Market Coverage

Over the last 3 decades, a growing number of voluntary sustainability standards (VSSs) have emerged to enhance environmental conservation and improve the livelihoods of millions of smallholder producers across different sectors, including agriculture, forestry, mining, and fisheries.

There are now over 400 VSSs operating across the planet. They set requirements and provide support services for producing and selling products in a more sustainable manner. This provides manufacturers, retailers, and consumers with information about a product’s origin and its potential impact on local communities and natural environments.

We explore the market trends and sustainability challenges facing different commodity sectors to better understand the potential—and pitfalls—of VSSs. This involves examining VSS-compliant production trends and volumes, companies’ sustainable sourcing commitments, and the effects of VSSs on farmers’ prices and incomes. Our aim is to provide VSS-setting bodies, governments, and value chain actors with recommendations for how to make production, consumption, and trade more sustainable.


We focus on commodity sectors to learn about sustainable production and consumption patterns, market dynamics, and the potential opportunities and challenges facing VSSs.

Commodities Series

The Sustainable Commodities Marketplace Series examines sustainable market trends for key agricultural commodities. Each series provides the latest market updates and focuses on a different overarching theme. The first explored the potential to increase sustainable production in least developed countries, and the second delved deeper into commodity price dynamics and farmers’ livelihoods.