains.
The Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chain Initiative (INA) 

Newsletter April 2021

Dear Friends of the Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chain Initiative,­


This spring brings a wealth of events! Germany’s supply chain law is coming, and so we present tips and tools for those who would like to start working towards sustainable supply chains. We also highlight examples from companies and suggest specific projects. As always, our podcast is full of interesting interviews – this time we explore the journey not only from field, but also from sea to shelf. We hope you enjoy reading, listening and watching.
The Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chain Initiative (INA) 

Newsletter March 2021

Dear Friends of the Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chain Initiative,  


­It’s that time of year again: the time for chocolate rabbits and confectionary eggs – and therefore the time for us to appeal to you to choose fair and ecologically sustainable products when you buy your Easter treats. You will make not only yourself and your loved ones, but also the cocoa farming families at the beginning of the supply chain happy. At the risk of destroying your faith in the Easter bunny: it always begins with a person who has to make a living from their work.
The Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chain Initiative (INA)  

Newsletter February 2021

­Dear Friends of the Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chain Initiative,  ­


Finally! Or not? Or sort of, maybe? The supply chain law is a hot-button topic, and the recent announcement that the government has reached an agreement on the controversial law has reignited the debate. We will continue to observe the discussion as it unfolds, and are very pleased to hear of all the companies that are already working to make their global supply chains fair and sustainable today.
The Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chain Initiative (INA) 

Newsletter January 2021

Welcome to the year 2021, and to the latest issue of our newsletter!

What are your resolutions for the new year? To consume more ethically? Then you’re right on trend. As you are if you’ve resolved to listen to our podcast or become one of 1.2 million EU commenters. Alongside these current developments, we as always highlight a range of events, reports and articles relating to sustainable agricultural supply chains.

The Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chain Initiative (INA)  

Newsletter December 2020

Dear Friends of the Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains,

Christmas is just around the corner and we are bidding farewell to this strange year with a varied selection of interesting podcasts, good news from the orange juice sector, pleasing progress concerning a joint statement on an EU consultation and lots of other INA information.
We would like to wish all of you a very happy and peaceful Christmas! We look forward to continuing to provide you with details of important dates, publications and other information on agricultural supply chains in the year ahead – and we hope to meet you in person at an event in the near future.
The Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains (INA)


Read the November Newsletter 2020

Newsletter November 2020

Dear INA stakeholders,­


Autumn is now firmly upon us, and the year is slowly drawing to a close. The days are getting shorter, and lockdown offers an opportunity to read a good book while enjoying a (fairly traded) cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. If you are in need of a little more reading material, may we suggest our latest newsletter? Once again, we have compiled an interesting selection for you to read, listen to and look at on the topic of sustainable agricultural supply chains. We highly recommend reading it, and we hope you enjoy doing so.

Your Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chain Initiative

Newsletter October 2020

Dear INA stakeholders,­


INA has some more news for you this month. Apart from offering information to read as well as listen and subscribe to, our Newsletter is being released in two languages for the first time. We would be thrilled to have you distribute the English version to your international network. Another new feature is the News update: we browse the media and put together a selection of interesting articles for you. Enjoy the read!

Your INA  

Special Newsletter

Special Newsletter Climate Change

­­Dear Friends of the Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chain Initiative,


­A long, long time ago, almost beyond memory, young people took to the streets every Friday to fight for their future and against climate change. Leading the charge was Greta Thunberg, erstwhile figurehead of the youth movement that called itself “Fridays for Future”. Now the streets are deserted due to covid, and Ms Thunberg is nowhere to be seen.
What remains is the judgement issued by Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court on the government’s obligation to protect future generations – and with it, an urgent need to act. But assigning responsibility is difficult when consequences are abstract and impossible to directly ascertain.
The global community thus finds itself sinking into a kind of inertia that is entirely inadequate to the pace at which our production, our consumption and our energy generation would have to change.
This attitude also fails to take into account that limiting climate change is inextricably linked to the issue of global justice. The consequences of climate change hit those hardest who are already living in poverty and whose livelihoods rely mainly on agriculture. In a system of global interdependency we cannot be indifferent to their plight.
This special newsletter therefore invites you to join us in taking a topical look at how development cooperation, and specifically the subject of sustainable (agricultural) supply chains, is linked to climate change. We present events, projects and impressions that look ahead rather than back.
Enjoy the read!


The Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chain Initiative Team

Special Newsletter Living Income

Dear Friends of the Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains Initiative,­


most of our readers will find it difficult to imagine having to get by on an income below subsistence level. But for many people in producing countries, who stand at the beginning of global agricultural supply chains, the struggle for a living income is a cold, hard reality: they are unable to secure an adequate livelihood through their work. Among other issues this leads to a vicious cycle of malnutrition, insufficient education and missing medical care. The reasons for this are manifold; ultimately however they are structural in nature.
In a world of globally networked supply chains it must be clear that doing business also entails a responsibility to conduct human rights due diligence. It follows that the subject of living incomes and wages as a subset of such due diligence is part of this responsibility. There are good examples of organisations that are already meeting this obligation. The debate surrounding statutory regulations on human rights due diligence as well as the recently passed draft legislation for a German due diligence law however show, that much remains to be done.
The question then however often becomes, “How”? Answering that very question is the purpose of this special newsletter on living incomes. We offer an overview of some specific tools and platforms providing introductory information on the topic and present a number of excellent initiatives that are working to enable producers to achieve a living income.
We hope you enjoy the read.
The Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chain Initiative Team

Events archive

Online nur Kännchen

Online nur Kännchen – Deforestation-free supply chains part I

Forests cover one third of the earth's surface, are habitats for many of the known animal and plant species, and are important climate protectors. They also provide a livelihood for more than 1.6 billion people. But forests are under threat. Every four seconds, forest the size of a soccer field disappears. About half of the global forest destruction affects the tropical forests at the equator, one of the most important cultivation zones for agricultural raw materials such as palm oil, soy, rubber, coffee and cocoa.

In the seventh edition of Online nur Kännchen, this time now as a double episode, we would like to take a closer look at the concepts of deforestation-free supply chains and relate them to coffee. Afterwards, we will offer a first overview on options for action for companies to combat deforestation. About two weeks later (date and invitation to follow), we would like to deepen further these topics together with you.

Online nur Kännchen: Deep-Dive Living Income Toolkit

Current market prices for agricultural commodities are often too low for smallholder families in producing countries to achieve a living income despite good agricultural practices. Fair prices are therefore an essential part of enabling them to achieve a decent level of income. Here, the Living Income Toolkit offers a practical solution. It provides users in global companies with a guide and toolkit on how to better embed and implement living incomes in their supply chains. The calculation of reference prices for agricultural products also plays a role in this approach.

We already gave an introduction to the Living Income Toolkit in the second edition of "Online nur Kännchen" on 25.11.2020. The upcoming event is now dedicated examine in more depth strategies for closing the income gap in agricultural commodity supply chains. Different approaches to calculating a reference price as well as practical examples illustrate successes but also challenges in implementation.

Online nur Kännchen: Coffee tax exemption? Effects & potentials

Both civil society organizations and federal ministers are campaigning for the abolishment of the coffee tax on sustainably produced and fairly traded coffee. This should increase its sales and improve sustainability in consumption and cultivation in international agricultural supply chains. The abolishment of the coffee tax can lead to shifts from conventional to sustainable & fair-trade coffee, especially in the low-priced coffee segment. Against the background of this demand, concepts for the implementation of such a tax exemption were developed. Within the framework of a study, various economic, ecological and fiscal effects of such a reform were examined.

The upcoming event "Online nur Kännchen – Coffee tax exemption? Effects & potentials" will provide an overview of the efforts made so far by civil society and the public sector regarding a coffee tax exemption for sustainably produced and fairly traded coffee. In addition, based on the study, the feasibility as well as potentials and impacts in both producer and consumer countries will be presented and discussed.

Online nur Kännchen: Due diligence in companies

The next online seminar will provide an overview of the current German regulations and European initiatives and is intended to provide assistance in implementing human rights due diligence in companies. There will be a focus on risk analysis. The online tools, the CSR Risk Check and the SME Compass show the practical implementation.

