Our members have committed to the task and actively contributed to the development of the ISEAL Impacts Code that requires standards to evaluate their progress regularly and use the learning to improve their programmes.
Through generous support from the Ford Foundation, we are able to build on this work further through an ambitious project that will see ISEAL and its members working together to further understanding around the contribution that certification has made towards alleviating poverty and creating sustainable rural livelihoods. This will include agreement on common indicators to track impacts on poverty and the development of monitoring and evaluation systems that will allow sustainability standards to improve their impacts over time. The project upholds ISEAL’s goal to promote a culture of learning and improvement among our members and ensure that standards continue to play a significant role in moving industry towards sustainability.
Reducing Poverty for Smallholder Producers
Over the next few years, ISEAL and its members will utilise data on impacts to demonstrate that standards can alleviate poverty and foster improved livelihoods for smallholder producers and labourers working primarily in agriculture and forestry. In the first years and with funding from Ford, we will work with technical experts to reach agreement on indicators, integrate monitoring and evaluation systems into our organisations, test data collection and analysis strategies, and examine existing knowledge about the contribution of certification to poverty reduction. Throughout the project, ISEAL will promote shared learning and innovation across the leading standards systems in agriculture and forestry. ISEAL members who will be involved in the project include Forest Stewardship Council, Fairtrade International, 4C Association, Rainforest Alliance/Sustainable Agriculture Network, the Union for Ethical Bio Trade, and UTZ CERTIFIED.
In later years, we will invest in impact evaluations, share findings across ISEAL’s members and engage with the research community. Field tests of impact evaluation methodologies will be conducted in three regions and in different crops, and ISEAL will work to foster better understanding of impacts through an outreach campaign and research conferences. Ultimately, our hope is that this project will confirm that sustainability standards are making an unmistakable impact on livelihoods and poverty, and will help standards improve their impacts over time.
For more information about the Impacts Code click here.
This project is supported by the Ford Foundation