Addressing Smallholder Poverty: The role of sustainability standards

There are an estimated 500 million smallholder farmer families globally, many of whom make up a large portion of the world’s poor. With 2030 fast approaching, achieving SDG 1’s target of eradicating extreme poverty for all people necessitates addressing smallholder poverty with urgency. This learning event, hosted by Evidensia, in partnership with IISD and the Living Income Community of Practice, explored what role voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) can play in achieving this and how.

  • Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2022
  • Time: 10:00 (ET) / 15:00 (GMT)

It shared insights from IISD’s new review on Standards and Poverty Reduction that examines the criteria of 13 widely adopted global voluntary standards, reviews the latest evidence of standards in practice, and learnings from stakeholder interviews conducted jointly with UNCTAD across six commodity value chains in countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

We explored questions such as:

  • To what extent do leading voluntary agricultural standards include poverty in their standards’ scope?
  • How can we leverage the role of VSS to do better on poverty reduction and enhance producer voice and empowerment?

The webinar also explored how living income strategies can enhance opportunities and improve smallholder resilience and hear from community representatives and practitioners working in this space on how they can partner with business and government to drive pro-poor impact.

Speakers included the lead researchers from IISD’s new SSI Review, practitioners from sustainability schemes, producer organizations and intergovernmental organizations to talk through solutions and steps for action.

Our Speakers

  • Sara Elder, Policy Advisor, IISD
  • Luis Martínez Villanueva, General Director, Coordinadora Mexicana de Pequeños Productores de Comercio Justo
  • Rita Mendez, Senior Coordinator, ISEAL and Living Income Community of Practice
  • Emma Dennis, Senior Manager, Better Cotton Initiative
  • Emese Van Maanen, Managing Director, Proterra Foundation