Online nur Kännchen: Digital solutions for more transparency in the coffee supply chain

The coffee sector is facing major challenges: The ongoing price crisis, unsustainable farming systems and the global effects of climate change, to name but a few. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) supports various approaches for more sustainable solutions for the coffee sector. The GIZ coffee team would like to present some of them to you.

In the next session of "Online nur Kännchen" the coffee team would like to give you an insight into an open source traceability solution in the agricultural supply chain for coffee. What exactly is behind it and what does it actually look like? Background, technical possibilities as well as up scaling of this blockchain solution – we would like to give you an introduction, answer your questions and talk about cooperation possibilities.

Online nur Kännchen: Living Income – from concept to implementation

The coffee sector is facing major challenges: The ongoing price crisis, unsustainable farming systems, and the global impact of climate change, to name a few. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) supports various approaches for more sustainability in the coffee sector. The GIZ coffee team would like to introduce some of them to you.

In the second edition of "Online nur Kännchen", the coffee team would like to give you an introduction to the Living Income Toolkit for companies and show how Naturland is working to close the Living Income gap with a practical example.

Online nur Kännchen: Dialogue event in the coffee sector

The coffee sector is facing major challenges: The ongoing price crisis, unsustainable farming systems, and the global impact of climate change, to name a few. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) supports different approaches for more sustainability in the coffee sector. We would like to present some of them to you.

In the first edition of "Online nur Kännchen", we would like to give you an insight into the ICO Sector Dialogue. GIZ has been supporting the International Coffee Organization (ICO) in its international dialogue between representatives of the private sector and representatives of the governments of growing and consuming countries for about 1.5 years. Important meetings took place in September and the next steps are being planned. We would like to inform you and show you how you can get involved.

The concept of Living Income plays a central role in the ICO Sector Dialogue and is firmly anchored in the Roadmap. But what exactly is behind the concept? We would like to give them an introduction and answer their questions. And in the next issue of "Online nur Kännchen" we would like to delve deeper into the topic and present the Living Income Toolkit for companies.

For companies

Negocios Verdes

Developed in collaboration with the Colombian Ministry of the Environment, this app aims to make green and inclusive business models visible, promote the green entrepreneurship ecosystem, and facilitate business-to-consumer contact.


Technical requirement: Smartphone with Android operating system

Languages: Spanish

Application countries: Colombia

Target group: small and medium-sized enterprises


An online network that offers blockchain agricultural solutions, Ripe connects every actor along a supply chain with technical information about a product's status. A digital twin of the merchandise is then created.

Keywords: Blockchain, traceability, transparency

For consumers


Consumers can use the website to find out about seals and certifications at any time and compare them. Alternatively, the barcode can also be scanned directly in the supermarket via the free app. The app then provides information about each seal, ratings and, if desired, comparisons with other certifications and standards.


Keywords: seals, sustainability standards, certifications

Language: German

Application countries: Germany



Topic: Living Income 

Publisher: Living Income Community of Practice 

Guiding steps towards living income in the supply chain 

This is a guide for companies seeking to address poverty and economic viability with smallholder farmers in their supply chain. 

Subject: Digitalisation in Agriculture

Pubisher: Initiative Eine Welt ohne Hunger 


Let's grow digital


Various articles will highlight the importance and challenges of digitalisation as one of the most important keys in the fight against hunger. 

Subject: Zero-deforestation supply chains

Publisher: Franziska Rau & Gerhard Langenberger, GIZ


Reaching zero deforestation in supply chains - why we need a jurisdictional approach


Illustrated by a pilot project in Indonesia, they show why a holistic approach and partnerships between various stakeholder groups are necessary to reduce deforestation-free in agricultural supply chains.



Subject: Human Rights in Global Supply Chains

Publisher: Treaty Alliance Deutschland


Briefing Paper on the Zero Draft

A treatise on the UN draft agreement for the development of a legally binding instrument for compliance with human rights standards by transnational corporations.

Subject: Adaptation to climate change

Publisher: Aidenvironment


The Climate-Smart Agriculture Papers

A compilation of various papers on climate-smart agriculture, ranging from the description of the general problem to practical examples and solutions. Particularly interesting is Part V, which contains a section on multi-stakeholder approaches.

