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Leveraging Sustainable Markets for Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development

The production of sustainable agriculture commodities continues to grow, reaching as high as 20 per cent of palm oil and 30 per cent of cocoa’s global production.

Consumer preferences and purchase decisions are largely driving this trend, motivated by advancing sustainability and reducing poverty in the countries of production. To respond to these consumer demands, hundreds of voluntary sustainability standards (VSSs) and other multistakeholder alliances have emerged over the last three decades as market tools to enhance sustainable development. Over the past decade, consumer preferences have influenced the evolution of VSSs, from serving niche markets to entering the mainstream, where multinational companies have defined sourcing commitments for sustainable agriculture commodities. 

To meet this challenge, IISD launched the Leveraging Sustainable Markets for Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development project. It aims to facilitate poverty reduction among marginalized commodity producers by enabling more strategic and proactive entry into value-added sustainable markets for less-developed countries.

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