From the birthplace of coffee legend, Juan Valdez now comes a sustainable supply chain model that could transform commodity markets around the world.
Since 2012, the Sustainable Trade Platform (Plataforma Comercio Sostenible) has successfully engaged major stakeholders across all sectors of society to participate in this large-scale initiative. The goal: to establish pre-competitive collaboration in order to tackle sustainability issues in the major commodity markets of Colombia.
A sustainable future
Established in Colombia, one of the five principal exporting countries of bananas, coffee, flowers and palm oil in the world, the Sustainable Trade Platform has set several ambitious goals:
- to ensure that 60% of all coffee production in Colombia will be sustainable by the end of 2015
- to sustainably produce 36 million boxes of bananas
- to increase the exportation of sustainable flowers by 25%
- to produce 200 thousand tonnes of sustainable palm oil by the end of 2016.
A foundation for change
In order to accomplish these goals, the Platform works on the basis of three pillars of sector change: supporting producers in establishing good agricultural practices, securing access to markets and alignment of international certifications, and facilitating climate-resilient crop management. The Platform’s success to date is due in large part to the collaboration of more than 90 organizations, including producers, exporters, certifiers, governments and civil society.
A benefit to the world
Colombia provides a thorough test case for other countries that are aiming to scale up their sustainable market transformation through sector-wide collaboration. According to Nico Roozen, global executive director of Solidaridad,“We are moving into an era where sustainability becomes dominant. Pre-competitive collaboration is an important strategy to cover issues that cannot be dealt with by certifications alone; for example, climate change or the ageing farmer population.”
The recent accomplishments of the Sustainable Trade Platform have garnered national attention in one of Colombia’s most renowned media, El Espectador. Read the full article here (in Spanish).
* Content produced for Solidaridad, a worldwide organisation based in The Netherlands
**Photo courtesy Juan Manuel Cornejo