Subject: Cocoa

Publisher: Südwind


Cocoa barometer 2018


An illustrative overview of current developments and trends in the cocoa sector.

Subject: Poverty and distributive justice

Publisher: Deutsches Global Compact Netzwerk 


Distributive justice: How do we design work to be inclusive, meaningful and competitive?

A representation of global and national income inequality, this study investigates reasons for inequality and tries to find ways to reduce it.

Subject: Digitalization

Publisher: Deutsches Global Compact Netzwerk 


Digitisation - man versus machine?

Research as to how digitalisation affects the future of work and production processes, which presents both opportunities and challenges.

Subject: Living Income

Publisher: ISEAL, Sustainable Food Lab, GIZ


From Living Wage to Living Income - Considerations for the use of the Anker methodology for calculating living wages to inform living income estimates

The document contains several case studies on corruption and serves as a guide to corruption prevention..

Subject: Regulation and sustainable development

Publisher: Fairtrade Advocacy Office

EU Competition Law and Sustainability in Food Systems - Addressing the Broken Links

A representation of European competition law, the study shows how a transformation could help to make markets more sustainable. 

Subject: Poverty and distributive justice

Publisher: Südwind


Pricing in the cocoa value chain – causes and effects

An investigation of pricing mechanisms in the cocoa sector. The study seeks to identify measures that enable the attainment of living incomes.

Subject: Sustainable sourcing 

Publisher: Christliche Initiative Romero


Thinking outside the box - socially responsible public procurement of food

An overview of the seals and certifications available and options for sustainable public procurement. 

Subject: Traceability

Publisher: Organic Services


Traceability and Technology: An overview study

The study aims to provide guidance to companies that want to improve the transparency of their supply chains. A six-step process is described. Companies can go through this process to find the right digital solution and the right provider for the purpose they are pursuing.

Subject: Corporate standards

Publisher: Mighty Earth


Easter Buyer's Guide to Environmentally-friendly

A list of 57 retailers, suppliers and manufacturers in a sustainability ranking.

Subject: Child labor

Publisher: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Malawi


Estimating the economic incentives necessary for eliminating child labor in Ghanaian cocoa production

The study investigates the link between higher prices and the prevention of child labor in the cocoa sector.

Subject: New work worlds

Publisher: Deutsches Global Compact Netzwerk 


Work standards 2.0: Flexibility, optimisation or marginalisation?

A study looking into the state of employer-employee relations.

Topic: agriculture, cotton, organic

Publisher: Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, 2021


The World of Organic Agriculture - Statistics and Emerging Trends 2021

Spanning different agricultural commodities and continents, this report illustrates the development of organic agriculture. Adding to that, the report ends with a short outlook.  


Topic: Promotion of smallholder farmers

Publisher: Innovation Forum

Building resilient smallholder supply chains – How to enable transformation for farmers, institutions and supply chains

Why is sustainability (not yet) sustainable? – This is the question addressed in the study "Building Resilient Smallholder Supply Chains" by the British Innovation Forum, which was produced with support of Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ).

Topic: Business and Human Rights

Publisher: Global Compact Network Germany


5 steps towards managing the human rights impacts of your business

This guide sets out a simple and thorough process for any company, but particularly small and medium­sized enterprises, to get started with identifying its potential human rights impacts on those people directly affected by its activities, and those whose lives it touches through its relationships with suppliers or other parties. It provides you with tools and approaches to understand what your business already does to address these impacts, and where it can improve. By doing this, the guide helps you to take your first steps towards human rights due diligence.

Topic: Sustainable economic activity

Publisher: Oro Verde and Global Nature Fund


Sustainable economic activity – A company guide to forest and climate protection

The possibilities for successfully integrating forest and climate protection into corporate management are manifold. But what should companies pay attention to? What risks can be avoided? With a joint publication, the nature conservation organisations Oro Verde and Global Nature Fund offer guidance in the jungle of different forest and climate protection measures.


