Sustainability standards and certification play an important role in protecting the environment, safeguarding workers’ rights and promoting decent livelihoods for producers. But compliance can be costly, and many standards do not achieve the positive impacts they expect. Through tailored research, evaluation and advisory services, we help to make sense of how standards and certification can contribute to their intended outcomes.
We support private sector organisations, development partners and public or private decision makers by:
- Providing impartial analysis and advice on how companies and standard-setting organisations can improve the effectiveness of standards and certification schemes in specific supply chains.
- Helping policy-makers and companies to turn standards into tools that enable process rights for vulnerable groups, such as women workers.
- Researching the dynamics of standards and certification by assessing new trends, underlying patterns and identifying best practices.
- Measuring the socio-economic impact of standards and making targeted suggestions on how impact can be improved for specific segments of producers, farmers or workers.
Our expertise focuses on the following issues:
- Improving the effects of standards and certification on workers’ rights and gender equality
- Working with standard-setting organisations and partners to close the living income gap for small-scale producers
- Taking a food systems’ approach to understand the linkages between standards and food and nutrition security
- Beyond certification? Researching ‘Southern’ counter-initiatives to global certification schemes