Standards and Poverty Reduction: State of Sustainability Initiatives Review

Synthesis paper
Research report

Published 5th December 2021 by International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). Authored by Elder, S. , Wilkings, A. , Larrea, C. , Elamin, N. and de Cordoba, S.F.

Summary

How can voluntary sustainability standards (VSSs) contribute to poverty reduction for smallholder farmers? The SSI Review: Standards and Poverty Reduction examines VSSs and provides recommendations to VSS bodies, value chain actors, and governments to reduce poverty. There are an estimated 500 million smallholder farmer families globally, many of whom make up a large portion of the world’s poor. These farmers work small plots of land, often earning and producing enough to survive but not enough to rise out of poverty. Widespread poverty alleviation cannot be achieved without uplifting smallholder farmers, and this report from IISD’s State of Sustainability Initiatives examines how sustainability standards can contribute to reducing poverty among farmers. This report presents findings on the examination of 13 widely adopted (VSSs) and reviews existing evidence—all to better understand how VSSs can improve the three dimensions of poverty reduction: access to resources; opportunities and choice; and power and voice. It also includes an assessment of the factors determining smallholder farmer access to VSS-compliant markets based on 57 interviews with actors in six countries from a joint field study by IISD and UNCTAD.

Research detail

Standards and Poverty Reduction: State of Sustainability Initiatives Review

Synthesis paper
Research report

Published 5th December 2021 by International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). Authored by Elder, S. , Wilkings, A. , Larrea, C. , Elamin, N. and de Cordoba, S.F.

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