Topic: Insect Protection

Publisher: Life Food & Biodiversity


Easy Guide insect protection in standards of the food industry

This Easy Guide is aimed particularly at managers in the food sector, such as quality, product and procurement managers. The guide helps managers to understand and assess areas of action that are relevant to insect control and which should be covered by a standard or label.

Topic: wages, working conditions, living income, living wages

Publisher: International Labour Organisation (ILO), 2021


Global Wage Report 2020 - 21 - Wages and minimum wages in the time of COVID-19

In the seventh report of the series, the ILO focusses on how the pandemic has affected and threatened the living conditions for workers around the globe. The report states that the situation puts a downward pressure on the growth rate of average wages. Moreover especially women and lower-paid workers are affected by falling wages.  


Topic: Human rights due diligence

Publisher: Fairtrade advocacy office

Making human rights due diligence frameworks work for small farmers and workers 

This report explores the potential effectiveness and impact of Human Rights Due Diligence framework and instruments, focusing on the agriculture and garment sector. 

Topic: Income and child labor

Publisher: International Cocoa Initiative

The effects of income changes on child labour


This desk study reviews the literature on the relationship between income changes and child labour, focusing on smallholder agriculture in developing countries.

Topic: Cash transfer and child labor

Publisher: International Cocoa Initiative

The effect of cash transfers on child labour


This review examines evidence from 21 studies of 13 cash transfer programmes in rural contexts across Latin America, Africa and Asia, where the effects of cash on child labour were rigorously evaluated.

Topic: public procurement, sustainability

Publisher: OECD Publishing, 2020


Integrating Responsible Business Conduct in Public Procurement

The study gives an overwiev of existing measures for responsible public procurement practices in OECD countries. Even if most of the countries already have different measueres in place, they often lack a general strategic framework that stretches along the entire value-chain. Based on these and other ovservations, the study formulates different recommendations for the public sector.

Topic: Living Income

Editor: Wageningen University


A living income for smallholder commodity farmers and protected forests and biodiversity: how can the private and public sectors contribute? 

The study initially shows that measures to increase productivity or higher prices do not necessarily lead farmers in producing countries to generate a living income. Against this background, alternative options for action are presented, which are based on a more cross-sectoral and systemic approach. It is therefore rather based on factors such as farm size or income situation and their interaction with land use planning or diversification activities.

Topic: Digitalisation 

Publisher: Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Blockchain for more sustainable value chains 

The study examines blockchain technology in terms of its effect on improving the social, ecological and economic situation in the garment sector. Six case studies were selected from a total of 34 use cases and more than 30 interviews were carried out in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Recommendations and challenges for the general use of blockchain in value chains are derived from the analyses.

Topic: Gender Justice, Living Income


Publisher: FAO, KIT, Twin

Changing the Terms of Womens' Engagement in Cocoa and Coffee Supply Chains

The study looks at eight case studies that present experiences and good practices on gender-sensitive approaches to the promotion of the cocoa and coffee sector. The focus here is on the formation of producer organizations and access to investment and financing options. The case studies are based on feedback from the participants in a workshop entitled "Promoting Inclusive and Gender-Sensitive Producer Organizations and Agricultural Investments in Cocoa and Coffee Value Chains", which was organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Dutch NGO Twin as well as the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) was carried out.

Topic: youth employment, cocoa

Publisher: Overseas Development Institute

Creating opportunities for young people in Ghana's Cocoa Sector

Youth employment is a key issue to ensure the future viability of agriculture. This also applies to the cocoa sector in Ghana. For this, the study presents measures that can help to make the sector more attractive for young people. It specifically addresses four different points: (1) improving access to land, (2) tailor-made credit and savings solutions (3) training and further education on sustainable agricultural practices, (4) changed perception of cocoa cultivation.

Topic: Coffee, Sustainability 

Publisher: Columbia University, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

Ensuring Economic Viability and Sustainability of Coffee Production

The study examines the market structures in the coffee sector and shows how these are related to the current challenges in cultivation. On this basis, approaches are presented that can ensure that the future viability of the sector is nuilt upon an ecologically and socially sustainable foundation.

