Smallholders produce 70% of the world’s raw materials, yet millions are impoverished, with limited access to the tools, technology, and skills needed to boost productivity and secure livelihoods. A result is massive rural-to-urban migration, increasing pressure on cities already struggling to improve their public services (housing, water, sanitation, etc.).
This has to change. Companies that buy millions of tons of commodities have the power to transform supply chains and the responsibility to do so. Indeed, the private sector’s contribution to climate change mitigation is a major focus of COP21. By investing in smallholders, businesses can make headway towards the SDGs, including the eradication of hunger, building resilient livelihoods, and more.
Innovation is what businesses do best. They create new sources of value and generate impact. While NGOs and governments play an essential role, they alone can’t solve complex problems like climate change. Business innovation is essential.
So how can we harness companies’ powers to change things for the better?
Today, supply-chain programs work mainly via certification initiatives. Though they have fostered progress, new finance models are needed. The Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming stems from a coalition of private and public actors (companies, institutions, researchers, government) working for improved farmer livelihoods. Launched in 2015, it will invest €120 million to restore ecosystems, with benefits for around 200,000 farmers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
This Discussion Forum will examine sustainable-sourcing solutions – mobilizing large companies purchasing power and using real-world case studies. What are the trends regarding strategic resource cycles? What are the conditions required? The obstacles? How to encourage private investment in landscape restoration?
In this interactive session, participants will have the unique opportunity to discuss new supply-chain models directly with NGOs and corporations operating in Central America, East Africa, and South Asia.
Key questions addressed
- What is at stake for companies seeking to transform their supply chains?
- How can we better integrate the landscape approach in sustainable supply chain and sustainable certification systems?
- How can we better build win-win relationships between smallholder farmers, companies, and the environment and scale up best practices?