The more globalisation moves forward, the more complex the interplay between different stakeholders becomes. But what does this mean for the agricultural and food sector in rural areas in particular? A food system comprises not only traditional value chains, but also consumption and the environment. This calls for concerted action among governments, the private sector and civil society to achieve a sustainable and healthy food system, including its value chains, while considering the different conflicts of interest among the parties involved. In order to understand each other, a common language should be created. This can be achieved through standards and certifications, but also through clearly formulated agreements such as in contract farming. Over the last decades, products produced under labour and social standards or certified by sustainability standards such as Fairtrade or organic standards have come into play and are more popular with the consumer side. But who benefits from this? Is it the small-scale farmers, who have to adapt their production, increase their income and yields, reduce health and environmental risks caused by inappropriate farming practices and enhance nutrition diversity on their own plate while creating traceability and transparency at the same time?