Subject: Digitization

Publisher: Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH


Harnessing the chances of digitalisation for rural development

A description of the current evolution of digitization on the African continent. Considered are various digital applications in agriculture. 

Subject: Compliance with corporate due diligence

Publisher: OECD


OECD Due-Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct

A practical support for the implementation of the OECD Due-Diligence Guidelines.

Subject: Deforestation-free supply chains

Publisher: FAO


The State of the World's Forests 

The study initially relates forest protection to the implementation of SGDs. In addition, in case studies, it presents achievements and obstacles in achieving sustainable development in relation to forests.

Subject: Promotion of smallholder farmers

Publisher: FiBL


Group Certification – Internal Control Systems in Organic Agriculture: Significance, Opportunities and Challenges

The study outlines the benefits of building market access cooperation and increasing product quality through knowledge sharing.

Subject: Supply chain governance

Publisher: Aidenvironment


An Overview of Sector Governance

The study takes a systemic approach and outlines how improved governance of a sector can make it more resilient and effective. The study moves away from purely entrepreneurial or supply chain-based approaches to promoting sustainable production.

Subject: Natural rubber

Publisher: Südwind Institut as contracted by the BMUB


Natural Rubber in the Supply Chain - How Companies Can Recognise and Solve Sustainability Problems

A review of various risk areas in the natural rubber sector related to social and environmental sustainability. Various approaches and standards are presented as possible solutions and recommendations for action are given.

Subject: Small farmers, market connection

Publisher: OECD Food and Fisheries Papers 


Strategies for Addressing Smallholder Agriculture and Facilitating Structural Transformation

A study on the factors that cause small farmers to have no market access. It also compares the agricultural guidelines of Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa.

Topic: Living Income, Coffee

Publisher: IDH 


Strategy-Handbook Full Report - A Fact-Based Exploration of the Living Income Gap to Develop Effective Sourcing and Pricing Strategies that Close the Gap


The report was prepared within the framework of the Taskforce for Coffee Living Income. This is an alliance between various coffee companies, NGOs and multi-actor partnerships such as the Global Coffee Platform 

It lprovides various practices that companies in the coffee industry can use to close the gap between actual income and a living income that can secure the livelihood of small farmers. 

Subject: Rural development

Publisher: Institut für Entwicklung und Frieden (INEF)


Livelihoods for Transformation (LIFT) in the Oromiya Region of Ethiopia

A paper focusing on the LIFT project, which is carried out by the international NGO iDE. The project aims to implement measures to diversify and improve agricultural production and provide input and credit to improve food security.

Topic: Transparency, corporate responsibility, due diligence

Publisher: Alliance for Corporate Transparency


Research Report: An analysis of the sustainability reports of 1000 companies pursuant to the EU Non-financial reporting directive

The report of the Alliance for Corporate Transparency provides the second comprehensive analysis of the non-financial reporting of 1000 companies. The report comes ahead of the discussion on a revision of the European directive on non-financial reporting and the creation of a European standard on non-financial reporting by the European Commission.

Subject: Rural development

Publisher: Institut für Entwicklung und Frieden (INEF)


Restoration of soil fertility in northern Benin

A paper about the work of the GIZ project Soil Conservation and Soil Rehabilitation for Food Security in Benin, called ProSOL.

Subject: Rural development

Publisher: FAO


Gender and ICTs - Mainstreaming Gender in the use of Information and Communication Technologies for Agriculture and Rural Development

Focusing on gender, the study presents various measures and obstacles to the use of ICT in agriculture. It also presents seven critical factors for the success of ICT4Ag initiatives.

Subject: Living Income

Publisher: Oxfam


A Living-Income for Farmers - Tackling Unequal Risks and Market Power

The study traces the gap between the viable and actual incomes of smallholder farmers and the unequal market conditions. Against this backdrop, tips on how key buyers can help fill the void are given.

Subject: Living Income

Publisher: King's College London, Department of Political Economy


Analysis using International and National Poverty Lines as proxy for a Living Income benchmark

TThe report analyses poverty lines but national and international, which are then set in relation to the "decent standard of living" defined by the anchor method. The aim is to determine whether the poverty threshold can be used to establish a living wage and to identify the income gap.

