ISEAL paper: Reaching far and wide - Collective presence and growth trends of ISEAL member schemes across seven commodities (2019).

The highest aim of the ISEAL Alliance is to improve impacts for people and the environment. ISEAL supports standards to measure their performance and put learning and improvement at the centre of their work. Sustainability schemes, such as those in the ISEAL community, address significant challenges in the world today and are one of the few proven vehicles for making production and trade more sustainable.

ISEAL briefing paper: Multiple certification patterns of ISEAL member schemes in the coffee and cocoa industries (2018).

ISEAL member standards systems have been collaborating on shared reporting since 2011 to better understand their collective mark on sustainability and to identify opportunities to work together to deepen impacts on people and the environment. This paper, prepared as part of the Demonstrating and Improving Poverty Impacts project, funded by the Ford Foundation, is one of three that will be produced from data pooled across ISEAL member schemes. The other two will address trends in geographic reach and coverage of smallholders.

ITC, IISD and FiBL Report: The State of Sustainable Markets 2018, Statistics and Emerging Trends (2018)

'This third global report provides new insights into the evolution of certified agriculture and forestry. ITC has teamed up once more with the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and the International Institute for Sustainable (IISD) to provide data about 14 major sustainability standards for bananas, cocoa, coffee, cotton, palm oil, soybeans, cane sugar, tea and forestry products'. 

UNFSS Report: Voluntary Sustainability Standards, Trade and Sustainable Development (2018)

'The 3rd UNFSS Flagship is set to impart an agenda surrounding Voluntary Sustainability Standards (thereafter known as VSS) and its relation to trade issues, in particular the impact of VSS on market access. Where traditional trade theory is concerned, the focus has been mainly tied to tariffs and non-tariff measures.

Meridian Institute Report: Conservation Impacts of Voluntary Sustainability Standards (2018)

In 2012, a committee of international experts from academia, business, and civil society published ‘Toward Sustainability: The Roles and Limitations of Certification’. In addition to describing the history, key features and actors in voluntary standard systems (VSS), the report summarised the state of knowledge regarding VSS use and their potential to achieve conservation and other goals. It also enumerated existing evidence about VSS impacts, finding few studies and weak study designs. Since then, considerable effort has been made to fill research gaps.

WWF/ISEAL white paper: The Systemic Impacts of Voluntary Sustainability Standards (2018)

VSS are known to have a positive impact in areas where certified entities operate but VSS can also influence the enabling environment. There is not yet a lot of evidence of these so-called systemic impacts of VSS on the enabling environment. This white paper, produced by Aidenvironment and commissioned by WWF and ISEAL, aims to contribute to this evidence gap as well as provide a working definition for the concept of systemic impacts. 

Bonsucro infographic: Bonsucro outcome report (2017)

This infographic by Bonsucro summarises key outcome statistics from the Bonsucro 2017 Outcome Report and illustrates the organisation’s contribution to helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The scope of the Outcome Report considers 226 observations from 60 mills and three farmer associations in Australia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Nicaragua and Thailand, during the period between June 2011 and December 2016.

ISEAL report: Understanding certified small producers' needs (2018)

In 2018, ISEAL conducted research aiming to uncover smallholder perspectives on standards, explore the issues facing small certified producers and suggest opportunities for innovation and scaling-up of standards systems to meet producer needs.

Below are links to the full report and executive summary detailing our findings.

Watch a webinar summarising key insights from the producer needs survey.