With this as background, ISEAL and its members assert that sustainability standards have demonstrated that they are effective drivers of green growth and their further uptake should be encouraged and actively supported. Today in Rio, ISEAL leadership (including Karin Kreider, Scaling Up Director) in partnership with the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO, represented by Hans-Peter Egler, Head of Trade Promotion) issued a set of specific commitments with respect to encouraging and supporting the further uptake of sustainability standards across the globe:
- The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) hereby announces partnerships and funding valued at CHF 12 million that involve a number of specific initiatives that will provide services and facilitate access to information on sustainability standards in order to drive their uptake. This includes a three year partnership with ISEAL to scale up the use of sustainability standards in Brazil, India and China generally, as well as globally in sustainable public procurement. Another programme, implemented in cooperation with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Sustainable Commodity Initiative of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) aims at enabling different stakeholder groups to take informed decision with regard to the use and impacts of sustainability standards.
- The WWF-led Salmon Aquaculture Dialogues announced the completion of global standards for salmon farming. The Dialogue is handing over the standards to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), an ISEAL Affiliate, which will oversee certification of farms. “We are faced with the challenge of feeding seven billion people on a finite planet with limited resources. To succeed, food production systems have to change, including improvement in the salmon aquaculture industry” said Jason Clay Senior Vice President of Market Transformation at World Wildlife Fund (WWF), who helped to initiate the Dialogue. “Engaging with multiple stakeholders to develop environmental and social standards and voluntary certification schemes for a range of commodities is at the core of WWF’s work to transform markets and, ultimately, conserve the world’s biodiversity.”
- The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT), an ISEAL member, have announced an agreement at the Rio+20 Conference to increase private sector awareness of biodiversity and strengthen market frameworks for protecting it in Latin America. The joint program is part of IFC’s $1.9 million BioTrade Initiative, developed with financing from the Governments of Denmark and the Netherlands, to promote systematic integration of biodiversity concerns into business models, supply chains, and local/regional development strategies.
- The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is pleased to announce the launch of the FSC Cities Initiative. This groundbreaking project will engage cities, villages, towns and municipalities around the world to make commitments to responsible forest management, sustainable public procurement of timber and forest products, and spread a strong message of sustainability to their community. The initiative is currently in its pilot phase and expects to engage four cities by the end of 2012.
- The Italian Ministry of Economic Development, ISEAL member Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) and the Italian National Federation of Gold Jewellery – Silverware – Jewellery Manufacturers announce they have signed an MOU to work cooperatively on advancing their shared objectives to improve social, environmental and labour practices and good governance in the Italian jewellery sector.
- The Marine Stewardship Council has unveiled a new strategic roadmap to improve the health of the world's oceans by building markets for sustainable seafood. New commitments from MSC include increased support for developing world and small-scale fisheries, the development of a comprehensive M&E programme, and scaled up investments in a number of new geographies such that 20% of global fisheries will be MSC certified by 2020.
- Ferrero, the company best known for the Ferrero Rocher and Kinder chocolates as well as products like Nutella will commit to 100% sustainable cocoa (including cocoa certified by Rainforest Alliance and UTZ CERTIFIED) by 2020. The company has also committed to 100% sustainable coffee by 2015. According to the company, “all projects aim to create a growing, sustainable supply chain improving social, economic and environmental conditions while preventing and combating the worst form of child labour. All Ferrero’s projects will be audited by independent third parties, which are accredited verifying bodies.”
- Nestlé will commit to having all of its famous Kit Kat bars in all European countries contain 100% UTZ CERTIFIED cocoa by 2014. This new partnership expands on earlier product rollouts with UTZ certified cocoa in other markets and will create value for thousands of farmers.
- Mars will commit to 100% UTZ CERTIFIED cocoa for its Mars Bars brand candy bar for the Netherlands market by the end of this year, 2012. That makes the Netherlands the first country in Europe where the Mars Bar will be offered with certified cocoa. In 2009, Mars Inc. committed to worldwide having all of its cocoa volume certified sustainable by 2020.
- Kraft Foods as part of its long-standing commitment to sustainable agriculture is today the largest buyer of Fairtrade cocoa and RA certified coffee. Roland Weening, Vice President for Marketing and Sustainable Coffee says, “we have committed to 100% sustainably sourced coffee for our European business by 2015 and are well on the way with a projection of buying 35% of our coffee supply from sustainable sources by end 2012. Our objectives are to secure supply, reduce impact on the environment, support farming communities, and generate growth and consumer preference for our coffee brands. We deeply believe that there is no pleasure in consuming coffee if there is no pleasure in growing it. That is why we are concretely supporting farming communities through direct investment in key origin countries.”
- The Rainforest Alliance announces that a group of four cattle ranches in Brazil -- Fazenda São Marcelo Ltda. -- recently became the first in the world to earn Rainforest Alliance certification for sustainable cattle production. The standards were developed by the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) in response to the vast destruction of rainforest that results from cattle farming and IMAFLORA -- the SAN representative in Brazil -- carried out the certification. Also, Carrefour has just made an announcement that it will be the first supermarket to sell a line of beef with the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal.
For further information please contact Lara Koritzke, ISEAL's Director of Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org.