Subject: Human Rights in Global Supply Chains

Publisher: Brigitte Hamm (INEF)


The SDGs and human rights responsibilities of companies

The study sheds light on the responsibility of companies in global supply chains with a focus on SDGs, NAPs, and the draft agreement on legally binding instruments by the UN.

Subject: Sustainability standards

Publisher: Aidenvironment, WWF, ISEAL Alliance

The Systemic Impact of Voluntary Sustainability Standards

A comparison of systemic effects of sustainability standards and purely intended "certification effects."

Topics: Deforestation, Soy, European Union, Sustainable Development Goals 

Publisher: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit 


Towards more sustainability in the soy supply chain: How can EU actors support zero-deforestation and SDG-efforts

The study presents the relationship between deforestation in Latin America and the import of certain agricultural products as well as meat. Especially the production of soya for use as cheap animal feed is one of the main drivers of deforestation. As the EU is one of the largest importers of soy alongside China, it has a clear responsibility here, according to the study. Against this background, recommendations are presented that can improve sustainability in the sector on both the demand and the supply side. 


Subject: Best practice solutions

Publisher: Elisabeth Fröhlich


CSR and Procurement - Theoretical and practical implications of a sustainable procurement process model

This anthology sheds light on the entire strategic sustainable procurement process and uses practical business examples to show where CSR plays a role and which solutions can be implemented. Not only ecological and social aspects in the buyer-supplier relationship, but also efficient supplier auditing are discussed. Numerous theoretical and practical instructions for the successful implementation of sustainability in procurement support the implementation in the company.


Topic: Due Diligence in supply chains

Publisher: British Institute for Economic and Law

Study on due diligence requirements through the supply chain


This study for the European Commission focuses on due diligence requirements to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for abuses of human rights, including the rights of the child and fundamental freedoms, serious bodily injury or health risks, environmental damage, including with respect to climate.

Topic: Cocoa sector

Publisher: Royal Tropical Institute

Demystifying the Cocoa Sector in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire


This study provides information on, among other things, demography, production methods, yields, prices, income and gender in the cocoa sector in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire 

Subject: Digitalization, global markets

Publisher: OECD Food and Fisheries Papers 


Digital Opportunities for Trade in the Agriculture and Food Sectors

A study on the digital transformation in food and agriculture. The paper shows how digital technology changes are influencing who participates in value creation and who benefits from it.

Subject: Global markets

Publisher: OECD Food and Fisheries Papers 


How Policies Shape Global Food and Agriculture Value Chains

The study analyses global supply chains from over 20 sectors and shows how legal framework conditions influence and change participation in these value chains.

Thema: climate, biodiversity, sustainable development, environment

Herausgeber: UN Development Programme


Making Peace with Nature - The scientific blueprint to tackle the climate, biodiversity and pollution emergencies 

The report illustrates approaches that can help to solve the big challenges of our present and future. For this purpose it shows possibilities for a sustainable transformation of the economy for example by integrating natural capital into political and economic decision-making processes. 


Topic: coffee, governance, sustainability standards, gobale value chains

Publisher: Journal of Environmental Management 


Signaling Southern Sustainability: When do actors use private or public regulatory authority to market tropical commodities?

Sustainability Standards are a means for the private sector to promote sustainability in their supply chains. There are however also policies in place in producing countries that go beyond what is required by those standards. The study examines this tension and shows under which circumstances producing countries are placing their products on the market under one of these two strategies. 



the latest episode


Episode 44 - The Power of Supermarkets - How Retailers Decide on Our Consumption (German Audio)


Organic, fair, sustainable: the choice of products labelled in this way is growing all the time. And yet there are still big differences. As consumers, we need to be informed on the one hand, but we also need to be able to rely on a green label on the other. On top of that, supermarkets advertise their commitment to sustainability and often have it in their hands how we eat. Hyewon Seo is a consultant at the Federal Environment Agency and keeps a close eye on discounters, organic offerings and our behaviour. Hyewon calls Lidl, Aldi and Co. "gatekeepers". Lara and Thilo take a look with her at the supermarket shelves and the sustainability reports.


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