Ghana is one of the pilot countries for the development of the VERRA landscape.
Photo: © GIZ/Ursula Meissner
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The complex challenges of global supply chains demand innovative solutions. Civil society, governments and businesses have to pull together. Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit is participating in an international advisory group that is to set the agenda for the development of the VERRA Landscape Standard.

Sustainability standards are increasingly coming under fire, reference above all being made to their resulting in “green islands”, since they  only develop their effectiveness on a single plantation or farm, but not in an entire cultivation region. Reasons mentioned for this are a low level of implementation, excessive costs and lacking access to smallholders. Further arguments against sustainability standards include some firms making use of them for greenwashing and the proliferation of labels on the market. Such a multitude of information merely overwhelms consumers instead of helping them to make the right choice when shopping.

Now, more and more companies are opting for a different approach to establish sustainable agricultural supply chains in the producer countries. Here, the local governments play a key role, for it has been realised that integrating them is crucial to the development of supply chains in sustainably managed cultivation regions. Addressing the problems that have so far hindered an across-the-board dissemination of standards in agricultural production can only be accomplished with the support of local governments.

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